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ello dear Victoria!

I have read in a newspaper that you collect letters from Ukrainians to Americans. Of course I want to know about the lives of ordinary Americans not from the press, but directly from them. I want to compare a similar story of American life to mine. In which country is it possible to achieve a better life in similar circumstances? I was born on 06/01/1951 in the village Lastivka, Lviv region. In our family there are two brothers and two sisters. During Stalin's purges my father was sentenced to 25 years. After Stalin's death the criminal record was removed. At that time we were 3 and 2 years old. But mother's health was undermined and she died at 35. I t was terrible year of 1964 for us. Four of us were left alone. The oldest was 15, the youngest – 6. Three of us have gone to school. We got excellent marks. And this, perhaps, saved us. I won district and regional Olympiads in mathematics and teachers wrote a letter to Regional Department of Education that I should be taken to school, because our stepmother expelled all of us from home. I t cannot be described the sufferings in which me and my brothers have passed. I graduated from orphanage in 1968. I was 17. And since my father didn't refuse from me officially the orphanage has not given me anything, hasn't provided with anything. But I had a great desire to escape from this disaster. I got to pharmaceutical factory to work, one family rented me a room for a symbolic fee. I promised myself that everything will be fine. Already in winter I took my younger brother to orphanage in Lviv which I paid by my meager salary. I bought clothes and shoes for the second brother, who left to serve in his brother's stepmother. I entered the Lviv Polytechnic University for evening form of education. My both brothers graduated from the same Polytechnic, but from stationary form. My sister graduated from the Kharkiv Academy and now lives in Zhytomyr. I t seems that everything is well, I have achieved everything I dreamt. But I paid too much for it. At 25 I became ill with diabetes. Temporary exhaustion, malnutrition and constant stress have impacted on me. And I almost have

nothing for my work. In 1970 I was given a dormitory, which rented factory in the municipality. The administration, knowing that I will have no alternative, transferred my turn for a flat from year to year. Until we (the Soviet Union) disintegrated. The hope for free housing has disappeared. They gave me a cooperative apartment in 2003, 2 years before my retirement. This is 3room apartment of 70 square meters in panel building. There were no money for the repair. I was given an apartment on the condition that I would leave my dorm room. I cannot move in my apartment, because my daughter, son and granddaughter, who is 1 year old are living there. Now I have a whole bunch of diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, severe, gastric ulcer, osteoporosis, Graves disease and diabetes. I'm disabled. I have never asked the state for nothing. I raised two brothers who are good people of the state. And I had a position Deputy Head of Sales. I t's truth I have never stolen a thing, because we were taught so at school. Maybe it was my mistake. Now I have a trial for 2 years with the City Council for the dorm room. All rooms are privatized. In some rooms there live people who have never worked on plant. Among all only myself has worked and lived there for the longest period of time. But I love my people, hardworking people and I wish them all the best. I am waiting for a letter from the Americans. At my 60 I do not expect anything good. I just want to live calmly as long as I am supposed to. But, fortunately, I have a joy – daughter and granddaughter. Good bye 05/31/11 P.S. I have 43 years of seniority. I am still working. My salary is 1000 UAH and my pension -1000 UAH. Every month I spend on medication up to 300 UAH and 3000 UAH annually for the medical services.