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“My life is gradually getting better – I feel safe again”

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I never thought about emigrating to another country.

In Kyiv, Ukraine, I had everything I needed: my own PR company, which I have been building for 12 years, interesting and important projects, a beautiful apartment in which I recently finished renovations, my family, my children, my favourite places - cafes, botanical gardens, Opera house. I just bought two new dresses for spring and ordered a frame for a new piece of art. I had tickets to the theatre and plane tickets to Stockholm, where my son and I were to fly on vacation.

My life was bright and full of meaning but then on February 24 at 5am it changed unequivocally. The sounds of explosions and sirens became commonplace. Yes, as if you lived all your life to the sound of an air alarm. I lost sleep. I lived in constant stress and fear for my family and friends.

Three weeks after the start of the war, I found myself in a distant country - Ireland.

All my previous life fitted in one small green suitcase. And here we are with children in winter clothes in +14 degrees Celsius in Killarney.

Thus began a new period of my life. Now my temporary home is here in Killarney and the locals have become my family in these weeks.

The first thing that catches your eye here today is the incredible number of shades of green. When you go out into the National Park, your eyes are simply dazzled by the shining green, in the shadows I see rich green, and in the distance - green-brown mountains rise. Incredible beauty.

Here in Killarney, the air is so clean and the nature is so beautiful that if I were an artist, I would paint my best work here and sell it at auction.

When we arrived at Dublin Airport, when we were distributed in different regions, all the people said that we were very lucky to get to Killarney. Now I understand why.

People!

The people in Killarney are wonderful. All locals accepted us, Ukrainian refugees as relatives. The first days at the Innisfallen Hotel many locals came to us and brought us basic things such as children's toys and clothes. It was very appropriate, because we all came in winter clothes, in which we left our houses when the war began.

Local photographer Marie Carroll O'Sullivan took care of us. Mother's Day became special for us. Marie and her friends prepared a surprise for us and brought flowers, sweets and gifts. Local scouts came to us with flowers, and neighbours from Fossa - with cakes. For two weeks, many people came to us to ask how we were doing and how they could help and offer a job.

Such sincere care from strangers has become a very effective factor in the adaptation of children and adults. All Ukrainians who have lived in constant anxiety and fear since the beginning of the war were finally able to breathe calmly. We felt really safe around good people. The local Killarney community needs to know that they have given us more than just the things we need, they have given us a sense of family.

School

I was amazed at how easy it is to get into the principal's office. We arrived in Killarney on Wednesday, and on Friday I was standing on the doorstep of St Brendan’s College. Mr Sean Coffey listened to me and immediately agreed to take our boys to school. On Monday, my son and his new friends continued their education in Killarney.

The staff at the school are very hospitable and despite many new things in the organisation of education, our children go to school every morning with interest and joy.

Later, all our children joined education in different schools in Fossa and Killarney.

Our education system differs from the Irish one in that Ukrainian children study for 11 years and all our schools are mixed - for boys and girls. The school curriculum is tougher, there are many subjects, few sports and no practices at all. Our lessons last 45 minutes and you do not need to wear a uniform.
So far, most of our children enjoy a two-week Easter break and a short day on Wednesday. They are especially affected by the fact that it is possible for everyone to study for another extra year.

Work

Despite the fact that not all Ukrainians who came to Kerry know English, everyone who wanted has already got a job. It is good that we are in a tourist region with many job vacancies. Our women are already working in various hotels and cafes, and men - on the construction site. After all, I now have an interesting job. I remember my journalistic past and write texts again.

In three weeks I already have many acquaintances here with whom you can talk and ask for advice. It is most pleasant for me when I walk around the town, and one of my acquaintances shouts "Hello, Natalia". This town is gradually becoming my home.

My life is gradually getting better, I feel safe again. And I dream of only one thing - that the war in Ukraine is over so that I can return home.

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Help reduce the appearance of cellulite  

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Needless to say we all know what cellulite looks like, but there are many ways to reduce its appearance and help […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Needless to say we all know what cellulite looks like, but there are many ways to reduce its appearance and help us look and feel better about it.

Yes, people often assume it’s down to a weight issue but it is associated with diet and exercise. It can affect all ages, male and female. There are many ways to help reduce and eliminate it.

Nothing can substitute for eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. Just as with other signs of ageing, cellulite is best managed first and foremost by focusing on maintaining a healthy weight long term. But certain topical treatments may help it become less noticeable and improve skin’s overall appearance, if used regularly. Dry body brushing is one technique to try by brushing upwards every day towards the heart for increased blood circulation.

Using anti-cellulite products can help if you are doing regular exercise and watching your diet, but if you feel you need a boost to get you headed in the right direction, there is a few different salon treatments that can be of benefit.

The Universal Contour Body Wrap is a great treatment which results in inch loss due to the detoxing effect of the sea clay or also the Electro Cellulite Massage rollers (ECM) by CACI Machine, which is a 12-session course over four weeks, this is recommended for desired results.

Pilates is always an amazing lifestyle choice. Having the toning tables for the past 30 years in Killarney, we are lucky to hear the amazing results from our clients past and present. Some have even been with us since we started! The male and female reviews have reported reduced cellulite with weekly appointments, improved posture, increased energy and mostly reduced cellulite.

To book an appointment or to find out more information, call 064 6632966. 

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Car dealers are now hubs for Ukrainian donations

Two Kerry-based car dealers are part of a national campaign to provide essential aid for Ukraine. Donagh Hickey Motors in Rathmore and Adam’s of Tralee are the two local garages […]

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Two Kerry-based car dealers are part of a national campaign to provide essential aid for Ukraine.

Donagh Hickey Motors in Rathmore and Adam’s of Tralee are the two local garages that have signed up for the project.

Under the scheme, the garages will be used as collection hubs for essential equipment that will be transported to the war torn country.

“We have a very large and loyal customer base and we are appealing through them to make donations,” Adam’s of Tralee General Manager, Marcus O’Shea, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Any dealer could have signed up for this but we are one of only two in Kerry to do so.”

The garages, following advice from humanitarian agencies in Ukraine, have created a very specific list of what is urgently needed out there.

These include generators, solar battery chargers, batteries, power banks, flashlights, drones and tablets.

Medical equipment like First Aid kits (NATO standard) and other medical items are also sought.

People can assist by either dropping goods to the two garages or by making a donation via www.safeharbourforukraine.org.

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