ESU Ukraine » Information » HEY, MERYL STREEP! THERE IS A PERFECT ROLE FOR YOU!
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  • Author: varder
  • Date: 8-03-2017, 22:32
8-03-2017, 22:32

HEY, MERYL STREEP! THERE IS A PERFECT ROLE FOR YOU!

Category: Information

67…I would have paid a million dollars to the person who had shot an astonished expression on my face when Gail Flister Vallieres, the Community Development Specialist of the US Peace Corps, revealed me her age. This woman with shining eyes and youthfully positive outlook on life seems to have an endless margin of energy which she generously shared with the students of KSPU at the meeting that took place on 2 March, 2017 at the Faculty of Foreign Languages.

After the retirement from the post of an accountant in 2011, a new chapter of Gail’s life began: she joined the Peace Corps - a service opportunity for motivated changemakers that helps them to delve into a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of present generation. Gail emphasized that the main mission of the Peace Corps is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Now the US Peace Corps has volunteers in more than 60 countries and Ukraine is lucky to be in this list.

The first Gail’s encounter with our country happened in 2013. Before arriving to Kropyvnytskyi, she spent 3 months of intensive training in Chernigiv. Besides the strenuous learning of Ukrainian and Russian, she had a chance to discover our culture, traditions and customs, the majority of which Gail drew from the host family, whose members she described as “people with hearts of gold”. (Lady Halyna, Gail’s story about your holybtsi made all the present to salivate!)

Because of an unstable political situation in Ukraine, Gail spent 2015 in Moldova which was “a completely different experience” for her. Here she:

  • worked in the construction college, where the volunteer helped in teaching business, as English is considered to be an essential element for succeeding in the business sphere;
  • participated in arranging a social project devoted to environmental problems, in which the girls took photos in their prom dresses on the background of rubbish to raise the awareness on environmental issues;
  • taught elderly people to work with the computer;
  • learned to make wine (!);
  • conducted a 4-day kayak trip on the Dnister (how many of you can boast the same things?).

In 2016 Kropyvnytskyi welcomingly met Gail for the second time. Now she is working with the NGO Flora, the purpose of which is to protect rights and encourage civic participation among teenagers. Besides Gail’s volunteering work at the schools, she can be found in the English club that is situated at the Chyzhevskyi library and holds the meetings from Monday till Thursday at 17:00. She tries to make every class unforgettable, choosing topics for discussion which are both interesting and challenging, and is happy to see all the willing to improve their English there!

Such people as Gail are the greatest inspiration for young generation! The slightest glance at this magnificent woman reminded me what possibilities there are in my hands and that it is only me who controls my fate. When Gail was asked what actress she would like to see playing the leading role in her biopic, the woman answered she would be proud to view Meryl Streep in this guise. But, Gail, believe me: it is Meryl Streep who should be proud of playing you, because your story is definitely worth knowing!

 

                                    Yana Hrebeniuk,

 

a third-year student, Faculty of Foreign Languages, KSPU

 

 

 

 

 

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