The content and opinions expressed in this blog are mine. They do not represent the US Government or US Peace Corps - Jud Dolphin

Wednesday, December 21

Peace Corps: You Can Do It

Friends and family ask, "Well, what was it like in Ukraine?"

I say, "It was a grand of the best in my life."
Saying goodbye to Luda who hosted me in her home during training
Maybe I add a story about living in a Soviet style apartment or tell something about one of my projects. Usually that satisfies the questioner unless the person is more curious. On those occasions, I get to share more stories of projects and people and living in Ukraine. I try to stop before eyes glaze over...(chuckle!)

Now many of those stories are captured in a video. Before I left Ukraine, actually my last day, the Peace Corps ask me to share my experiences for future groups of Peace Corps Volunteers.

I had given presentations at two Peace Corps workshops. Labeled "21 Tips for Community Integration" , it was well received.
Yelena, Director of Hearts of Love, meets me during Peace Corps swearing in ceremony , June  2009
Douglas, our Country Director complimented me and liked the refrain I used - "Yes, you can do it too" - and a number of new volunteers told me that they referred to the PowerPoint presentation especially during their first months at site.

So I was pleased, although a little nervous, to make the presentation again and this time into a video camera. I felt that I did okay, but if you ever have done anything like this, you know that as a presenter with only a camera as an audience, you don't really know. The camera gives no feed-back and mostly you're just glad it's over. The Peace Corps staff said they would edit pictures and slides from my PowerPoint Presentation into the video.

I left Ukraine in June of 2011. Since then, I wondered from time to time what became of the video. But I never heard a word until this week.

The staff had been working on the video. A final version has been prepared and is being used with new Peace Corps Volunteers.

Iryna Krupska, who directs training for the Peace Corps in Ukraine, shares in an email:

"It felt like you were here, while we watched the final version of the video. I could feel your kindness and wisdom, your big and loving heart in every word you were saying. I just keep being amazed at how inspiring and instructive your tips are. I’m sure that many generations of PCVs will benefit from them and as a result would be able to better understand Ukraine, have more patience and inspiration and have a more rewarding give and take experience here.

THANK YOU for continuing your service to Ukraine!"

The video has been placed on the web and can be viewed at

Amazingly, the adventure continues...What a ride!