Where are we?

So, many of you already know that we live in Ukraine; however, I am pretty sure only a handful of you know our exact whereabouts here in L’viv.  Frankly, I had no idea about Ukraine’s geography before I moved here and it has taken me almost two months to get a very basic bearing on our location and surroundings.  In order to assist those of you who are interested, I have asked the goranimals to pose just north of our beautiful city in the subsequent photo.  They seemingly have obliged.


Thanks for posing goranimals.

Our city is L’viv.  L’viv is on the Western edge of Ukraine and quite close to Poland (only an hour and a half to the border via train).  L’viv is probably the most significant city in western Ukraine and considered by many to be the western Ukrainian cultural center.  While I hope to give more info on this later, I ought to note now that there are significant cultural differences between western and eastern Ukraine, (split east to west almost right down the middle) regarding the people who live in each place, their histories, and their respective identity constructions.  One of the most notable of these is language.  Ukrainian dominates western Ukraine and Russian dominates eastern Ukraine.  This difference has directly affected business in L’viv as we operate in Ukrainian language.  More on all that later though.

To note a couple of other locations of interest, the next place most of you are going to know is the capital, Kiev, Kyiv, Kyev, etc. depending on which way you transliterate it.  Kyiv has historically been a very significant city, rivaling Moscow and St. Petersburg during Soviet times, and is still tremendously significant today.  Kiev is every bit a fast-paced metropolitan city and recently offers direct flights to America via Delta Airlines.  Just found that out a couple of days ago.

It’s somewhat unfortunate, but the next location in Ukraine most foreigners know is Chernobyl, the infamous site of the nuclear disaster in 1986.  Chernobyl is located upriver of Kiev, close to the Belarusian border and if I have my information right, it sounds like a large part of the region is still uninhabited.  If your interested, I also found this link to some more recent photos with informative captions on Chernobyl.

Shannon and I haven’t been able to do any national travel yet, but we are definitely looking forward to visiting the Carpathian mountain range to our southwest and some other locations including the beautiful Crimean peninsula and the port city of Odessa to the southeast.  We’re sitting tight for now until we learn some more language though.  Hope that helps a little.


8 thoughts on “Where are we?

  1. Didn’t realize that llamas could live in the Ukraine…but if you guys say so. 🙂 Great geography lesson–we’ll need to know this stuff when we come to visit.


  2. Regarding Chernobyl, the 30 km Exclusion Zone is still uninhabitable, though approximately 300 elderly residents (samosels) moved back to their homes in some of the villages and are still there. Some researchers, scientists and military personnel have temporary residences in the town of Chornobyl, 12 km south of the plant. Most work in the Zone for 2 weeks, spend the next 2 weeks outside the Zone and then repeat the cycle.

    I personally visited the Chernobyl area for two days in June 2006 with a friend and former resident of Pripyat. We toured the Chernobyl Plant (including the Reactor 4 control room), several of the abandoned villages, and Pripyat. I have posted a photo journal of my trip at:

    My Journey to Chernobyl: 20 Years After the Disaster

  3. Intersting and GREAT to know where you guys are.
    AND since you guys are SO incredibly close to Poland (I’m 50% ya know) you HAVE to go for me…and take pictures and send them to me so I can frame them…you know since all my relatives are there 🙂
    Love reading updates on you guys. Hope you are well.


  4. Good post:) When I was in Kyiv 4 years ago, we visited the museum dedicated to the nuclear incident at Chernobyl. It was breathtaking and heartbreaking to learn about the event and how many people still suffer because of it. It really helped to show me a side of the Ukrainian experience that has colored their culture and their understanding of the world. You all should visit the museum if you ever get the chance.

  5. Hey David, I like the addition of the Ukrainian flag to the llamas. I once did construction with a Russian guy who went on and on about how beautiful Odessa and the Crimea were… I’ll be interested to hear what you think. Keep up the high-quality posts man!

  6. Hey, thanks for all the great info on Chernobyl Mark and Katie. Those pictures were amazing. We are wanting to visit sometime soon. Anne, Shannon and I actually had to go through Poland a couple of days last week and I noted one similarity between the Wojokowskis and the Polish people I saw on the street: stunning mustache skills, in your family exhibited by your father. He would have fit right in! It would be your Dad’s side right?

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