Monday, August 27, 2012

Ukrainian-Style Farewell to our Ukrainian Visitors to America

Our guests were Volodymyr, Serhiy, Yulia, Iryna,
Andrii, and Mykola
I had a farewell party for our western Ukrainian friends last Thursday night. I put a big bouquet of golden and yellow sunflowers and the  Ukrainian flag on a dining table loaded with goodies, and lots of beer.  I had copies of photos from our road trip to Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan, to share with our guests.    

Elissa used her photoshop skills to make a wonderful photo of a van blazoned with “Ukrainian Freedom Fighters” on it, like her own van that put on almost 300 miles for our Michigan trip, broken window and  funny noises that Serhii heard from the back seat  notwithstanding.  Elissa, who is known for her love of Challengers (that's a car, for the uninitiated) and other “muscle” cars, among other things, also  gave our guests toy models of her favorite cars.  

Laura Kline, our professor of Russian language and literature extraordinaire, was our fearless translater.  She brought Michigan souvenirs as gifts and enough food to feed an army, knowing Russian traditions as well as she does.  That included chocolates, in the Ukrainian tradition of gift-giving.  It was a night of joy and laughter. Cross-cultural understanding, appreciation and love at its best!

We three together did pretty well as hosts, by Ukrainian standards.   We showed our Ukrainian friends good old Ukrainian hospitality, American style.  We hope they enjoyed their visit to the Toledo area and to the great city of Chicago, and wish them well on their journey home today.  May their memories of the USA be as precious as my memories of their country and its people.

"To Ukraine!  To the USA! To you!  To us!  To good health! Hooray for our USA-Ukraine partnership!   Для України! У США! Для Вас! Для нас. Для гарного здоров'я! Хай живе наша США-Україна партнерство!"
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