We slept in again…11:30am for me. Someone has decided to remodel the apt above ours, at least that’s what I’m guessing the loud bangs and sounds are. Doesn’t really bother me…I usually wear ear plugs.
Anna came to us at about 3pm again with Igor in tow. He’s hard to read, especially because I don’t know the culture. We had just finished up most of our packing (we being me) when they arrived. We went to lunch were I tried the best cabbage roll with some sort of chicken and rice stuffed in the middle…Mmmmm. And I finally got to try Borcht (?). It was a lot to experience in each bite! I was enjoying in just fine until I bit right in to a piece of lemon….yowza! I’m sure my face was priceless.
Igor left us, and poor Anna, with her head cold, took us to the SDA to wait for our invitation letter. We toured the blue church next door…what a gorgeous view! If you go in, you should cover your head with a scarf out of respect, but it isn’t required or looked down upon if you don’t. We then, with an hour left to wait, sat on the couch next to the door that would open at 5pm so we could get our letter. There was a Spanish couple already waiting, and then an American couple from Denver, CO joined in after a while. All of a sudden there was quite a crowd lined up out the door!
We went in at 5pm, got our letter, walked quickly to our apt where the manager was waiting for us so he could clean, packed up the rest of our stuff in a rush, ran downstairs to the waiting taxi and headed for the train station…our first train ride and it had to be at night. That’s OK. It gave us the opportunity to see our potential son, and it was fun…so we thought.
I have to stop here and tell you how amazing the Ukrainian people are. Anna is a perfect example. She’s the kind of person who, when you look at her, gives you that Ukrainian look. But when you get to know her it doesn’t take long for you to realize she’s one of the sweetest, most patient and giving person you’ve ever known. Then there’s the taxi driver, who was the same guy that picked us up with Anna from the airport. He wanted to give us the taxi ride as a gift! We paid him a little, especially since he waited for us at the apt for 40 mins!!
When we got to the train station we were so excited. It was probably about 6pm, but since neither of us brought a watch, that’s just a guess. Anna stayed with us until Igor met us at around 7pm. We sat in the waiting area until our train was called, took all our luggage up and down stairs, and then hoisted it on to the train. We ended up with first class cabins because second class was booked, and third class wasn’t safe.
I can’t stress the importance of packing light. If you’re gearing up to come here, this is my suggestion: Pack your luggage, walk a mile or about 20 minutes carrying your luggage. If you can do that, you’ve packed light enough for the Ukraine.
OK, back to our fun. We had a chance to get to know Igor a bit more while sitting with him. He loves history and politics. He has lived through a lot in the Ukraine. He was here when the USSR had control, and then during the revolution, independence, etc. He’s seen and experienced a lot. He’s also quite a funny guy. He told me that during the USSR, the one hockey team he followed and liked was the Buffalo Sabres…my husband’s family is cheering and screaming right now!
The train is cool. We read for a while and hit the hay around 11pm. We had a 6am wake up call…woohoo. All I could think about is meeting this sweet little boy. So many questions. Would I know right away? Is this my son?