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Local Peace Corp volunteer evacuated from Ukraine in midst of crisis

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EUREKA- One Peace Corp volunteer is back in Eureka after being evacuated from Ukraine in the wake of the political crisis overseas.

"When I get the news that I can go back, I'm going to be so excited," said Ryan Knight, a volunteer who was evacuated from the country on March 1st.

Knight, like 200 other volunteers, was evacuated out of the country as a precaution by the international organization. He lived in the country during the Ukrainian revolution.

"We're all in a holding pattern. Any day we could get word that we could go back," said Knight. "It's a difficult position right now, but we're all hopeful that we can get back as soon as possible."

Knight moved to Ukraine and joined the Peace Corp in September without knowing the country or the language. A Whitworth University graduate, he had spent time abroad, but didn't expect to go to a European country to work for the Peace Corp.

While there, he lived in Borova, Ukraine for the first three months and later moved to the town of Sasovo. He lived with a local family in each town. He said they helped to teach him about the language and the culture. In the country, Knight was an English teacher and worked on projects led by the Peace Corp.

Knight said he picked up the language quickly and got use to the slower pace of life. "You didn't just rush to go meet someone and move on with your day. It was like the meeting was the event, the tea was the event," he said.

Knight had plans to develop a summer camp to help students meet other children from different backgrounds and ethnic groups in the region. He said he has projects he has left unfinished and wants to go back to be with his friends and the family he lived with.

"They gave me so much. They were feeding me, they were teaching me Ukrainian, they were really helping me to adjust to this new culture and this new society," he said. "Then all of a sudden I had to leave."

Knight said if he can not go back to the country through the Peace Corp then he will go back himself in order to visit the people and the country again.