HOUSTON - Local teachers, who were in Kyiv a few weeks ago, barely escaped and are now trying to bring some normalcy to the students who are in the war zone.
Although the sounds and videos of war are 6,000 miles away, David and Lindsey Murff feel the heartache.
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"There's a lot of guilt. We will be watching the news, and I will turn and I look at Lindsey and she's crying. We are still processing. Sometimes it hits us all at once; it just depends on the day," said David.
They have a special connection to the war zone.
"Our students are pretty much scattered all across the globe now," said Lindsey.
These teachers from Friendwood have called Kyiv home since last June teaching high school and elementary students at an international school.
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A few weeks ago they left everything- even Lindsey’s wedding ring.
"We certainly didn't know this was going to be worst-case scenario. I don’t think anything really believed it would be worst-case scenario," she said. "It is surreal seeing places that are familiar-looking like a war zone."
Now the Murff's are trying to bring familiarity to their students in the war zone.
"We have kind of put our teacher hat to the side for somewhat and we have become their counselor, a parent I guess. A soft place to land and given them a place to connect with their peers," she said. "I have about four or five students who have had to leave their fathers behind to fight. I have a few students who have had to abandon their pets because they could not bring them."
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The Murff's check in regularly with colleagues, like Lindsey’s teacher’s aid, who talked to us via Zoom from a bunker. It’s a place she got married in a week ago.
"We were crying this whole time and we were like ok you hear explosion, it's like firework. Either you laugh or you cry," said the aid.
Although 6,000 miles away, the Murff's are helping the best they can.
"I kind of feel like my role in all of this is to be a humanitarian aid. Academics kind of takes a back seat to all of this. My job is to distract them. My job is to bring some sort of normalcy. My job is to hopefully put a smile on their face," she said.