"At the center of the universe is a loving heart that continues to beat and that wants the best for every person. Anything we can do to help foster the intellect and spirit and emotional growth of our fellow human beings, that is our job. Those of us who have this particular vision must continue against all odds. Life is for service." ~Mr. Fred Rogers

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kolky Community Clean-Up!

Easter prep continues to roll on, and Spring cleaning is in the air here in Kolky. For the past couple of weeks, everybody in town has been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. I was told that about twice a year, people clean EVERYTHING in town to get ready for summer, but the cleaning is also connected with Easter. Houses, roads, curbs, even trees are being cleaned and re-painted. The cemetery is being weeded, all the dead leaves and grass being taken out, and new beautiful neon fake flowers are being 'planted'. The students cleaned the school year a week ago, planting 20+ new trees and hanging a few bird houses. Even the dusty dirt road that leads up to school has been hand swept a few times this week all by different groups of people.

Saturday was an especially busy day around Kolky because it was the first annual Kolky Community Clean-Up! It was organized nationally by a Scouts Organization, but this was the first year Kolky participated. Students, parents, community members, even a few Americans (me and a friend from Lutsk) came to participate. We split up into a bunch of groups and spent a good 6 hours picking up trash in the forest and the main road that leads into Kolky. Other groups cleaned around town, picked up trash around the river, and beautified the park areas. All of us pitching in to make Kolky even more beautiful that it already is.

It was a beautiful day, wonderful weather, and even better camaraderie as the students were taking pride in helping out their community.  It was also great for them to learn how not to dispose of trash in the future. My PCV friend, Jonathan, came to pitch in too and most of my 9A form students were able to talk with him and meet another real live American. An awesome time had by all! Enjoy some of the photos from the weekend events.

Getting right into it!

Half-way through and we ran out of bags!

The WWII Memorial all clean

It wouldn't be snack-time without cookies and fresh birch juice, tapped straight from the trees!

Mr. Benjamin with Dima and Jonathan

Ukrainian Trash Pick-Up

Our Coordinators - Dima and Kola

We Did It!

The Styr River that runs just outside of Kolky

Where I will spend most of my summer

A beautiful, Spring day indeed!

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