warm, at last

I finally feel warm.  The temperature rose last night, I was able to shut down the propane stove and use only the heat pump.  When it was cold, I found 66 in my house to feel really chilly.  Now that it's warm out, 66 feels comfortable.  The mind is a scary thing.

Ukraine is in trouble.  The reform-minded politicians are resigning in the face of endemic corruption.  Europe is pissed, the US is pissed, the IMF is pissed.  If they all walk, the country collapses.  I heard a guy from the Ukrainian government say that if they could weed out corruption in government procurement, the federal government could save $2 billion a year.  As I recall, the federal budget is about $14 billion.

Sadly, I don't see a way out.  The Gryvna has fallen to nearly 27 to the dollar, and continues to fall.  How will it ever recover?  How will the Ukrainian economy ever recover?  They need massive investment in modernizing industry and improving infrastructure.  From personal experience, many of their major roads are virtually unusable.  Any foreign investment will likely be made near the major cities, so little hops is left for the countryside.  It breaks my heart.

Not to mention worrying about my "family."  Lilya, my Russian teacher, remembers when the Russians devalued the Rublw in 1999, wiping out everyone's savings overnight, and without warning.  She says that the same goes for Ukraine.  My "children" should liquidate their savings, buy furniture, stockpile food, take a holiday now, before it all falls apart.  I feel helpless other than to give opinions and advice.  I can't send them money beyond holiday presents - it woul deeply insult Yaroslav, and I have too much respect for him to do that.  I hate feeling this way, when I care for them so much.

Almost lunch time.  I'll brood over a hot dog.