For East Michiganders-Post (smooooooooth) vs Pre (watch out for that hole!!) M59 construction
For East Texans-Any major highway (Turn up the Brooks N Dunn, baby!) vs the "speed limit is 55, but I should go slower because of all the bumps in the road" back roads of the piney woods (Was that an armadillo I just ran over? Nope, just a bump).
So most of the trip was pretty smooth. But very interesting...VERY interesting.
This is a two lane portion of the highway. People pass FAST and sometimes the 2 lane highway becomes a 3 way highway, with one vehicle straddling the middle as they pass, but that only happens when there's a paved shoulder...at least from what I could tell.
And while you're on a 5.5 hour drive in intense heat, you drink water, which makes you have to pee. So you stop at a rest station (which is very different than ours) and find a toilet. Which costs 1.5 grivna per person (less than $.20). You should always bring your own toilet paper (or in my case tissues) because Ukrainians don't use toilet paper as much. You walk in to a stall and this is what you see...
That's right, folks. The squat pot! You can see the tip of my shoe on the very bottom left of the picture. This is the infamous hole in the ground toilet. You step up about a foot on to the concrete, squat down (not touching anything because it's too low) and let it flow, let it flow, let it flow! All the time making sure you're not getting any on you! The toilet paper goes in the trash can and, yes, the toilet flushes. Where it goes, nobody knows!
We got to our hotel and settled in about 11:30pm. We woke up at 7am, got ready and were out the door by 8am to drive about 30ish minutes to a small town outside Kharkiv. I was shocked at how well maintained and beautiful the orphanage was. We met the director, who was an exuberant woman and absolutely wonderful to us. She, the doctor and the inspector sat and talked to us about the girl, tearing up about the prospect of her finding a home, and then introduced us as doctors from another country so the girl wouldn't be confused. She really, really wants a home so the inspector told us she would be too clingy if they told her we were there to possibly adopt her. After reviewing all the information and meeting girl, we decided she isn't our daughter. I won't go in to the details. But the inspector told me that it was OK. They only want the best for her, and we will find our daughter. She even gave me a sweet memento, which is now one of my treasured possessions.
Wendy, I tried to get a picture of the heels I was talking about, but this picture is a little fuzzy. I'll try to take some more when I get a chance!
We arrived back in Kiev last night, got a good night's sleep, and went grocery shopping today. So now we wait for appointment #2 and pray and pray that this one will be it. Hopefully the appointment will be next week.
Oh, and for those of you who kept telling me that it was quick to dry clothes here and I was crazy because it took days for our clothes to dry, I figured out the issue. I was hand washing clothes while in Zaparoscha. We have washers for the first time, and they are awesome! Our clothes dry in about an hour outside-a much different experience!