My experience in Ukraine was just amazing. It was my first time ever overseas and the first time for my mum to ever go to Ukraine.  To be to able to represent my home country Australia in a singing competition in Ukraine was phenomenal.

Without the help from my lovely singing teacher Pani Oksana Bobechko, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to go to Ukraine to sing. She went to all the time and effort every Tuesday night for an hour, to help me practice and practice the song just to make it as perfect as she could. There fore, I can’t thank her enough for helping me for months to prepare my journey to Ukraine to sing and to also improve my singing skills.

Arriving in Ukraine was a very nerve racking time. Not knowing where to go, or where our accommodation was. But it was so kind for a lovely lady, Sister Louisa, to meet us and welcome us to Lviv. Throughout out whole experience in Ukraine,  Sister Louisa  was the most helpful, kind hearted person to us. She took  us around places, got people to help us get around to different areas of Lviv, organize us to go to Kiev by train and stay with a lovely family there, and she always there to help us whenever we needed her. I couldn’t thank her enough for being such a kind and generous person to both of us and for being such a lovely helper throughout the whole month we were in Ukraine.

The main reason why my mother and I travelled to Ukraine was because I was selected by Bishop Peter Stasiuk to represent Australia in a Religious singing competition in Lviv called Pisnya Sertsya (Пісня Серця). I was the first one ever to represent Australia in this competition, and I felt proud of doing that for the first time ever.

About four days after I arrived in Ukraine, I took part in the competition. I was very nervous and didn’t know how to feel or what to think. I still couldn’t believe that I was in Ukraine singing in a professional competition. I was 1 out of 40 contestants in my age category which ranged from 15-18 years old. The competitor’s voices were absolutely amazing. I was in shock to see that every girl and boy had such a beautiful and powerful voice. It was just pure Ukrainian talent.  All of the competitors were from different regions of Ukraine and I was the only one out of Ukraine. There was supposed to be a girl coming from France, but she never turned up, unfortunately. I was number 21 so I had to stand watching all of the other contestants as I waited anxiously with a lot of nerves.

I was so happy to be sing in front of 6 professional well known judges. The song I sang, Molyus do boga (Молюсь до Бога) was a challenging song to sing, but with all the practice and help from Pani Oksana Bobechko, I accomplished the song and sang in it front of all the Ukrainians watching. After my performance, I had a few people coming up to me and congratulating me on my performance and were thanking me from coming all the way from Australia. My mother and I even met up with a priest from Canberra who was also there to support me as I sang.

I never ended up getting through to the grand final but that didn’t upset me at all. Singing in general makes me happy and to be able to sing in Ukraine in front of Ukrainian people and professional Ukrainian judges made me feel so extravagant.

A couple weeks later, Mum and I were invited by Sister Louisa to go and watch the grand final of the competition. It was held at the Philimonica (Філумоніга) and the place was beautifully set out on stage. The finalists voices were just mind blowing. Every one of them who competed, sung with confidence and had no fear. The final was definitely one of the highlights of my holiday. I wish I could watch Ukrainians sing like that at such a young age here, in Australia.

Overall my experience in Ukraine was just perfect.

The people were so friendly and kind and they would always be happy to help you.

Ukraine was so cheap compared to Australia.

Mum and I fell in love with the markets (Базар) as it was so good to see Ukrainian clothing and souvenirs everywhere and prices were so cheap!

I made a lot of friends in Ukraine whom I still keep in contact with on Facebook. They were such lovely people and I miss them heaps.

By the end of our trip, we knew how to get around Lviv by ourselves perfectly. We knew which buses to catch to specific places and shopping areas. We knew our favourite restaurants and we knew our favourite little souvenir shops. My main highlights were singing in the competition and watching the grand final, meeting new people and making friends, SHOPPING, and visiting Lviv and Kiev in general.

I enjoyed Ukraine so much, and I can’t wait to go back again soon.

Thank you to everyone for all their kind donations towards my trip. Thank you to Bishop Peter Stasiuk for organizing me to go to Ukraine to participate in the competition. Thank you to my singing teacher Pani Oksana Bobechko who trained me and went to all the effort and time to help me sing as perfect as I could in Ukraine.

Thank you to my parents for always believing in me and for supporting me through my journey in my singing.

СЛАВА УКРАЇНІ!

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