(All opinions and descriptions of life in Ukraine contained herein are mine. I do not, nor am I qualified to,
express the official opinions of the Peace Corps or the U.S. Government.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Euro 2012 in Donetsk

As some of you may know, the Euro 2012 is this month. We are already about two weeks into it, and I was fortunate enough to get two tickets to go up north to the cole-mining town of Donetsk to see two of the games.

The first game I went to was England vs France, the second was Ukraine vs France. They were both really great to see. I have never been to a big international tournament such as this one, so it was a real treat for me, a big football fan to be able to see some of the greatest players on earth duke it out live.
Below are some photos from the games as well as a couple of videos I thought were cool. Enjoy!



Started the week off by making my personal favorite Ukrainian food: "Shashlik" Which are essentially skewers of meat over an open fire. Delicious.

There they are in all their glory :)

Watching Spain play Italy in the Donetsk Fan Zone. Lots of drunk Europeans= great atmosphere!

Getting stoked for the England vs France game!

Heading into Donbass Arena- In my opinion one of the nicest stadiums ever.

Getting a quick shot in before the game.

ENGLAND ENGLAND ENGLAND! Too bad it was a 1-1 draw :(

Video #1: My view of the Ukraine vs France game
Video #2: Ukrainian fans going wild after Ukraine beat Sweden 2-1 in Kiev.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Of funerals, weddings and family.

Hello my dear readers.

It's been a while, and I must apologize once again for my lacking of posts. It's been a crazy few months I must admit.

To begin with, my grandmothers husband, and someone who I deem to be my grandfather passed away a few weeks back. He was fighting cancer for a while and finally it defeated him. I was however fortunate enough to have a good visit with him and my grandmother here in Ukraine last year, so it wasn't like I totally felt left out in the cold.

With my grandfather passing away, I decided that it was a very crucial time to be with my family.  I felt like they needed me, especially my grandmother who relied on him so greatly. I really feel for her. I heard her need of family in her voice the day after he passed away, and I knew at that moment that I had to be by her side.

It was really difficult to be at this funeral. I think mainly because I realized how much this person meant to me, and what effects he had on my life. 

First of all, without Max (my grandpa), I wouldn't have been born in America. Because of him my grandparents moved to America and my Mom and Dad followed suite. I also can thank him for my passion for photography, with my first camera being presented to me from him. 

Anyways, with my trip to Israel a lot of realisations and emotions came up for me that were both positive and negative, but essentially very important. I am really glad I had this opportunity to support my family and be there when they really needed me most.

I also got to slip in a family friends' wedding. Weddings in Israel are always a blast, so it was good to get out of the kind of sad moments and experience the other side of life, with elation and celebration. 

Below are some of the moments I captured over my stay in Israel. Enjoy, and thanks for reading :)

Love and Peace from the Holy Land.

N

The apartment we stayed at in Herzelliya.
Traditional Jewish burial, without a coffin.
Bouqet for Max's grave.


Decorating the grave.


Final

Praying

His new neighborhood. RIP Max, i'll miss you a lot.


The fam with my grandma.

Lingering shot.

Tamar (our cousin) and my brother. See the resemblance? 

Uncle Ori with my mom and the cuz's.

Mom and Orian

Oyani chillaxen.

At our uncles house outside of Tel-Aviv.

Tamarush.

Uncle Gadi, my mom and Safta (means grandma in hebrew)

The connection.

Cousin Mika.

Tamarush and Ori.

Ready for the wedding.

Me and the cuz's at the wedding.

Here comes the bride.

Saying their vows.

MAZAL TOV!!!!

The family with the bride.

Gettin' down, the Jewish way.

West Coast?

The crew. Don't mess with us, we're crazy.


Smokin' dose cubans.

Boogy woogy action.

Smoke screen.

Dancin' on shoulders.

My other grandfather, David's memorial.


Grandma putting a flower on his grave. Thanks to those two i'm here today.

Putting flowers on my Aunt Sigali's grave. She died at age 2 from a heart condition.

Sun flowers for a sunny girl.

I miss you even though I never really got to meet you. RIP.




Shakshuka- Israeli-style eggs in a rich tomato sauce.

Herzelliya sunset.