4th of July celebration

Hello Everyone,

I hope all of you have had a great 4th of July celebration!  I had a wonderful time celebrating the 4th with a Peace Corps volunteer, Neva Keres, in Neva's town of Debaltseva, Ukraine.

Debaltseva is about two hours west (by train) of Lugansk.  Deblatseva is a small village – about 48,000 people—and exists because it is/was the town with the “UKRAINE TRAIN ACADEMY (school) —where people can learn to be conductors on the Ukrainian trains—or engineers—or repairman etc.    The train station is most impressive and the only highlight of the town.  
Debaltseva train station... one half of this side still needs to be repaired

Debaltseva train station

Debaltseva train station
Debaltseva train station- the ceiling inside the central portion of the station

Debaltseva train station... a very famous WWII painting inside the station

Debaltseva train station - inside the station,
looking out to the train platform and the tracks

Debaltseva train station - a large waiting area
on the balcony are cafes and kiosks for food/snacks
Neva had planned a 4th of July picnic for her organization and for the children in her organization and she asked me to come help, so I did.  Neva did all the organizing; all I had to do was “play” with the children and bring a little music.  So I did.  
Borrowing electricity so we can have 4th of July music for the picnic
We played with a version of American football and then played with Frisbees and played Twister.   
Football- American style

Playing with a Frisbee

Playing Twister
After about an hour of games, we had hot dogs—American style—mustard, ketchup and dill pickles—coca cola and lots potato chips!  We must have had 50 children plus all their parents and grandparents for the American picnic.
PCV Neva (Mrs. Neva to the children) passing the hot dogs
Enjoying USA style hot dogs 
Enjoying USA style hot dogs 

It's hard to believe that the summer is 1/2 over!!!  Next week I am off to Italy to see my daughter and son-in-law.  Then in August, my travel friends John and Pat will come to Ukraine and we will visit Kiev, Crimea and then travel to Budapest.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.  


  1. Wonderful photos. Food looks yummy, and the kids look like they had fun. Have a great trip to Italy!

  2. Eighteen hours by train is still eighteen hours - You are a tough act to follow.
    Sorry that I missed seeing you while you were here but it looks as if family time was terrific. I can imagine Bennett's surprise. All is well here. Daughter Amy doing well in the latter stages of pregnancy - due at the end of August. Then I go into Grammy mode. Keep the blogs coming. Enjoyed the 4th photos!