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No one could believe that the opposition would last that long in Independence Square.  But if the non-believers lived here and saw people waiting in line to buy train tickets, make transactions at a bank or pick up a package at a post office, they would understand the endurance of Ukrainian citizens.  And that doesn’t even count the types of hardships the average person endured during Communist rule.  But even those of us with an understanding of Ukrainian stamina were impressed.  But would the demonstrations, protests and blockades yield results?  Surprisingly, they did. 

The first result was the international media attention.  As a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, the biggest complaint I had about friends and family back home was that they kept calling my country of service “Russia.”  No matter how hard I tried, I somehow ended up in Russia or, worse yet, the Soviet Union.  I mean, USSR?  C’mon people.  Work with me.  A now-RPCV told me about a friend on the New York City subway who heard the name Ukraine and asked, “Is that upstate?”  A comment like that manages to insult Ukrainians and upstate New Yorkers simultaneously, but sometimes you just have to let it go.  


This excerpt is from:
A Carrot Cake in a Revolution

Written by:
Cristina T. O'Keeffe

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