November 5th, 2010

Oleksandr Zheka CUPP 2011 APPLICANT

Oleksandr Zheka
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla academy”
I opened my eyes with a great feeling, that today is Friday! The most beloved day of everyone who has a 5-days working week :)

I had a bouncy mood because I knew that this Friday was going to be very dynamic, and what is the most important - two days-off were ahead! 

This Friday wasn't as tough as usual week-days at the University, and I was done with my classes in the afternoon. Right after classes I went to the driving courses where I practise driving a car and prepare for driving license exam. It was only my 5th class, and these lessons - are the only driving experience I ever had, so driving on a narrow streets of Podil with its crazy traffic is really not the easiest thing to do for a beginner, but what I like the most about it - is that I am absolutely concentrated on driving and do not have a single thought in my mind at that moment. It is a great remedy from stressful working days, i guess. 

After that, with just 10 minutes break enough only for buying a ban and a carton of juice in the nearby shop, I went to work - actually that was my last working day at the telephone hot-line at the Ukrainian NGO called "Committee of Electors of Ukraine". The purpose of this hot-line is giving legal advise to citizens on various matters related to local elections in Ukraine. It was really a hot line, as there were a lot of calls, however, most of them were not questions but informing about violations of legislation on elections. Some of the violations were really shocking, like coercing employees of one factory in Kyiv region into voting for a particular candidate, or otherwise they would have been fired, and I was disappointed that those unstable and corrupt times of the past are returning back into Ukraine's reality.

After my shift was over, I met up with my music band-mates and we had rather fruitfull rehearsal. Playing music is also a great antidepressant, so almost the whole Friday afternoon my activities were about fighting moral tiredness bordering on entertainment:)

Before meeting my friends, with whom I was planning to attend the Italian movie festival, I accidently got under the November rain, and it was so sudden that just within 2 minutes I was soaked to the skin. Fortunatelly, abnormaly warm weather in Kyiv at this period of the year with  an average temperature now of +15 didn't let me to catch cold, even though I had to dry my hair under hand-dryer in the nearby café, that was my first experience ever :) 
All in all, I had a great ending of this long and dynamic day!

Aishe Memetova 2010 CUPP INTERN

Aishe Memetova 2010 CUPP INTERN

Oh my God!!! We did it! And I survived.
I had only week to organize Crimean party which was held yesterday at
the Ukrainian embassy. 4 days almost without sleeping, having fun and
eating. 4 days of rush preparation. And one evening of satisfaction!

Everything was awesome, but I regret that my fellow Crimean guys Katja
and Vanja were not present!

So, today I am calm and cute. I do not shout, I am not nervous, and
finally, I look good=)

At noon we were making CUPP video. It was so funny as 5 or 6 of us met
together and the show began. I cannot tell you what we were doing as
our director and cameraman will kill me. (Hi, Valeriia! Hi, Irene!!)

Today was birthday of legislative assistant in my office, Stan. He is
the best! He rocks=) Valeriia prepared chocolate croissant, I backed a
pie. We had kind of party in the office, as our neighbors from the
fifth floor also came to congratulate Stan. I was surprised once again
how open Canadian society is. We were sitting all together, chatting,
laughing, sharing funny stories. There is no strict system of
hierarchy. All of us just work together, so we are equal. It is
amazing. I really wish we had same thing in Ukraine. And it is not
about familiarity, it is way to show your respect to each other. I
like it so much!

The rest of this wonderful day we were discussing with Valeriia that
we do not want leave Canada. Two months is very short period! We have
just used to our offices, to the Parliament (hurrah, I don`t get lost
Canadians are wonderful people. They are good. At least Canadians I
know. I have never seen them shouting or arguing. They end each
conversation with "Have a nice day". And every day here is indeed
After work me and Lera went to the nearest mall and bought pink
identical scarfs. They are warm and cozy.

I will miss Canada. I will miss Stan and Linda, legislative
assistants, I will miss cafeteria in west block, I will miss these
terrible windy weather, I will miss each of the interns.