Graham Seibert's Home Page
With Oksana August 2010
Kiev, November 2013
People have two questions. What do you do? What ARE you doing living in Ukraine? Now, raising a family in the house we finished this summer.
Getting to this point almost everything. Worked a year as webmaster for the Ukrainian Association of retired persons. Served as President of the ArtTalkers Toastmasters Club. Was active in the Anglican Church and Rotary. Worked as a substitute teacher and tutor. Editor and translator from Russian into English. In 2010 I was professor of ecology at International Christian University. None of these paid much, but I learned from all of them. I worked two months in summer of 2011 as a television journalist. I continually read and review books on Amazon. Now I am devoting my time to learning Russian, gathering my thoughs on homeschooling our son Eddie into book format, and building a house.
Oksana graduated in music - her instrument was the domra, a relative of the lyre - and then took up the guitar as she got her masters in music education. She taught, toured for several years dancing with a Ukrainian folk dance ensemble, and just before we met, taught herself English in preparation for seeking a degree in a more lucrative field.
For the best of reasons, we could not go through with our plans to visit the US in 2011. By the time she finally got her Homeland Security clearance she was four months pregnant. Add six weeks for a visa and another month of travel, and there simply was not enough time. Eddie was born on October 15. Baby pictures (toddler, by now) are on the photos of Kiev link.
Oksana did not want to choose where to live before visiting the US, but the delay forced the choice on us. We will be here.
Starting in the mid ‘90s I wrote a book on installing Oracle Financial Software, taught at private high schools, led Habitat for Humanity trips to Portugal, Brazil, and Nicaragua, and took some fascinating Study Abroad anthropology courses as I completed my coursework for a PhD in statistics at the University of Maryland.
I came to Ukraine in September 2007 to study Russian for a month. I love travel and adventure, and I find Kiev beautiful place to live. It is less expensive than Western Europe and far more exotic. Kiev, the capital of ancient Russia before the Mongol invasion, has a few very old architectural sites and many beautiful cathedrals and buildings from more recent centuries.
There is tremendous opportunity in Ukraine if the country can overcome the mindset inherited from its suspicious and contentious past. It takes mutual trust to build wealth, and while such trust is bountiful among friends, in small communities, and in daily interaction among common people, it is conspicuously lacking in business. Although bribery is diminishing, it remains common. It is just as common for people simply to ignore solemn commitments. The laws on almost everything are unclear and their application is erratic. Having an income from the United States puts me in a privileged position in this society. People steal from you with some regularity, especially those who complain most bitterly about government theft. Samuel Johnson wrote that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Ukraine is full of patriots, such as this fine fellow who was always jumping down my throat about learning Russian rather than Ukrainian.
The hope for the country is in the younger generation, who are not haunted by their parents' fears and who are disgusted by the corruption and inequity. They are better educated, more disciplined, and more oriented toward success than young people in the United States. I teach because I love to, and I like it here because the students are promising and few others in the society can deliver the message I have to offer. Please chase the links on this page to my various other interests.
· Photos of Kiev and vacations
University of Maryland Career
Reading - Amazon reviews
I’m migrating away from Google. When companies get as rich and powerful as this (think, IBM, Microsoft) they come to believe that they own their customers. They try to force things on us (disclosing our friends, brand preferences down to Jockey vs. Hanes, personal data) that are uncomfortable, and make easy things (just sending email and sharing pictures) hard. They give in to government pressure to disclose our emails and private data. Google is violating its “Don’t be evil” credo in spades. До Свидания, Google
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