Me


This part of my homepage is in English, and this is not by an accident - I have been to the United States for two times, where my English has improved greatly (not to the point of being perfect though, so if you notice any mistakes, feel free to let me know.). I have spent a total of 1/2 years in the US, both times as an exchange student, a participant of Freedom Support Act Future Leaders Exchange and Undergraduate Exchange programs ran by American Councils for International Education (ACIE) also known as ACTR/ACCLES and sponsored by the US Government. To make a long story short - it was an experience that'd changed my entire life for better, helped me to become more independent and mature, to see the opportunities in front of me and to become a better Ukrainian, if you do not mind me saying. I would like to thank the Government of the United States for giving me such a great opportunity to get to know another culture and share what I have to share about my country with the United States. I continue to make the relationship between our countries even stronger being an alum of the exchange programs mentioned above.

With respect, Valeriy



Music & Me

I like all kinds of music. I listen to Rock, R&B, Classical at times. I like Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Genesis, Rammstein and many others. Unfortunately I never did learn to play any musical instruments, except for the guitar.



My US Journal

08.03.01
Kiev, Ukraine. Beautiful place! Too bad I'll not be able to enjoy it in the next 11 month. The reason why I'm here, is because I'm going to the United States, for and exchange program. That will be my second time to the US actually. The first time I went there was three years ago, but it was different. It was a high school exchange. That experience was as much fun for me, as it was useful. I'm hoping that this time I'll be able to gain more from a year in the US. What are my goals? I always liked the way Americans treat their disabled, and I would like to learn those ways, and apply them back home. Things are not that great in my country when it comes to disabled people. Now I'm about to fly off. My parent are nervous, but not as much as they were when sending me to the US for the first time. Tanya and I got onto the plane, and headed towards Germany. That's where we change flights. I'm very grateful to Tanya for helping me. I love you, Tanya!

08.04.01
It was midnight when we got to PA. We rode on a bus for about three hours first. There are a lot of people from different countries: Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia. All the former USSR. Nice people. Friendly. Tanya and I got separated. She is in Alabama, and I'm here, all by myself. I'll miss her. Tanya asked a few girls to help me as she was about to get on the bus. We kissed, and said good bye. Until next time, Tanya! There was a girl I knew from the pre-departure orientation. Her name is Solomia, or Mia for short. We flew from Ukraine together. We got to know each other a little bit while riding the bus. At the same time I got to know another Tanya. After signing in, I went out. I did not go far, I stayed on the porch. An African-American approached me, riding a bike. He asked me for money, but I told him I do not have any, which was true, because we did not get our checks yet. That surprised me. Think about it. He is riding a bike worth $500 dollars, and yet, he is homeless. Maybe he'd stolen it from someone? You newer know. After settling in Philadelphia, we had some time to ourselves. We did feel a little jet legged, but not that strong to make us stay at Drexel University dorm. We went out. Me, Mia, and Tanya. We went all clear across Philly, exploring it. It was fun! We took pictures and called our families on the way. It was my first time I ever tried using a pay phone in America. The funny part was when I called home, my mother did not recognize me at firs. Probably they did not count the time difference right, and did not expect me to call so soon. We came back home, had lunch and then took off again. This time we were home by midnight.

08.05.01
Nothing to do. The classes haven't started yet, and all we did was exploring the city.

08.08.01
We had our first day of classes. We got to meet our teacher, Beth Conard. She is a nice lady. She went to Uzbekistan and lived there for a number of years. I like her.

08.09.01
All we did in our class today was talking about immigration. I wonder why? Are they afraid, that we will immigrate to the US after living here for a year? Well, not me. I went through all that, and I did not immigrate. I love the US, but not as much as I love the Ukraine. One may call it patriotism.

08.10.01
Exploring the city. I'm interested in a particular Japanese martial art - Aikido. I wonder, if I'll be able to find any Aikido dojos here. I know there is supposed to be at least one, and I even know the address. It is on Chestnut Street, a couple of blocks away from the Drexel Dorm. How do I get there? I have no transportation, except for a broken wheelchair. Mia and Tanya had a hard time pushing me when we went out the first couple of times, let alone asking them to take me to this Aikido dojo. Well, I guess we will have to wait.

08.12.01
Not having a transportation is hard. We had a campus tour today. It was hard on me, as much as it was hard on people who pushed my wheelchair around. The wheel chair was broken. It had no leg parts to it, so my legs where on the ground half of the time. I have to do something about it. Maybe I can ask Mark, our coordinator. I will do it, tomorrow.

08.14.01
I did ask Mark about the wheel chair the firs thing in the morning. He said that they will see, what they can do. What a small world! I've met two girls, Lena and Ira the first day we got here. Well, actually, I knew they were flying with me, but I did not realize we are going to the same place for our orientation. The two girls are going to the same university as myself. We are becoming friends more and more, which is nice. I also got acquainted with Dasha and Vera, both from the Ukraine as well. You are talking about making quite a few friend already, Val, and you do not even know the half of people that came with you. It is already fun, I wonder what is next?

08.15.01
Sure enough, Mark kept his word. I have transportation! It is not a wheelchair. It is a scooter. Green good-looking scooter, which can take me places. I still have to charge it, but that is alright. Now I feel more independent, because no one has to push me! I'm happy! :-)

08.17.01
The scooter is working fine for me. Dasha, Vera and myself went exploring the city today after classes. It was different, because now we could go further! I saw the Aikido dojo I wanted to visit. Maybe, if I can get someone to go with me tomorrow, I will.

08.19.01
We will be living Philly soon, and I did not get a chance to write about everything I wanted. I can always do it later. I feel sad about leaving this place. I like it. Not because it is a big city, but because we are all together here.

08.20.01
New group of International students from our countries had arrived yesterday. All scared and tired, as much as we were. We took them on an unplanned city tour, just so they know what to expect from Philly. Later on that afternoon we will have a bus taking us to the airport, and then a plane, taking us to our states. I am nervous. Something new is about to begin in my life. We will see, how it goes.



Philosophy & Me


I must confess - I do not have any special training in philosophy whatsoever. I simply like to think about myself as someone who is trying to explore himself and the world around. I have been into oriental philosophy and martial arts since I was 10.

I encourage you to think on the following topics:

which are taken from

"STRIKING THOUGHTS: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living" Copyright (c) 2000 Linda Lee Cadwell - the book which I would advise you to read if you want to see Bruce Lee not only as a star, an actor, but also as a philosopher, a thinker.
I am planning to share my worldview within this part of my homepage as I am ready, so do come back here time to time.


Programming & Me


I am a BA and a MA of CS, an alum of Nikolaev Branch of Kyiv-Mohyla Akademy (KMA). The name of the institution has changed, but the spirit is there ;-) The reason I took up computer science is simple - I've been into computers for over 5 years now, I enjoy working with computers, computers are becoming a part of our everyday life and can bring money if used with business touch applied.

I have experience in HTML, SS, XHTML, Java Script, PHP, Pascal, Delphi, C/C++, Database development, Web server Administration (Apache), Computer Graphics, search engine optimization (SEO), project management. As life goes on and I continue to learn, I am sure this list will grow along with my knowledge. There is no limit to perfection after all.



Religion & Me


Before I begin my little narrative I would like to thank all my family and friends for giving me their love and support throughout my life. Be forewarned - I am a Ukrainian and English is not my native language. Though I am told my level of English is good, it is not perfect. If you notice any mistakes on this page, please let me know. You can also download my little narrative in Russian.

***

I am a Christian, a Ukrainian Orthodox Christian at that. I believe in Christ being the Son of God and our Savior, carrying my faith in my heart. For over 70 years religion was a forbidden subject in our country, but ever since the USSR felt apart and my country became independent along with the other former USSR countries we have the freedom of exercising our faith.

I began reading the Bible at the age of 10 and did not stop ever since. As I grew older I began to understand the concept of Christianity, and the nature of God, who was and still is helping me along the way.

My life as a Christian enriched greatly when on a beautiful autumn day God send a good friend my way, the friend being Dr. Michael F. Gleason, who is presently the Director of Religious Life at Ashland University in Ohio, USA, where he has served since 1989. Michael and I spent hours together discussing the Scripture, talking, getting to know each-other, sharing what we knew about the mysterious ways of God. It was Michael who inspired me when I decided to organize a Bible Study for International Students at Ashland University; it was Michael, who helped me prepare for the Bible Study and lead it at times; it was Michael who encouraged me to keep on going when no one seemed to be interested in our Bible Study; it was Michael who along with other great people at the university was there for me when rough times came, and who is still here for me being a good friend as always. Thanks to Michael I have many great books on theology, which help me in understanding the Scripture better.

As we continued our weekly meetings, I realized that I want to change something, but I did not know how at that time, so I asked Michael for his advise. He said: "Val, I think you should share what you know about God with your people. Start from something small, say, your town, and walk your way up." I was struggling - I knew that with God's help I will be able to brake through even the coldest hearts corrupted by over 70 years of communism (thanks God they are beginning to melt) but I also knew I need time.

Allow me to take a moment and explain what I mean by saying "hearts corrupted by communism." The only religion allowed by the communist movement in USSR was atheism - the denial of God. Churches were converted into swimming pools, hotels and even destroyed. Things began to change with Perestroyka , but that was before I could understand politics. What I do remember is the time when religion became opened to people. Religious sects such as "the White Brotherhood" started to appear, and people, not having much background in religion followed. When the true nature of such sects was revealed, people started to think of any religious organization and/or gathering as of a sect. Though many people in our country go to church nowadays, many are still suspicious about religion, and this is a setting I had to work in, if I was to begin sharing my knowledge about God with my people.

After days of thinking of how can I start my work for God I realized one simple thing - if I can not preach the Gospel itself, I need to find a way to help people otherwise. With this thought in mind I addressed Michael, I said: "Michael, I think I found a way. Having a disability myself I want to help people in my position, doing my job as a Christian this way." Michael said he might be able to help me with that and a couple of days later he gave me the address for Joni and Friends telling me about what this organization does. They are not a sect which I do not like myself, they help people with disabilities doing their job as Christians. Surely enough I went on their web site and shared my little story with them. Now all I had to do is wait for their reply.

Some time ago I did get a reply from Joni and Friends and found out that their representatives will be in Mariupol, Ukraine this autumn. I hope God will help me with my plan's fulfillment and walk alongside with me. If you would like to get in touch with me feel free to e-mail .

May God bless you and keep you safe at all times!
Warmly, Val.
August 16, 2002

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