Article written by Dr.Gudrun Rumpf (Germany), June 2011
Hidden jewels in Ukraine, fruits and wines for connoisseurs, food for thought, food for magic Observations from a foreign lady privileged to participate in LPW "fruit tour" to Uman, Ukraine on 11.6.2011
By Dr Gudrun Rumpf
So many foreigners marvel about the virtues of Ukrainian women. Today is my turn to add a facet. I experienced woman power at its best.
On 11.6.2011 the NGO "League of Professional Women" (LPW) organized its yearly networking excursion to Uman. The tour was well organized paying attention to details. It was attended by 13 professional ladies working in areas as varied as accounting, international relations, development and innovation projects, education, finance, consulting, arts, sciences, medicine, or psychology. It was a super mixture of networking, experience exchange, learning - and fun!
In Uman we visited the renowned National University of Horticulture. Its research laboratories on genetics and plant breeding bring about a potato species unaffected by vermin or raps able to procreate without bee intervention. The cumulative knowledge of the university calls for wide application and to international exposure. We visited greenhouses and cultivations where we tasted fabulously healthy salads and berries whose taste gave a glimpse of the enormous potential of Ukrainian agriculture. We then tasted amazing fruit wines produced by the university served in hospitable atmosphere. The wine tasting was concluded by an (almost) heartbreakingly beautiful Ukrainian song. The morning made me wonder why Ukrainian agricultural products are not top in the list of international gourmands and sommeliers- and how an innovation and marketing strategy of Ukrainian agriculture could help.
In the afternoon we visited the mystical park Sofievka, a masterpiece of world landscape gardening art in romantic style using Roman and Greek mythology. The gifted storyteller Tamara Fedorova intoned us to its magic. The park was founded in 1796 by the rich Polish magnate Stanislav Pototsky who handed it as a gift to his Greek wife Sofia in May 1802. We felt the power and magic of Sofia still residing in the park 200 years afterwards. The afternoon made me wonder why this park is not top in the list of international tourist agencies, how many other jewels are hidden in Ukraine - and how innovation and marketing strategy of Ukrainian tourism could help.
It was a day in which I met Ukrainian patriots. I felt entirely at ease. Any possible language barriers were overcome by my dedicated and capable translator Ms Anna Fedorova.
A big thanks to the LPW ladies, the organizers of the event (Olena Lazorenko, Tamara Fedorova, Valentina Legka, Marina Kobalinova, Natalia Denisenko, Anna Fedorova, Janna Akimova, Vitaliy Manziy, Fedir Pariy, Olena Ulyanych and Anastasya Takar) and our kind Uman hosts for a day long to remember!