Roman Malanke

Thank You, Year 2014

The year that is about to end has been an eventful one. We entered it in the middle of Ukraine’s democratic revolution with our hopes high. Two months later many of our best compatriots had sacrificed their lives for better future. In another few months we had a new pro-European president along with a 19th-century-style land grabbing and a war in Eastern Ukraine started by our “good neighbor” Russia. Ukraine has turned the center of attention for the whole world and Putin has turned an incarnation of devil for all Ukrainians.

As we end this year we still have many of our brothers and sisters suffering in Eastern Ukraine and we don’t quite see the end to this crisis yet. However, a few recent signs show that Putin’s empire of lies could fall. And I, for one, firmly believe that it will fall sooner than most people think. (That is actually my biggest wish to Santa for 2015).

On the personal side, my big change in 2014 was relocation to the U.S. and taking on bigger responsibility for my employer. California received me and my wife warmly and we quickly saw for ourselves that it is for a reason that it’s considered to be one of the best places to live in the whole world. Ideal weather, beautiful nature, and, of course, great variety of delicious food. As we got our first car and bikes, we spent much more time outdoors this year than ever before, and we barely started discovering all of the natural parks and other landmarks in the Bay Area and beyond.

In terms of travels, 2014 was truly amazing, as besides discovering California we also had an unforgettable two-weeks vacation in Italy. And then there was my first ever travel to Latin America with a work trip to Buenos Aires.

My two big resolutions for 2014 were reading the Bible and sticking to using Ukrainian language in my home and with my Ukrainian friends. I have successfully achieved both, finishing my Bible reading a few days ago, just in time for Christmas.

For 2015 I want to do something different and I will not be setting any specific resolutions. Instead I will just continue to work hard, live healthy, socialize with people around me, and have fun. After all, 2015 is going to be the year of my 30th birthday.

Happy New Year, people!