WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Just under two weeks ago, a woman was forced to flee Ukraine with her four-year-old son. She was once an international student at Wyoming Valley West High School.
Nataliia Paskal is originally from Ukraine but has spent a year of her life here, in our region. She recently fled Ukraine in fear for her life and that of her son. She was a student at Wyoming Valley West High School during the 1007-2008 school year. She says it wasn’t about learning US history or American literature, but rather about meeting new people and learning their way of thinking.
Paskal is grateful for the time she spent in Northeastern Pennsylvania and enjoyed meeting so many different cultures, which our country is known for. She moved to Norway two years ago but was visiting her home in Ukraine with her son Alex when war broke out. She takes a unique perspective on the conflict saying she doesn’t trust Ukrainians or Russians because she says neither country is telling the whole truth.
“I’m sure either way can’t be stopped by hate. If you hate Ukrainians, Russians or Americans. It’s not going to help us. We are all humans on the same planets. Humans should help humans. We have no other planet. We have to make sure this planet is safe for everyone,” Paskal said.
She says the only reason she found safety and a way out of Ukraine was because of help from a Russian.
Paskal says war or not, she learned to love everyone thanks to her time here at NEPA.