Sunday, September 18, 2011

Studying in Kiev - in which my brain gets crammed with too much great information in two weeks!

308682_10150364639563529_534723528_9830929_4352089_n    (PS: this post should have proceeded the last two posts with my photos of Kiev!!) 

In case anyone has not memorized the details of my exciting life, I'll give a little reminder - I'm studying for a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership at Azusa Pacific University (APU) in California. 

They created a rather unique external program 30 years ago in which students travel to a location in the world for 20 hours of classroom time per class, with the remainder of the course work being done in the following semester (readings and assignments). 

320309_10150364639233529_534723528_9830922_1169978_nI am taking four classes, two in the Fall and two in the Spring so I was there for two weeks.  Last year my classes were in London, this year they were in Kiev, Ukraine! 

So for two weeks, Mon-Fri, 8:30 to 6, we tried to learn as much as we could in a classroom context about our courses (Ethics, Research Methods, Building Trust in Orgs and Creativity and Collaboration in Orgs).  8:30-12:30 was one class and the afternoon was the second class.  The second week, the morning was the third class and the afternoon the fourth. 

So the bulk of the work is done at home thru the year but I love the classroom opportunity, the wisdom and experience of the professors and the context of discussion and connection with the other students with whom I'll be in touch throughout the year.  This year, we had students from Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Philippines, Brazil, Portugal, China and the United States!           

294387_10150356894003529_534723528_9755731_1810645_nMy program is three years long if I continue the pace of two classes per semester.  That was a bit of a challenge last year but it seems the most reasonable given that I pay to fly to and stay at a location, it doesn't seem the best use of finances to take one course per semester. 

As for any student, balancing life, work and studies is a challenge.  Especially given my setting of living with my boys in the dorm.  it requires more than usual focus and organization!  But, I learned last year, it is do-able!

311302_10150356894248529_534723528_9755734_1502753_nI absolutely LOVE what I am learning and am so blessed to have the opportunity to study.  I love learning about how to be a better person, how to see and bring out the best in others, and how to be a more effective contributor to any organization of which I am a part!

The trick is - putting it into practice!

(the next couple blogs will be photos from my Kiev trip!)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Kiev Churches and Monuments

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St Nicholas Prytyska Church, 17th Century

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St. Andrew's Cathedral, 1749-1754

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I can't find the name of this gorgeous little cathedral, built like a Lighthouse on the river.  I'm sure my new friend Eric, who hosted me around the city my first weekend, will tell me when he reads this!  There are a lot of these little walk-in cathedral's.  This one was so beautiful!

20th Century



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St. Michael's Monastery, front and back views, was destroyed by the Soviet regime, rebuilt as recently as the 1990's.   Only a portion of the original foundation, from 1108, remains inside but it was rebuilt to an exact replica.

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L. An old church relocated to Pirogovo, an outdoor museum showing life in Ukraine from centuries past.  If I remember correctly, this one is several hundred years old.  R. Vydubychi Monastery - on of the many churches there. 

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Grand Church of the Lavra, Dormition Cathedral, front and back views.  Originally built in the 11th century, destroyed in 1941, rebuilt in the 1990's. 

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St. Volodymr's Cathedral, 1862

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Lower Lavra, Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God, 11th Century


The following are photos from the National Museum (outdoor) of the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945.

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Rodina Mat


The Motherland Ukraine





She weighs 530 tons!




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Friday, September 02, 2011

Kiev - Street Scenes

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Hand painted eggs are a common sight in Ukraine - this was a sphere completed covered with them in a rainbow of colors - beautiful!Kiev 007

All women, young and old, cover their heads before entering Orthodox churches.  I found it interesting to see stylishly dressed young women whip out their scarves before going into church. 

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Two slightly different looking ladies entering church!    Kiev 023

The next cover of "Modern Bride?"

I've never seen so many brides and grooms walking through city streets with their photographers as I have in Kiev and Krakow!  But not all with cell phones!

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Flowers were everywhere in Ukraine - ladies selling them and people buying them and carrying them on the metro and buses.  There were so many, I wondered if they were used for religious purposes but I never got a clear answer on that.  Kiev 102 Kiev 063

Of course, anyone would know that was their Metro Stop . . .  what, you mean you can't tell that says "Poznicky?"  Ok, then, just look for your stop on the list below . . .Kiev 007 Kiev 009 Kiev 011

How about instead, a ride on a super old tram, #219? (Ok, I say below I didn't take any photos on public transport, but I sat in the last seat to take this one and was only on this tram two stops so I risked it!)

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Quaint little gas station in the semi-suburbs.

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I wish I had a photo that captured the amazing number of Soviet-era, high rise apartment buildings here.  I didn't take any photos while in the public transport so this one from my friend's 5th floor window will have to do.  They are everywhere, masses and masses of them. 

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The entrance and elevator of my new friend Christy's apartment building in a Soviet-era housing block.  I was a little shocked when I first arrived but discovered, as in Mozambique, the inside of the apartments are much nicer and kept up well, it's the outsides that get very little maintenance. 

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While we were there, there was a lot of political controversy and street demonstrations about a former Prime Minister put in prison by the current president.  The controversy swirls around accusations that he had her imprisoned before election time as she is his closest rival.  We were there for Ukraine's 20th Independence Day and the protestors (who were there daily) were especially strong then, trying to avoid Ukraine losing some of the freedoms she had gained in her struggle for independence.  This is my very un-educated summary of what I understood was the gist of the demonstrations. 

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Meanwhile, Babushka does what others like her have done for ages, controversy or no - tried to make her simple living selling homemade honey in the courtyard of a peaceful church. Kiev 016

And Babushko (?) tries to make a peaceful living making the world a more beautiful place with his lovely music.