On Tuesday, my Aunt Irene called me to wish me a Happy Birthday. “I’m in London” I told her, but on Friday morning, I am heading out, to Ukraine. She asked me if I was scared for my safety because of the political unrest. I can’t say that I’m not at all concerned, but I told her that I am drawn to go. There is a strong tug in my heart and a relentless wrestle in my soul that is pulling to Ukraine. I have to go.
She responded with complete and total understanding. She knew exactly what I meant and said that if she were younger and in better health, she would go as well. I think most Ukrainians can relate with this feeling, right now. If you grew up in a diaspora and have ever visited Ukraine you understand the deep connection to the land and its people – an unbridled passion for the country, a love of its traditions and a sense of cultural pride.
Like most Ukrainians, I have sat on the sidelines and watched as Putin slowly gobbles up the country. Militants seizing buildings and taking control, region by region, as the world passively watches. It is frustrating and heartbreaking, and I can no longer just watch from a distance. I have therefore, put a plan in place, and am going to Ukraine, to help in the only way I know how.
~ More to come.