I cannot hit the snooze button. Today I meet my host family. Thoughts of confusion, anxiety, and adventure fill my head. My worst nightmare is an awkward silence over our first meal which I am unable to counteract with whimsy. Oddly, I am also calm. This calmness could be brought upon by my faith in God, or even, my faith in the Ukrainian people. Ukraine’s geographical beauty is seconded by their greatest asset, their citizens.
For the past two years I have signed off each of my emails with the quote, “Love and Perseverance are the greatest assets of a Poor Man.” Ukraine’s culture is the embodiment of this quote. For the first time in over two years I will not sign off with this excerpt. This symbolizes my respect for the Ukrainian people. This will also remind me to treasure the wisdom in my heart. I am optimistic that Ukraine’s ability to love and persevere will transcend any weight cast upon their shoulder.
The Ukrainian people have gone through centuries of torture, genocide, and repression. They also sparked a revolution which captivated the world. The Ukrainian people are ready for change. This change will not come over night, but hope can be found in the glistening eyes of the youth.
My group and I are in a unique situation. This country is transforming. I am excited, and my new friends have inspired me to be great. We must follow our leaders, and learn from there examples. Any newly acquired skills will pay dividends. It is time, and we are ready.
*These are the thoughts of Richard J. Roman, and do not in any way reflect the views of Peace Corps or its affiliates.