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Behind Green Steps: Helen

Team Intro


Green Steps

Short summary:

Russian biologist passionate about nature, literature, theatre and new experiences. Get to know our new ESC-volunteer Helen!

● Do you have a Nickname?
My last name is Sokolova and I use Sokol (Falcon) as a nickname on social media.

● Explain to a stranger what do you do for Green Steps?
At each party in the student dorm where I live, everybody asks me this question but it is still hard for me to answer it. Every day I learn something new.
I help to create ecological routes for children and adults. During the walk people can know about different species that are existed in their city. I also help measure and map trees to put them on the ARK, write articles, and help with various events.

● What is your daily routine? What is something you like doing and your coworkers maybe don’t know about you?
My daily routine really depends on the day. For example today (when I am writing this article) I didn’t sleep because after the party in the dorm, we went to the lake and were swimming under the rain in the early morning. Then I went to the office, put on the ARK trees that we measured yesterday, and started to write the introduction. Usually, my days are calmer but I don’t have an everyday structure I prefer to be spontaneous.
I want to tell you about two of my hobbies:

I had been playing in youth theater for more than 10 years before I left Russia. This is a big part of my life. Every role that I played is still a part of my personality.
I am a modest person in everyday life and don’t like to show my emotions. But on a stage I can be someone else and live a different life for 2-3 hours. That’s why I like it so much.

I used to be a slackliner. Slackline is balancing along a slack rope. It’s been a long time since I did it for the last time but I hope I will continue it one day.

● Use less than 250 words to tell a story about yourself: starting from “where are you from” to the choice of joining Green Steps.
I am from Russia. It was not easy for me to find a program. I graduated from university in 2021 and didn’t know what to do next. At that time I found out about ESC. I’ve never heard about it before because it is not well-known in Russia. I applied for 2 programs and nobody answers me. In 2022 I thought that it would be unreal to find a program. I worked in Serbia in a nice bar for half a year. I really liked it but I felt that I want something more challenging and want to be closer to nature and my profession.
I found out about Green Steps 2 hours before the deadline. I didn’t have time to write an appropriate motivation letter. I just wrote everything that was on my mind at the time and was really surprised when I got a reply. It was an ideal program for me and I was really excited when I received an answer.

● Mention a book you read as a teenager that still tells something about you, and that you would still suggest reading.
My favorite book is “The Gray House” (literally “The house, in which…”) by Mariam Petrosyan. This is one of those book that is incredibly difficult to describe. It’s about an orphanage for disabled kids but that doesn’t explain anything about the book. The book is written in my favorite genre—magical realism. I, my parents, my friends have read it many times and we still continue to discuss it. This is a book that you sink into for a long time
I already have a small library here. I think the books I’ve brought with me can well describe my personality:
- three books about Svaneti (a mountain region in Georgia) and one about Tbilisi
I write a book about Svaneti that’s why I took with me a few books about it. Towns in Svanety look like medieval towns. They have many stories, legends, and tales that I want to learn more and more about.
- two books written by my mother
Her books can’t be sold in Russia now because of the Russian gay propaganda law. I was trying to find independent publishers in Georgia but I didn’t have much time.
- Pornographer of Vienna
This book was recently translated into Russian. I found it 2 weeks before my departure and bought it because Egon Schiele has always been my favorite artist.
- Call me by your name
This is a book I bought here because now it is impossible to find it in Russia. It is one of my favorite films and I also like this book very much.
- The Trip to Echo Spring: Why writers drink
This is a chronicle of six writers’ alcoholism. It is a book about their fears, addictions, and difficulties.

● How do you expect you and Green Steps to have an impact in the next years? Close with a wish for the organization.
I hope more people will use ARK because it’s a great educational platform. It is important to know the names of trees, flowers, birds, insects etc because only when you know the name you become familiar with something and start noticing it.