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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.

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Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.

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Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.

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Active Kyiv

Gone with the Wind

Im in love, and like Tom Cruise jumping on a couch I want to declare it to the world. I guess you can think of this as an open love letter as I sit and write about my new inspiration. My life has taken a dramatic turn for the better. Im devoured with passion and Im proud to announce the name of my new eternal love Windsurfing!

Its been two days since I conquered two elements at once water and wind, and I honestly dont know why I havent tried this earlier. Maybe it was fear that kept me from trying this sport, or maybe it was because none of my friends has ever tried it. No matter the reason, windsurfing has burst into my life together with sun, sea, lots of new friends and the laughter that comes along with them.

Surf And Sea
For my first attempt Ive chosen to travel to Ulet Station, located on a beach near Smuglyanka recreation zone in Zatoka, Odesa region. To get there I set off from the capital on the Kyiv-Odesa highway. If you dont have a car youll need to get to Odesa and then catch a bus that leaves from the Odesa railway station to take you to Zatoka, which is located 60 kilometres south-west of the city. Zatoka is a unique sandspit washed by the Black Sea from the south and the waters of the Shabolatskiy and Dniprovskiy firth from the north. I have to say, I am impressed by the beach Ive never seen such a vast expanse of sand, let alone how clean it is. Earlier in the day as I sat in the office I could have only dreamed of this.

The Drill
So what does windsurfing mean? Its a board and a sail. I think thats all you need to know before you try it for the first time. Your first board is usually selected by your instructor and in most cases its going to be a training board with larger water displacement capacity (up to 240 litres). The rule is simple: the more Archimedes force affects the board the better control you have. In addition, the training sail is not as big as those professionas use. as its easier to lift from the water and its reaction to the wind is gentler. Of course, I didnt notice the difference at first, focusing on balancing, but about an hour and hundreds of tries and fails later I see the professional boards have much bigger sails (up to 13 square metres area) and smaller, lighter boards. Obviously, they are faster than mine.
The first thing my instructor Vitaliy Yakimenko, who has been training windsurfers for three years, tells me is that for the duration of tuition, I have to regress to childhood. According to him, kids are the best students not only because they have less fear and big beer bellies, but mostly because they listen attentively and trust the instructor. Following this advice one can master the board faster.

From Theory To Practice
My practice starts ashore on what they call dry board. The first thing to remember is the positioning of the legs and arms. Legs should be shoulder width apart, one leg stands in front of the mast, the other behind. Later, I will need to put both legs behind the mast facing the front of the board from either the left or right side and try to keep my body straight.
The first task is to lift the sail by pulling a thin rope attached to the sail, and not to fall. Surprisingly, it turns out to be easy for me even though Im not a super sporty person. Your mast arm, the one that holds the sail closer to the mast, goes on the boom, the handle on the sail, first. Only when both hands are holding the boom can you feel the power of the wind.
After mastering the basics ashore Im ready to jump into the chilly water and put my knowledge into practice. The first and the most important stage when in the water is to find out the direction of the wind, as its going to be your propulsion. We are placing the board perpendicular to the wind direction, with the front towards where we are going so the wind blows from behind.

Wipe-Out
It takes a couple of minutes to get used to balancing on water, and I have a few falls more than a few, actually a lot. In addition, getting back on the board is accompanied with multiple swimsuit problems, it literally falls off every time I get on the board. Regardless, Im ready to continue my windsurfing education.
In half an hour, not only am I sailing straight, I also learn to turn. I feel pretty confident in what Im doing. Fortunately, the weather helps a lot, its sunny today, the sea is calm with a gentle wind of about 3-4 metres per second, which reassures me Im not going to end up too far from the shore. For the beginner, wind can cause a big problem taking them to the open sea. Fortunately theres a rescue team on hydro-cycles at Ulet Station ready to save me if anything goes wrong.
Its lucky Ive rented the board for the whole day as I completely lose track of time. I learn later that my friends have managed to have lunch and play volleyball in the time Im gone. Its due, of course, to the exhiliaration that comes with riding the waves the only desire I had was to feel the wind filling up the sails. When I do return to the station I am absolutely exhausted my hands can no loger hold the boom and my legs cant stand on the board. And yet, I am very proud of myself friends at the station greet me saying from now on Im in their sect and theres no way back. Im sure theyre right.

The Vital Questions
There are a few answers to the question: Why windsurf?
Price. Education and the first hour of surfing costs 200hrv. After that, every additional hour is just 100hrv or 300 400hrv per day depending on the board you rent. In addition, you need no additional equipment the first time you go out.
Windsurfing is something the whole family can do. There are no strict restrictions for windsurfing so its good for children from 4 and up, until whatever age you can handle it.
Windsurfing is an international and year-round sport. You can do it on every beach in the world depending on the weather.
And finally, beacuse its amazing! Beautiful men and women are concentrated in the places surfers gather. Not only do they look fit. They look and are happy!
Considering this, I have a question of my own: Why not windsurf?

Average cost of a trip per person for two days and one night:
Road trip 400hrv
Accommodation 200hrv
Board rental 500hrv
Food 400hrv

Grand Total 1,500hrv

Ulet Station
Odeska Zatoka, 60km from Odesa
www.surf-ulet.com
Ulet instructors can help you out with accommodation and give you instruction on how to get there, so call before coming
Vitaliy Yakimenko, 067-711-6363
Oleksandr Korhozha, 066-557-5969

by Alina Smolina

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  • Taking Arms

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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.


    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.

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