Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 14.3--Safely in Kyiv

We are safely in Kyiv, settled into our apartment.  We are excited to attend a birthday party tonight for our friend, Zoya, right here in town!  It's being held at the church building and many of the ward members and missionaries will be there.  I'm so thrilled there is an extra opportunity for Ruslan and Nastia to visit with the saints here.  I thought we'd only have Sunday, so this is a special treat!
We are not in the same apartment we have always been in while here.  It's really close to it, though, so I can get us to the same store and open market Marsh and I always went to.
The landlord/host/whatever you want to call him came by to let the young computer tech in. While waiting for the tech to arrive, he turned on the TV, which you JUST DON'T DO in Ukraine...well, I don't do in Ukraine. I realized it was on, came in and said, "Niet, pazshousta!" ("No, please!") over and over, waving at the screen with two scantily clad women on it. He was surprised and fumbled with the remote control and shut it off. After all, I AM paying him so we can live here. I hurried and logged into the computer where I could show him pictures of our family instead. That didn't last long enough because pretty soon got sick of waiting and left. The young guy came by a few minutes later and got it all up and running. In order to check it, he put some weird word into the search line and came up with all kinds of pictures that I won't bother describing. When he stood up, I quickly logged into gmail. Kyiv is so NOT my town.
We went to the store and bought a lot of food...but the only reason it feels like a lot of food is because we have to carry it all back to the apartment. With five of us, though, it's much easier. Chris is really appreciating two more, capable sets of hands. He and Ruslan are quite the strong gentlemen and carry all the heavy bags and help the ladies VERY well. It's such a relief to have them here.
We don't have hot water right now. They shut the hot water off for a few weeks in the summer for most of Kyiv...or large portions of the city at a they can fix the pipes. We just happen to have the pleasure of that cultural experience during our stay. :) We went to our friend's birthday party tonight in another portion of the city, so I had everyone bathe...

This requires boiling water in every pot that is here (three total...all of which are the same width and depth as the smallest pot I own at home) and dumping that water into a basin in the tub.  Then, we add cold water to that and take a sponge bath.  We girls washed our hair using the shower head and cold water.  (It was when I did that that I understood the wisdom of choosing to shut off the water during the summer.  I never thought washing my hair in cold water would be such a welcome experience!)

Everyone bathing required about 2 1/2 hours of time since water had to be heated for each person and it takes time to get used to bathing this way.  There are other little hygiene issues that I won't discuss here because it's too public, but let's just say that it will take a little time to break some habits and learn the American way of doing things.  :)

We were off to the party for Zoya around 5pm.  Our driver had to stop and help me buy a new phone charger because somewhere between the orphanage city and here, it disappeared.  I may have never repacked it after having to whip it out with a rushed situation that had to do with getting the money wired.

The party was at a church building across the Dnepr River.  Zoya had used her party as a missionary tool and invited all kinds of people to attend.  It was fun to meet the missionaries and some of the children there that were about Nastia's age.  One of the little girls performed in the show that was put on.  We will go back there for church on Sunday.  Though there is a branch right here where we are staying, we wanted to be with Zoya and the people we've already met.
Zoya introduces guests and presents the yummy food.  My kids couldn't get enough and it was fun to watch them eat certain gave me insight as to what they really like!

Zoya and her sweet mother and English teacher (for whom I am VERY grateful!)  Zoya is currently mentoring a 7th grade girl who is learning English very well from her teaching.  Zoya is always serving someone!

This is what fed teenage boys look like!

After heading home and settling in for the night, we met up with our first bit of real emotional challenges.  It's not easy for kids to be in a state of waiting...not easy for Mom, either, especially when half her children are STILL on the other side of the world.  Nastia was sad about something but wouldn't tell anyone what it was.  Then poor Patty, who is suffering from a pretty bad case of cold sores (which has never happened before) was having a hard time with homesickness and such.  And then I saw pictures from home and started with my own tears.  We were all a mess, so I put on Kung Fu Panda and made food.  Time may heal all wounds, but dinner and a movie speeds time up!  ;)

Everyone was a little happier once it was time for bed.  I have to admit, I'm mentally crossing days off a calendar.


  1. What a year this has been: the emotions, the challenges, the faith, the work, the love gained. Am constantly amazed at your stamina, Alisa.