Saturday, April 12, 2008

Day One - Ukraine Trip

We arrived safely in Kiev this morning at 9 am. All went well during the flights (we flew Denver to JFK to Kiev). Needless to say, we were exhausted. I don't sleep well sitting up. We processed through Customs and Immigration with no problem by stone-faced officials. From that point on, ALL Ukrainians have been more than hospitable. We are being treated like royalty and it is a bit embarrasing. Meals here, meals there. May I do this for you, do you need a driver, can I get this/that for you! WOW! I love this country, not because I am getting special treatment, but rather, the remarkable spirit and kindness of her people. I hope our future SDA appointment goes as well.

Karen Springs picked us up at the airport and ushered us to her apartment. We rested, freshened up, and went on a tour of Kiev. We saw Independence Square, the Cathedrals, and the SDA building. Please, please call us SDA!! We saw the infamous side door where the facilitators used to have to wait in a physical line. We went back to Karen's apartment and had a fabulous dinner of homemade chicken-pot-pie! We rested and talked some more before packing up for the taxi ride to the train station. Again, the driver was a friend and associate of Karen's which translates to inexpensive and trustworthy to us. In fact, we have taken several rides from friends here and we have yet to experience the wild and crazy driving that we have heard of from others.

We got on the train around 10 pm for the overnight ride to Kherson. This was the first time being here that things felt erie. Before we got on the train, we waited outside on the platforms where it was dark and a bit dingy. Overhead we could hear Russian commands being barked by a load speaker and people were standing around waiting. Sometimes I would catch a stare or glance. it felt like something out of a WWII movie. A bit scary and worrysome. But, it was just my problem as no one bothered us and we got on the train without trouble.

The train ride was good. It was hot and stuffy, but the motion helped us sleep and we were still exhausted by the trip so far. We have not slept since Denver, really. We shared our compartment with two young Ukrainians, not related to each other. They were really nice. The boy, Pasha spoke English. He spent some time in England, he said. The girl, Natasha was quiet and reserved. I hope I didn't keep them awake, I snore when really tired. We said bye to them when we left. What wonderful, yet unaware ammbasadors of their country, they were to us. God bless the people and the nation of Ukraine!

We will post pictures of all this when we get back to the USA. Our internet cafe does not allow us to upload pictures. Bye for now.

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About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.