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Ex-WHS foreign exchange student still safe in exile

Former Wayland High School foreign exchange student Olya Schenky remains outside of war-torn Ukraine, but is reporting that she is well and awaiting a reunion with her parents.

Schenky, who graduated from Wayland High School in 2016, traveled across the border with her husband last week to reach safety from the siege of the Russian invasion. She stayed with Tim and Connie VanHouten while she was here for nearly a year.

Schenky posted this morning on Facebook:

“Hello! Everything is good. So far I cannot reveal any detail regarding my parents, as they are still on the way. Once I have a full picture I will gladly let you know.

Thank you for the support, it is overwhelming!”

Later in the day, she added:

“After almost a week of traveling, my husband and I finally reached Germany ❤ Exhausted and tired, we met many people throughout our journey that made us believe in humanity again. From providing us with basic food and clothes, to refusing to take money from us for the hotels and meals in the restaurants.

“Most definitely, I will never forget people’s kindness and will try to pass it on to those who need it. At the same time, my American family and friends worldwide kept a close eye on us throughout our difficult times. And I am deeply grateful for this.

“While I am finally safe, my heart will never be calm as long as my country is being torn apart 💔 I pray that this nightmare will be over soon and my family can come back to our normal life in my beloved Ukraine.”

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