Culture corner life in ukraine carillet sept 10 2012


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Carillet Culture Corner 2012

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Culture corner life in ukraine carillet sept 10 2012

  1. 1. Teaching Ministries InternationalPO Box 1483Snellville, GA 30078770-972-2205 (LaVerne) CIU is a disciple-making campusSeptember 10, 2012 ministry that offers Bible & Ministry degree programs and trains students for bi-vocational ministries and Christian Simferopol leadership while reaching the Crimea unbeliever with the Good News Ukraine and Christian worldview.Culture Corner (UA)Since there is so much reading material in the culture corner this time, I am sending it as aseparate email some days after sending the monthly newsletter.Our first office, 1994 For several years, our apartments guest room was an office for me and two employees. Our copier machine was in our bedroom. Our kitchen was the break room. A folding table that served as a desk is still in use as our kitchen table. The living room, which doubled as a second bedroom, was where the Simferopol Christian Church leadership council met and where I taught the leadership for many years. There LaVerne taughtstudents from CIU and women from the church.~~~~~~~~~~~The following information about Ukraine is mostly negative, but please keep in mind that that isjust part of Ukraines story. Its people can be so hospitable that it is humbling. They invest a lotin relationships, albeit rather limited to close friends, so that most groups are closed groups.Our electricty problem: A "Low Trust" country requires more safeguards and paperworkAndrei Taran, Tabitha director, takes care of our apartment while we are gone. He wrote lastmonth that there was an electric problem. He called several electricians and they all said that theproblem would have to be taken care of by the power company, or at least they would have to cutthe electricity at the pole for the electrician to make repairs. However, the power company willnot do anything unless the owner signs a contract with the company. There is one alternative: theowner gives power of attorney to someone when the owner is physically present in Ukraine andis using an official form executed by a notary. 1
  2. 2. Until late last year, you could not loan your vehicle to a friend or family without the two of yougoing to a notary and signing the official form. Your friend (or even your spouse) could notborrow it for a short trip to the grocery store.An individual cannot receive a package at a place of business, for if a business address is used,the package is considered commercial and may be liable to customs, and may be consideredtaxable income to the business. At one time we ran English camps using American volunteerteachers and student translators and facilitators. One of the volunteers requested his mother tosend some homemade CDs (music, I think) for him to use in teaching English. She sent them toour college address. Customs held up the package demanding a very high fee for its release,saying the CDs have a commercial value (they determined the value) and the college is acommercial business and therefore must pay the customs fee and on their assessed value. Notbowing to extortion, we told them to just return the package to the sender, which they did.~~~~~~~~~~~Our US government says of Ukraine:"The police are poorly paid, motivated, trained, and equipped, and also are considered to be oneof the most corrupt organizations in Ukraine."~~~The Embassy has received reports of harassment and intimidation directed against foreignbusinesspersons and interests. Reported incidents include:  Physical threats (possibly motivated by rival commercial interests tied to organized crime);  Local government entities engaging in such practices as arbitrary termination or amendment of business licenses, or dilution of corporate stock to diminish U.S. investor interest;  Delays of payment or delivery of goods; and  Arbitrary “inspections” by tax, safety or other officials that appear designed to harm the business. U.S. business entities are encouraged to read the most recent Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Annual Crime and Safety Report for Ukraine.~~~Under Ukrainian law, police are permitted to stop you for any reason and check youridentification documents. You are required to carry your passport at all times, which police maycheck to verify your legal presence in Ukraine. Police are permitted to detain you for up to 72hours without formal charges.~~~Customs regulations prohibit sending cash, traveler’s checks, personal checks, credit cards,passports, or other forms of identification through the international mail system, as well as viacourier mail (FedEx, DHL, etc.). Customs authorities regularly confiscate these items ascontraband. 2
  3. 3. ~~~~~~~~~~However, I feel safe walking the streets of Simferopol at night, though I would avoid the park.~~~~~~~~~~~Why are there so few university students in Ukraine and that will be the case for several moreyears? Few couples were having children! Why? One reason is that with independence came aneight year recession. Then things got better, people were having children, and now there are notenough kindergartens available to meet the need. With the current recession, the birth rate isdeclining again.~~~~~~~~~~Economy. Once one of the economic cornerstones of the Soviet Union, [Ukraine] has beenindependent since the dissolution of the Union in 1991, although the transition process wasdifficult and involved a profound eight-year-recession, later compounded by the global economicdownturn.The modern economy has been dramatic in its peaks and troughs, having the world record forhighest inflation in one calendar year (1993) and the world’s second highest growth stock marketgain of 130 percent (2007). The economy is currently enjoying a period of stability and growth,having achieved a positive rate of around 4.3 percent in 2010 with a further five percentprojected for 2011, fueled by rising exports, cheaper gas prices and the co-hosting with Poland ofthe 2012 Euro Football Cup.~~~According to the 2010 Ease of Doing Business report by the World Bank, Ukraine was ranked181st out of 183 countries for the ease of obtaining construction permits, mostly due to howdeeply mired the construction permit process is in corruption. There are only a handful ofsignificant construction companies active in the market, all of which are directly linked to thelocal authorities. In Kiev, nearly 70 percent of the new residential buildings are built bycompanies that belong to the KyivMiskBud holding company, in which the Kyiv City StateAdministration has a large stake.~~~~~~~~~Demographics, Language, Polotics. Ukraine is home to 46 million people, 77.8 percent ofwhom are ethnic Ukrainians, with a significant Russian minority (17 percent), and whilstUkrainian is the official and dominant language, Russian is also widely spoken. There is apronounced societal divide between the Russian-speaking Eastern half that politically andspiritually sides with Russia and the Ukrainian speaking Western half that is more European inits outlook and attitudes.~~~~~~~~~The Health Care policies of the current and preceding governments have had roughly the sameefficacy as real estate policies. Despite extensive attempts at reform, the Ukrainian birth ratecontinues to drop and the mortality rate is high and still climbing. In 2008 alone an officialcensus reported a negative five percent population growth, and the life expectancy for a male isonly 68 years. 3
  4. 4. The Ukrainian National Health Service officially offers free health care for the whole population,but a critical lack of funding, overseas labor drain and low wages for doctors have meant thatunder-the-table payments have become the norm, and most doctors have to ask for "some form"of service fee.Expats using the national service will face staff with limited or no English, lengthy waiting listsfor non-emergency treatment, medicine shortages and conspicuously lower cleanliness standards.If you are on any prescription medicines, take adequate supplies with you. Tick-borneencephalitis, Lyme disease, Crimean-Congo fever and rabies are frequent problems, and thereare even occasional reports of Cholera and Hemorrhagic Pneumonia outbreaks. The Joint UnitedNations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) has reported that Ukraine has amongst the fastestgrowing rate of HIV/AIDS in the western world. the curious: 4
  5. 5. Cost of Living in Ukraine[Note: Europeans use commas instead of periods for decimal points.] Local Currency PriceProduct (ukranian hryvnia – ($ USD) UAH)RestaurantsMeal for 2, Inexpensive Restaurant 37,53 300Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant 62,54 500McDonald’s BigMac 2,50 20Medium Latte @ Starbucks/Costa 3,13 25ConsumablesFresh Milk (1 liter) 1,13 9Eggs (Dozen) 1,25 10Sugar (1 kg) 1,25 10Tomatoes (1 kg) 1,00 8Chciken filet (1 kg) 3,75 30Apples (1 kg) 2,50 20Domestic Beer (Obolon) (1 bottle) 1,00 8Heineken (330 ml bottle) 2,50 20Pack of Marlboro Red 1,88 15Snickers Bar 0,63 5Lipton Tea (25 bag box) 2,25 18TransportationOne-way Ticket (local transport) 0,25 2Monthly Transport Pass 11,88 95Taxi (5km, downtown) 3,75 30Gasoline (1 gallon) 3,00 24RecreationFitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 100,07 800Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 12,51 100GroomingMale Haircut 25,02 200Female Haircut 37,53 300Pair of Men’s Levis 501 125,09 1 000CoverGirl Lipstick 15,01 120Old Spice Deoderant (stick, 2.25 oz) 3,75 30Manicure 18,76 150Pedicure 25,02 200Household GoodsPalmolive Soap (Bar, 80g) 1,75 14Colgate Toothpaste (reg. tube) 1,00 8Johnsons Baby Shampoo (15 oz.) 3,13 25Tide Detergent (Powder, 33 oz.) 1,50 124 x Duracell ‘AA’ Bateries 4,00 32Windex Window Cleaner (32 oz) 3,13 25 5