15 Mar

Great Guide for L’viv

Check out L’viv in you Pocket! There is a free PDF download with a map!

12 Mar

Don’t use this airline!

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11 Mar

What to See and Eat: Ternopil’s’ka

Peace Corps Volunteer Emily Kotay, Outside of her Village of Kozova, Ternopil's'ka Oblast

SEE: Emily Kotay*


Western Ukraine is a major agricultural area in Europe.  The country fields are beautiful to see, especially in spring and summer.  Visiting western Ukraine, one gets a feel for authentic, rural life.  Pictured here are fields of Canola blooming in the beginning of May 2008, near the town of Kozova, Ternopil’s’ka Oblast. (30 kM from Ternopil) A visitor is free to walk among the flowers and crops, enjoying the idyllic scenery!

EAT: Jenny Heintz*

?????? ???? (Starey Miln) “The Old Mill”

At Starey Miln, Ternopil Ukraine, you can experience some of the best food and best beer the country has to offer for a pretty good price.

The main event and my favorite main course at Starey Miln is soup in a bread bowl! This might be the most delicious thing on a cold Ukrainian afternoon.

You have a choice between the traditional red borsch (???????? ????), green borsch (??????? ????), and a soup called “solyanka” (???????), all of which you can get in a normal bowl or a rather large bread bowl made out of only the best Ukrainian rye or “brown” bread. My personal favorite is the green borsch, which unlike its red counterpart, has no beets in it. It’s made of chetl which is a green I have not seen outside of Ukraine but looks and tastes similar to spinach.  This is a truly fantastic Ukrainian staple that my host mom used to make and Starey Miln replicates to a T.

Don’t forget to try your soup with a half liter of draft ???????????? (Mykulynetske), which is the Ternopilska Oblast micro brew!  Mikolenetske is available in light (??????), dark (?????), and honey (??????).


Trains from L’viv to Ternopil run three times daily (3 hours ride) and from there you can take a short bus-ride (????????) to Kozova.  In addition overnight trains run from Prague to Ternopil and Kyiv to Ternopil every evening.

To Starey Miln from the train station: Turn right out of the station onto Khmel’nyts’koho Street and go 1/4 mile to Zbarazka St and turn right. Go through the tunnel and across the intersection. The restaurant is on the left hand corner at 1a Brodivscka Street.

*Emily Kotay and Jenny Heintz were Peace Corps Volunteers in Western Ukraine from 2007 to 2009.

9 Mar

A Sparkling and Cold Visit to Pochiav

Pochiav Monastery, Ternopil's'ka Ukraine, December 2007

Jenny Heintz,  Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

March 9, 2010

Here’s a Photo of the well-known Monastery Pochiav in Ternopi’l’ska Oblast (Western Ukraine).  Visitors come from all over Ukraine, Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe to see this Monastery and make pilgrimages in the Spring-time. We visited on a very cold but beautiful day. The tops of the Monastery were glistening in the sunlight.  I had to wear the black skirt they gave me as a rule  for entering the church but I was glad to have an extra layer on anyways.

9 Mar

Babucya’s: Ukraine’s Living History

Jenny Heintz, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

March 9, 2010

Ukraine’s most valuable asset, despite its beautiful countryside and historic buildings, is still its people. And of all those people the best stories are told by and the most history is remembered by the babyca’s. The word babucya (babushka in Russian) literally means “grandmother” but can refer to any older women. The babucyas in Ukraine are the ones who bore the brunt of the hardship at the end of the Second World War and during the Soviet era, which is why most of these women can tell stories that are sure to captivate most anyone.

The babucyas continue to live their lives according to their code of survival; including ensuring that anyone in under their roof is well fed, if not over fed, comfortable, and warm. They always at the ready with a bowl of borsch or a hot cup of tea. They have a solution to everything and are caretakers of Ukraine.

They continue to voice their opinions by taking part voting during elections, volunteering at polling places, simply continuing to work hard and tell their stories, even when the weather might intimidate even the strongest person of a younger generation.

My host mom, or babucya, was a remarkable woman who had retired as the director of the school at which I worked about 5 years before.  She had traveled throughout most of Eastern Europe and always encouraged me to see the world. She took me in as if I was her daughter and made me feel welcome in the community.

My "Babuyca" (left) on her Birthday, August 2009

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