This photo was taken of me at the teacher's celebration of Women's Day March 8th, 2013 at School #9 in Ukraine. The director of the school is in the far right of the picture, and the others are teachers.
Women's Day is a big holiday in Ukraine and the children put on a big concert in the morning and hand out flowers and chocolates to all the women who have had a big impact in their lives. At my school, the men put together a big feast for all the staff in the afternoon and everyone sings and dances traditional songs into the night. This picture captures the moment I knew everyone accepted me as one of the teachers. We were all laughing and telling jokes in Ukrainian and they'd taught me the lyrics and the dance so I could join in. Everyone told me how glad they were that I'd come to their school and how they see the children studying harder. I'd never felt so loved or so welcomed and that was the night I knew I'd found a new home in a foreign land.