Needless to say, the pancakes with jam were a big hit.

The Ukrainian Soul of IEW

International Educational Week (IEW) is a week during which exchange students present their culture in schools and beyond.

For me, this week was emotional. Since I am in some ways a perfectionist, my task was to make everything perfect, so that everybody will remember not only me but most importantly, about Ukraine. Therefore, I gave all my time and energy to preparing my presentation. There were a million ideas, and the hardest thing was to make them a reality.

At first, I thought about what my poster and presentation would look like, drew sketches, searched for high-quality pictures, and tried to put myself in the place of a foreigner who does not know what Ukraine is.

I thought about what I wanted to cook for my American friends, in what color to make my presentation, and indeed what to say. Here, everyone immediately thinks, "Well, of course, I'll tell them about history, food, traditions, etc. I'll insert pictures and text from Wikipedia in PowerPoint and will be done." Think of yourself in history class, when you are trying not to fall asleep…

Therefore, immediately, when I started the presentation, my first phrase was, "Guys, this is not a history lesson with homework; there will be food, candies, and life stories." Forty-seven minutes of the lesson felt like one second. I expected that the presentation would last for a maximum of 25 minutes, but the atmosphere was amazing. I'm a true Ukrainian soul, and as such, I brought plenty of sweets and pancakes with jam. It was so nice when the students later came up to me and said that the presentation was a success. Thanks to the FLEX program and PAX for the opportunity to both talk and listen. 

—Yelyzaveta (FLEX, Ukraine), hosted by the Parker family (IN)