The End of an Era

Well, I don’t usually mix work and writing, but between me, you, and the other thirty people who read this blog, I don’t think I’ve got a whole lot to worry about. After nine years of county employment, working with my local soil and water district, I’ve jumped governmental ships and taken a job with the state. It’s been a whirlwind transitioning to a new job, and I’ve barely been able to write at all in the last few months. I’m struggling just to muster up enough words to put together a blog post each week. Once things settle down, I hope I’ll be able to get back into the rhythm of writing and reading more (sorry to all you fellow bloggers whose blogs I’ve been neglecting to visit). 

Not to conflate the two, but with my new job starting and with WWIII starting in Europe, everything seems a little surreal. About fifteen years ago, I went to Ukraine on a mission trip in college. Flew into Kyiv, then volunteered for a week doing construction work at an orphanage in Bucha, a small village outside of Kyiv. The orphanage was actually in an old Soviet work camp. Sadly, my memories have faded immensely in fifteen years, but I remember a few things:

  1. The Russian and Ukrainian languages sound a lot alike, but our translator said Ukrainians took pride in speaking Ukrainian, not Russian, and Ukrainians take offense when foreigners confuse the two. 
  2. Ukrainian women are all supermodels, and Ukrainian men are all clones of the Marlboro Man (they still smoked a lot over there) minus the cowboy attire.
  3. Apparently, Ukrainians don’t require drivers’ ed. The whole population drove with reckless abandon, making four-lane highways out of two-lane roads. 

Needless to say, it doesn’t surprise me that people who take such pride in speaking their native tongue, who are, on a whole, rugged and physically fit, who drive unflappably in the face of head-on collisions, would be mounting such a stout defense. Yesterday, I saw photos of a destroyed convoy of Russian military vehicles smoldering in the streets of Bucha. It’s hard to believe that the quiet little village I visited fifteen years ago is now a dystopian battleground. It’s hard to believe a maniac is threatening to use nuclear weapons (sadly, it’s not hard to believe our former president is praising him as a “genius”). I don’t know what will happen, but I don’t think there’s any going back now. Seems like the end of an era. 

Streets of Bucha