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Pysanky REAL Eggs from Ukraine

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Pysanky eggs are a springtime tradition in Eastern Europe, where they are a beautiful aspect of the Easter celebration. We've been selling handpainted wooden pysanky from Ukraine for years, but with the current crisis in Ukraine, we are boosting our support of the artisans there by purchasing more of their work, and now, since 2022, we are offering traditional pysanky eggs that are the Real Deal: These are real chicken eggs; the contents are blown out, then the empty egg is decorated by hand using dyes and a wax resist method, kind of like batik.

We always thought the wooden pysanky were beautiful; these real pysanky, though, are even more beautiful! These eggs are not painted; rather, they are inscribed using a stylus and beeswax. They are made by hand by women in remote villages of the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine in traditional patterns. No two are alike, in both size and pattern, but each is generally about the size of an extra large egg. Assorted colors and patterns; let us choose for you. (But you know us: if you have a special request, just ask and we'll see what we can do to get you what you want.) Buy them individually or get a half dozen in a compostable egg carton for a special price, or a buy ten (packaged in a genuine compostable egg carton from Ukraine, where eggs are sold by the tens rather than by the dozen) for an even better price.

And what can we say right now about Ukraine? Our hearts are breaking for everyone in Ukraine. We think especially of the artisans who make these pysanky, and our friend Kyrylo Cherniak, who organizes their shipment to us. He lives in Lviv, in western Ukraine, and he gives us updates on what is happening there. We pray for peace and an end to Russian aggression for Kyrylo and the artisans who make these pysanky and all the people of Ukraine. One tangible way we have of helping the people of Ukraine is by supporting Kyrylo and the artisans who make these pysanky. We like to think of it as all the hope and promise of an egg, translated to hope and promise for a peaceful Ukraine, sovereign and free from oppression.

This is entirely what we mean when we talk about transactional support for our artisans and the real people we touch through our oddball Convivio Bookworks business model. From us, and them: Thank you for your support.

Update January 2, 2024: THANK YOU for your support of our fundraising efforts on behalf of our friend Kyrylo Cherniak and the Ukrainian artisans he works with. Between our purchases of these artisan goods and your transactional support in purchasing them, we've been able to send over $4,000 since the Russian invasion of Ukraine to Kyrylo in support of those artisans and in support of Kyrylo's efforts in helping his fellow citizens of Lviv and other parts of Ukraine in their time of crisis. We're in touch with Kyrylo as often as he can write. His most recent correspondence, received last November, is sobering:

Hi John,
Seems our war wouldn't end soon. I cannot understand how Ukraine can beat this international terrorist single-handedly. Yes, the world helps us with weapons and money, but so little that we simply have nothing with which to fight anymore. And Russia is only accelerating. I have a bad feeling about this protracted war. The world is blind. If things continue like they are now, we will be devoured. 1-2 years and there will be scorched earth without people. Already out of 40 million, 10 million have left for other countries, and they will not return after the war, since in 2 years you can assimilate in another country. I have already buried 2 friends and acquaintances who died from the Russians. 2 were so wounded that they would never return to the front, one in captivity for more than a year, one disappeared altogether.

Today there was a farewell ceremony in the central square of my city, Rynok Square. A month ago we buried my friend. And this happens every day in my city, every day 1-5 warriors, Lviv residents, return dead. And this is what the cemetery of our soldiers, specifically Lviv citizens, looks like:

In general, the situation is very tense, I personally feel about the same as in March 2022, when there was uncertainty.

Yours sincerely,

We'll continue to send financial support to Kyrylo as best we can. As long as the artisans there are making things and as long as Kyrylo can send them our way, we can continue to support them by purchasing what they make. When you purchase these items, too, it translates to real support for real people who are just trying to make a living and to make the best of a terrible situation. It is all we know to do, all we know to help. We thank you immensely.  –– John & Seth, Convivio Bookworks

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