Well, we made it here without incident. I expected to walk off the plane in to another world, but it wasn't as different as I thought. We are in the process of getting a phone, since my husband's international phone doesn't work here.
The trip: We flew out of Detroit at 10:15pm. I expected the almost 8 hour flight to Amsterdam to be boring and monotonous, but it was really nice. Northwest has a TV for each passenger, and you get to pick whatever you want to watch. I watched two movies, then tried to rest. It was fun! We even got to our gate a full 30 mins early! We caught our next flight in Amsterdam to Kiev. Just an FYI if you're flying in the area...they had security checkpoints at every gate! At least that we saw...but it was very efficient. We were a bit delirious at this point and took a few goofy pictures...I'll have to upload them later. Flight in to Kiev, no problem. Even a bit early. The airport is a bit intimidating. You ride a bus to the main building, and then go to a booth with a Ukrainian officer, who was very serious the entire time. We tried to fill out the claims form, but were told that we didn't have enough money to claim, so we went straight through.
We were met by our facilitator, Anna, who has been absolutely wonderful. She is very cautious with us, and patient, which is a big credit to her :) She showed us the mall and some of the Square, but it started rain/snowing, so we stayed inside most of the time. We had our first Ukrainian fast food...I had what we call perogis...potato...Mmmmmm. My grandmother used to make them from scratch. Mmmmmm.
The culture here is a lot different than I expected. There is a big European influence here, and you see it in the younger generation. I see a lot of jeans, tight pants, boots, boots, and did I mention boots? Women wear every color, and style of boot imaginable. You can tell this is an international city. I've heard a British Accent, and some sort of Asian language. We're near Independence Square, which has lived up to its reputation. It's beautiful! And very busy all the time. The metro has stops here, and forget about going anywhere during rush hour! (OK, that's really just a big city thing). Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that they speak a combination of Ukrainian and Russian...some sort of mix.
We're on our own for the first time, and plan on being back pretty early tonight. We'll probably watch a movie and hit the hay. Tomorrow is our big day, and I'm pretty nervous about it.
1. That Dave's cold doesn't linger much longer.
2. Wisdom for tomorrow
3. Safety for us and our things