On the left is Слава Скребнева (Slava Skrebneva), my host-mom for three years while I was in Stakhanov, Ukraine. I'm in the middle and on the right is one of our good friends. We are standing in front of the Afghanistan War Memorial in our city. Her son lost his life there in 1984. Slava is a strong, compassionate woman with a wonderful sense of humor. She is a terrific cook, a great gardener, and a pillar of strength. Her wisdom, warmth and hospitality made my stay in Ukraine unforgettable. It was hard to leave.