Janice Harbaugh

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My heart is in Ukraine

Janice Harbaugh is a retired counselor and teacher, a fifth generation Iowan and fifth generation Greene Countian. She writes for Greene County News Online covering county government and writing occasional features.

My heart is in Ukraine.

In 1999, my husband and I met a foreign exchange student sponsored by a program in Jasper County. Alona was from a village in Ukraine and she lived with us on our acreage near Mitchellville for several months.

We learned about the history of eastern Europe, the conditions in Ukraine, her family, and her hopes for the future as we traveled around Iowa, showing her our history and treasures. She told us people in Ukraine know Iowa because of agricultural exchanges.

We would visit family in Greene County and I told her this is some of the richest soil in the world. Alona would tease me that soil in Ukraine is “deeper and a little blacker.”  

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