Wednesday, February 6, 2013

MY PEACE CORPS PERSONNA REVISTED


I Recently had to apologize for my impatience.  It’s a challenge.  how come i can’t be more patient in real life, like i was in ukrainE?  no matter how tough and frustrating it could bE, i took life as it came. i was patient. uNDERSTANDING. 

my peace corp personna.  

Where is it when i need it now? 

this old blog came to mind as i said i’m sorry to my daughter. lISTEN. understand. don’t judge. be patient. take life as it comes.  

Ukraine-Time

Photo of Salvadore Dali's melting watches, "Persistence of Memory," by Joelk75 (Flickr photo) 

When some of my fellow PCVs get frustrated at what looks like resistance to planning and change, the slow pace of getting things done, the low regard for schedules and time discipline, the poor quality of service at train and bus stations, shops and hotels, I try to explain the difficult transition that Ukraine is now undergoing. I say that Ukraine is "in the process of becoming," a transition to a new model of democracy, caught between two worlds, the old and the new, the pre-industrial and the post-industrial. It's a matter of time, but the process itself is fascinating. It's a historical phenomenon.

"Historical phenomenon?" 
The little group of young PCVs chuckles .

“Yes, that's what it is,” I reply. 

"That's great, Fran. I'll remember that the next time I try to buy a train ticket and disturb the cashier."

"Yeah, me, too, the next time I'm alone in the office waiting for a meeting that never takes place!"

“Well, remember it when you get back to America,” I respond.

“You are witnesses to this transformation; you have a unique perspective. And if you are thinking of graduate school, you have all the material you need for a dissertation, just by having lived in post-Soviet Ukraine for two plus years.”

"I''ll keep that in mind, Fran, but right now I have to get ready for a big meeting tomorrow. My counterpart just told me about it, and asked me to give a talk, in Russian."


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