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Dance instructor excapes war-torn Ukraine, finds chance for a better life in Berryville

“It all started on February 24th (2022) at 4:45 a.m.,” recalls 44-year-old Olena Kalynii, a Ukrainian refugee who now lives in Berryville. “When my husband and I awoke from the sound of explosions, we thought some stupid person had decided to light fireworks. We couldn’t even allow ourselves to imagine that a war was starting.” In disbelief and denial, she and her fellow teachers began an online chat trying to decide whether to cancel school that day. “After a few hours our brains accepted that war had really started and that we were being shelled.”

Boxwood blight is a big problem for boxwood lovers

It’s official name is “Calonectria Pseudonaviculata,” but it’s more commonly known as “boxwood blight” and it is a big problem, according to Virginia Extension Master Gardener Kate Reed. “It is a fatal fungal-driven disease and there's absolutely nothing you can do (to save it) if your boxwood contracts the blight. That boxwood is toast and it will be gone.” A dire prognosis for a state that loves its historic properties which are traditionally surrounded by lush, mature boxwood.

Ovoka Farm invites guests to experience top-quality Wagyu beef and farm life

“Farming is the best career in the world,” says Karen Way, local farmer and self-proclaimed cowgirl. Way’s specialty is Wagyu, the high-quality beef that diners have been seeing pop up more and more on restaurant menus and even in the freezer section of grocery stores. But Way didn’t start out as a farmer. After 10 years practicing law in Chicago, Karen Way and her husband moved to Paris – Paris, Virginia, that is — and purchased Ovoka Farm, one of the oldest estates in Blue Ridge hunt country.

How to Keep up with Your New Year’s Resolutions

Let’s face it: New Year’s resolutions are renowned for failure. Studies show that between 50 and 80 percent of these well-intended self-promises are abandoned within months. You’re probably aware that there’s a gym membership spike in January, but did you know that there’s actually a “Fall Off the Wagon Day” (typically in February) when resolutions are notoriously abandoned and fast food restaurants see an uptick in visits?

10 DMV Charities to Donate to This Holiday Season

The season of giving is upon us, and the options for choosing which charitable organizations you will donate to are practically limitless. November and December are the busiest times of the year for philanthropic giving, often motivated by fundraisers’ requests for bequests on Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday) and the tax breaks for those who itemize their deductions.

A ‘Proper Degree’ Saves Babies

The Ebola outbreak of 2014 decimated the already fragile health system in Sierra Leone – many doctors and other health providers died, and others left the country in the wake of the epidemic. Today, there are fewer than 250 doctors serving a nation of 7 million people. This lack of trained health professionals has a devastating impact: Sierra Leone has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, and infant mortality is approximately 82 per 1,000 births.

Celebrate Labor Day Weekend at the DMV’s Favorite Go-To Beaches

For those of us who live in the DMV region, the Atlantic Ocean is our playground. Just a drive away and we can experience spectacular sunrises, fresh seafood, and tons of fun ranging from nature walks to nightlife. While the DMV includes portions of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, the other “DMV” geographic grouping is Delmarva – the East Coast peninsula formed from parts of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia where life primarily revolves around the beach.
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