Pandemic Perspective

 Ukraine  Comments Off on Pandemic Perspective
Apr 012020
Pandemic Perspective

I’m an explorer. Whether it’s traveling to explore ancestral towns, traveling to explore new places with friends and family, checking out new hiking trails in the mountains, or simply trying a new restaurant in my neighborhood, my life is all about being out and about. So being in lockdown for weeks, with no known end […Read more]

The C in DACA stands for children

 Dakotas  Comments Off on The C in DACA stands for children
Sep 062017
The C in DACA stands for children

My Grandma Lydia was just 4 years old when her parents brought her to the U.S., an immigrant from what was then the Russian empire. She was pretty lucky compared to today’s Dreamers. Laws about entry were a lot vaguer, no passports required. Germans from Russia were often sneered at as “Rooshians,” but she lived […Read more]

Adventures of an Election Observer

 Ukraine  Comments Off on Adventures of an Election Observer
Oct 242016
Adventures of an Election Observer

My reason for being in Ukraine became abundantly clear in a rundown bar on a Sunday morning in Odessa. I was serving as an international observer at Ukraine’s first parliamentary election after the Maidan Revolution had toppled the corrupt, Putin-puppet president eight months earlier. My observation partner, Kevin, and I had started the day early, […Read more]

Revolution is Coming

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May 302016
Revolution is Coming

There was joy. There was singing and dancing and borscht. There was violence and death. Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution was a complex progression of populist protest, community gathering, and deadly serious revolution that cost people their lives. Counting Sheep, the interactive “guerrilla folk opera,” brilliantly portrays Ukrainians’ hopes for a better future as they stand up […Read more]

May 012016
Neither Rain Nor Sleet Nor Broken Foot

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that are the most dangerous. I survived petting a lion in Zambia and driving through crazed Athens traffic. But I was done in by my hotel door in Bosnia. In my own defense, it was an exceptionally high door threshold that you truly had to step over, sort […Read more]

Mar 092016

I am an idiot. In the space of about 18 hours, I participated in two demonstrations (one in pouring rain), tweeted about both, participated in a Twitter storm (an online protest), wrote emails to my senators and congressional representative, and prayed for Nadiya Savchenko. Nadiya is a woman to admire—a pilot who was the first […Read more]

Feb 172016
Pilgrimage to Maidan

“I’m dying.” –Tweet from a 21-year-old volunteer medic, Olesya Zhukovskaya, February 20, 2014. This update was the first thing I saw in my Facebook feed that morning two years ago. I’d woken up determined to cut back on my obsessive reading of news about Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution. Since the day in November 2013 when brutal […Read more]

Sep 102015
Once in a Lifetime

Guest blogger Merv Weiss began researching his family’s history in the year 2000. All four of his grandparents were ethnic Germans (Catholic) who were born in a region that was once Russia (now Ukraine). His paternal family has roots in the Odessa region, his mother’s family in Crimea. Merv recognized that genealogical research requires a […Read more]