And we’re go for Sochi :D :D

It looks like the accreditation for the Ukrainian Wikinewsies has arrived in Kiev.  Despite paying €48 for expedited mail, it arrived two weeks after it was sent.  (This doesn’t mean the Ukrainians have the accreditation, merely that the accreditation got off the plane.) The accreditation arrived today. The Ukrainians got a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation to cover their Sochi expenses.  They have their travel arranged.

I’ve got my transportation booked.  I should have a “lovely” train ride across Russia, (30 hours, third class seat) but the experience should still be awesome.  I’ve got a hotel booked.  I’m seriously thinking about packing.  I’m working on a todo list and remember this fact list.

Remember:

1. Before getting on the train, I will need to go to the ticket desk and exchange my internet ticket for a paper ticket for the train.
2.  Meals on the train cost about €15.
3. Train bathrooms apparently get dirty quickly after leaving the station.
4. The fare on the express train on the route Domodedovo – Paveletskiy station, Vnukovo is about 640 rubles round trip.

To do list:
1. Print out basic Russian phrases for pointing at to get service.
2. Figure out where my seats on the train actually are.
3. Buy bottled water before getting on the train.  Bring snacks for the train.  Food options are limited.
4. Pack some baby-tissues, toothpaste and toothbrush.

Outside of that, I’ve updated Wikinews:Sochi Paralympic Games, and posted on the watercooler for Wikinews to let potential reviewers know what is going on.  I’m also trying to work on a copyright notice for all my pictures for Wikinews.  I am having some problems with the template.  Any assistance in fixing this would be appreciated.

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Ukrainian civil unrest and Sochi reporting

Burning barricade in front of the main entrance of the internal military forces in Lviv on street. Stryyska . The night of the 18 February. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported. Photograoher: Aeou.

Since September, I have been preparing to go to the Sochi Paralympic Games with a Wikimedia crew composed of Ukrainians. I met one of them at the Wikimedia Central European Conference.  My personal experiences with the chapter have been pretty good, and I cannot say enough nice things about the person in their chapter coordinating things.

Last week, media accreditation for Sochi arrived and I needed to send it to Kiev for my Ukrainian Wikinews/Wikimedia counterparts.  Because the Games are so soon, I paid a lot extra to get them delivered quickly. €48 to get them delivered by today at the latest.  The Spanish postal worker who handled the mailing at the counter cautioned that they might be slightly delayed because of the civil unrest but should not ultimately interfere with their delivery because these things rarely impact mail delivery.  (And given Spanish history, I was very willing to take his word about this.)

Guess which post office got seized by protesters today?  Yep.  That would be Kiev.  I’ve looked at my tracking number for my delivery all day. It didn’t get delivered. 😦  I’m hoping that my mail did not need to go through that post office.

I’ve got tremendous sympathy for my Ukrainian acquaintances and friends in Wikimedia Ukraine.  The country is becoming more politically unstable, and the people involved are managing to deal with their obligations in the movement, manage to get to work, and some are volunteering to help in other areas of their society in response to the civil unrest.  The situation is sad, especially given the deaths that have taken place.  I hope my friends and acquaintance stay safe.

To learn more about the situation, February 2014 Euromaidan riots (English) and Протистояння в Україні з 18 лютого 2014 (Ukrainian).