In the summer of 1993, I spent a little over six-weeks in Kiev, the capital
of Ukraine, and taught conversational English. I met one-on-one with about eighteen students,
usually six a day, and learned a great deal about their lives and occupations. Some of them were
students, others were teachers, computer software developers, journalists, scientists and
doctors. A well educated group!
I lived in a typical high-rise block with faulty utilities, rode public transport, and
bought food from markets, gastronomes, and hard currency stores, ate in restaurants, and was
guest in several Ukrainian homes. I visited the ballet, opera, museums, churches, monasteries
and made a weekend trip to the southern Crimea.
This is the index page for my diary. I originally wrote the diary in longhand each day
in a diary book that I kept. It contains thoughts, impressions, and daily experiences
of the busy six-week schedule that I and a group of American college students had while teaching
English. I have edited this edition, hopefully, in a way that will make it easy to read and
understand. All text in brackets [ ], are "afterthoughts" that I added while editing. I hope
that by reading this, you will feel like you are taking a trip to Kiev. Be prepared
because it is quite long!
Note: This site is not an accurate and up to date profile of living conditions,
economic trends, or life-styles in Kiev today! The contents reflect what
I found in 1993. For instance, when I was in Kiev, Russian was still the official language.
Since my trip a lot of changes in the spelling of place names have taken effect because more
people there prefer the Ukrainian names now. I have not attempted to change the names or
spellings as I edited this diary for the web. All spelling is the same as it was in