September 10, 2003 - Los Altos Town Crier: Kari Salmon teaches English in Ukraine

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ukraine: Peace Corps Ukraine : The Peace Corps in the Ukraine: September 10, 2003 - Los Altos Town Crier: Kari Salmon teaches English in Ukraine

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 11:08 pm: Edit Post

Kari Salmon teaches English in Ukraine

Kari Salmon teaches English in Ukraine

Peace Corps helper adjusts to life in Ukraine

Los Altos resident teaching English while learning Russian

Kari Salmon dons the traditional garb of the Ukraine.

By Coralie Rogez / Special to the Town Crier

"But I made it," e-mails Kari Salmon of her experience in the Ukraine. "Two and a half hours later, I had traveled the 60 kilometers and got off the bus with a smile as though I had just seen a good movie and I was glad that it ended well."

Kari Salmon, a 23-year-old alumna of Los Altos High School, has worked with the children in Chyhyryn, Ukraine since she joined the Peace Corp last fall.

"I have had a wonderful time here so far, and that is entirely due to the people. I have never met people who are so giving at the drop of a hat," Salmon wrote in her e-mail. "The history of these people is amazing."

Salmon has always gravitated toward humanitarian service, according to Kris Salmon, Kari's mother. In high school, Kari volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and Assistance for Teens. While attending the University of California at Santa Barbara, she worked in a preschool while studying history and sociology. Most recently, Kari helped build homes in Romania with Habitat for Humanity, as a special project.

"The Peace Corps requires us to do secondary projects during the summer, and this is one of the more extreme projects," wrote Salmon in an e-mail to her family. "I thought that it sounded like a wonderful opportunity, and I jumped at the chance."

In Chyhyryn, Salmon is responsible for teaching English to fifth-, eighth-, ninth- and 11th-graders. In addition, she has begun an English club, which provides a better opportunity for her students to practice and learn the English language.

Some of the experiences have been hard on Salmon. "Kari had to learn two new languages, Russian and Ukrainian," her mother said. "Also, coming from California, that first winter was hard for her. Over there, they have long winters that are cold and gray. It was hard slogging through it."

Yet, it is a rewarding experience for Kari. "She feels that she is getting much more out of it than she is giving. She can get around and she absolutely loves the people there," Kari's mother added.

Upon her arrival in Chyhyryn, Kari first lived with a host family. Today, she lives alone in an apartment -- where she recently obtained heating and hot water -- down the road from her coordinator's family, whom she has become very close with.

As for her plans upon her return, "She's not sure. I would guess that she would want to do something where she could utilize her language skills. I wouldn't be surprised if she does something with the state department," Kris said. "But she's got a good year left."

She added, "Both my husband and I are so proud of her. We're amazed by her courage. There's very little money involved, but it doesn't seem to matter to her. I know this will set her on her path for life."

For more information regarding donations to help teach Ukrainian children English, call Kris Salmon at 941-1642.

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Story Source: Los Altos Town Crier

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ukraine



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