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Voices of the Valley: Meet Oleksandr Kostiuchenko

Voices of the Valley: Meet Oleksandr Kostiuchenko

Image: Voices of the Valley: Meet Oleksandr Kostiuchenko

From: Ukraine, Current City: Eau Claire

My way to America started when my mom decided to get married and move to another country. So she was looking for her new love everywhere. She found a good man from Wisconsin in a small city in the U.S. And when he visited her in Ukraine, they fell in love. So a little later he came to Ukraine again to get married to her. When she left Kiev to go to America it was very exciting and very sad for us. My sister and I were left alone. We missed her a lot.

We wanted to live together with our mom. So she helped with the documents. I waited 6 years for my visa. Finally, I moved to Wisconsin in December 2020 before Christmas. It was my first Christmas in a new and different country. Wisconsin has more snow and is colder than Ukraine on Christmas and winter time. Christmas is a special holiday in America, I have seen it in movies. Then when I came here, I saw it myself. It was so beautiful. There were many Christmas lights everywhere.

I arrived in the U.S. without any English. My mom helped me to understand people and talk to them. So I started my new life here, on a new page; a new life, culture, and language. Everything is different and new. After a while, I got my first job, but I still did not speak English at all when I started working there. It was not convenient and it was scary for me. I didn’t understand what people told me. A little later, I went to school to learn English to understand more what people say and I still continue to learn English. I will probably learn it for the rest of my life. I like to live in the U.S. I hope I will get a better life here and will build my own family.

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