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November 26, 2004

Conversation in a Taxi

On our way home from Thankgiving Dinner yesterday, our taxi took us near the center, but not close enough for the boys and I to see the heart of the demonstration. We did see many people walking to and from the rally, all wearing orange, waving flags, and sometimes chanting "Yu-shchen-ko!"

J8, budding politico that he is, was sure to ask our taxi driver, "Are you for Yushchenko?" Of course he was, and that opened a whole conversation.

"It'll be much better for our country when there isn't corruption," Oleg said. "We need to be more like Europe." Oleg has a friend in Canada and has thought of moving there with his daughter, but he needs money, a job there--and he just can't leave his mother here in Ukraine. Sadly, we know a lot of Ukrainians who have wanted to leave--the corruption here has been too oppressive and until now, escape seemed the only solution. Now there is hope that things really can change.

The boys kept injecting their own comments and cheers for Yushchenko, as Oleg and I talked. We drove past the Central Elections Committee building, and Oleg pointed it out and told me what it was like the other day when there were so many protesters. We saw a group of 30 or so people waving flags and cheering in front of a government building that is quite a ways from the center. While Maidan and Khreshatyk are still the center of activity, it seems obvious that the demonstration is growing and spreading.

Oleg asked me why I supported Yushchenko. "Look at the economic plans he had in the past--the dollar/grivnia exchange rate has been constant since we moved here. His past plans were responsible for that, so I think his plans for the future will be sound, too. I really believe he is a true reformer."

At one point Oleg asked if anyone in the US knew what was going on here. "The world is watching," I went on to tell him about all the people I've heard from (online especially) who care about what is going on here. He was visibly moved knowing that people around the world are watching--and care.

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Comments

I am excited and optimistic for the fate of Ukraine. I wish I could be there to support the demonstrators.

Wearing orange in Texas...

Posted by: Will Franklin at November 26, 2004 08:10 PM

...and support from Amis in Berlin!
...and by cell / mobil from ones in NYC too!

Posted by: david at November 26, 2004 09:00 PM

This morning while I watched the Fox News Channels (FNC) program Fox and Friends (airs 6am to 9am EST). You could see a protest of 50 to 100 people in support of Ukraine out their studio windows. The protesters were waving flag, ORANGE banners and signs in support of the peoples efforts in Ukraine! At 8am EST FNC interviewed the leader of the protest!

We are watching, we support you and we are praying for you!

Posted by: ordi at November 26, 2004 10:35 PM

WE ARE WATCHING!
you and your family have been in my prayers, as well as your entire country.

Posted by: Dana at November 27, 2004 12:31 AM

Tell Oleg we are watching in Pasadena, California, USA and you have our support. Today I have written to my Senators Feinstein and Boxer and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Luger and asked them to do everything in their power to marshall support for the Free People of Ukraine.

Posted by: Patrick at November 27, 2004 03:04 AM

Tell Oleg we are watching in Pasadena, California, USA and you have our support. Today I have written to my Senators Feinstein and Boxer and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Luger and asked them to do everything in their power to marshall support for the Free People of Ukraine.

Posted by: Patrick at November 27, 2004 03:04 AM

Even in rural Arkansas, we are watching via the Internet. It is thrilling and uplifting.

I'm sorry America is not following your lead, but you give us hope!

Thank you for posting.

Posted by: cotterperson at November 27, 2004 03:24 AM

Reading about ukraine makes me feel hopeful about my own country italy where similar tactics have been deployed by berlusconi. I was particularly relieved by seeing the journalists taking over tv again. Best of luck, we are watching and learning. Things seem to be going well, after all, but if they hadn't I for once would have been ready to mobilize about this. It is not only your problem or your struggle.

Posted by: josie at November 27, 2004 01:22 PM

We are praying in NC too!!

Posted by: Laurie at November 28, 2004 04:32 PM


 
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