Ukraine

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RPCV Sabra Ayres (Ukraine) covers her host country for LA TIMES
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To Peel Potatoes

RPCV Sabra Ayres (Ukraine) covers her host country for LA TIMES

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steven Boyd Saum (Ukraine 1994-96)     Pompeo heads to a Ukraine that can’t seem to catch a breath By SABRA AYRES Moscow Correspondent Los Angeles Times JAN. 29, 2020 LA Times Moscow Correspondent Sabra Ayres first went to Ukraine with the Peace Corps (1995-97). It seems Ukraine can’t catch a break from getting dragged into U.S. political drama. In the fall, the quid pro quo scandal emerged and gave Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, an unwanted leading role in what is now the impeachment trial of President Trump. Then in early January, Iran shot down a Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet flying out of Tehran that it mistook as a potential American attack on one of its military bases after it had fired missiles at military bases in Iraq to retaliate for the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Suleimani. All 176 passengers and crew aboard were . . .

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To Peel Potatoes

by John P. Deever (Ukraine 1993–95) This essay won the 1996 Moritz Thomsen Award for Best Short Work about the Peace Corps Experience. • “LIFE’S TOO SHORT to peel potatoes,” a woman in my local supermarket announced, as she put a box of instant mashed potatoes into her cart. When I overheard her I nearly shrieked. After recently returning from my Peace Corps stint in Ukraine, I tend to get defensive about the potato in all its forms: sliced, scalloped, diced, chopped, grated, or julienned; then boiled, browned, french-fried, slow-fried, hand-mashed, baked or twice-baked — with an indulgent dollop of butter or sour cream, yes thank you. A large portion of my time in Ukraine was spent preparing what was, in the winter, nearly the only vegetable available. Minutes and hours added up to a string of days handling potatoes. I sized up the biggest, healthiest spuds in the market . . .

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