National Geographic : 2007 Dec
PHOTO J URNAL CAROLYN DRAKE Aspiring model Alena Dobrokhotova checks herself before her school portrait is taken in a classroom of the accounting college where she studies. I first met her when she was participating in the Miss Lviv beauty contest. Economic opportunities can be limited for Ukrainian women in a job market where connections are everything. It was a hot summer afternoon in the Crimean steppe village of Sary Bash. Some men had just killed a cow to feed guests at a wedding that night. I was photograph ing them cutting the slabs of meat, and before I realized it, they were finished and carrying it away in a bowl. They put it in the backseat of this car and drove off.