Monday, August 10, 2009

Never a Dull Moment

Another interesting day in Ukraine. Instead of frying toast and eggs again for breakfast we decided to walk across the street for some blinchikis. I don’t know why it is that in Birmingham, I have little to no desire to take an early morning walk. But I absolutley love early morning walks in the city. Maybe its because I actually have some destination in mind; I’m not just walking for exercise. But anyway, we enjoyed our blinchikis and coffee then headed out with Sergey to Starribilsk.

We stopped at the supermarket in Chastia to get some more meat and bread for the Bela kids. Those items were a hit on Saturday. I think we angered the lady in the meat section when we just refused to accept that she could not slice any of the “cooked” meats including bologna. “What about this one?”, we had Roman ask. “I told you, we do not slice the cooked meat.” So we ended up taking the hot dog type links.

We took our daily outing to the village, including lunch at the Tet-a-tet . We are finding eating out to be so inexpensive this time around. The dollar is worth 8 griven so it ends up that 7 of us can eat a nice meal for less than $20. We also had some success shopping. We joked that Sergey, our driver, must have been doing some internet research on shopping in Starribilsk because he had several new suggestions today. Gabrielle found three pair of shoes; one pair was a whopping 10 griven. Do the math! She is shy about asking for things but so were the boys a year ago. I’m sure she will come around just like they did. Gabe even found a jacket that he was needing since he forgot his and the weather is a little on the cool side.

We’ve been pulled over a couple of times for various traffic violations. We were sitting in the car during one such stop when Roman asked “Are they going to take me to Juvi?” Sergey had been in the militia car for what seemed like ages and I think Roman was seriously worried we might all be going to jail. They all stare at us funny in Starribilsk. I wonder if they have ever seen Americans. We are eyed suspicioulsy in stores. But we are getting more and more comfortable in our daily walks. Cars, pedestrians and bicycles share the bumpy roads.

There are a number of camps all lined up along the river, some of them in better condition than others. I don’t know much about the camps but I do know that every time we drive back in after our outings Gabrielle breathes a long, heavy sigh. If we tell the Director we will be gone until 5:00 and we come back and 4:30, she complains and wants to know why we came back early. She is ready to be with her family.

The Bela kids are warming up to us a little bit. It is a little bit awkward for everybody when you have come for one child. They are all happy for the one child and yet they want so badly to be the child that is being rescued. There are only about 30 of them at camp. I think some have gone to Italy or Spain. I pray that all of them would soon find families. It is so different for them here than at Shane’s camp. At Shane’s there are adults who have come to minister to them, to pay attention to them, to show them that they are loved. That they are important. Here, they are alone, except for each other.

We ended the day with dinner at Silver. Then Vitalik and Roman watched Country Bears in Russian and I blogged. We have had a little bit of pouting going on from various boys in the family but other than that, everybody is doing very well on this adventure. Never a dull moment.


  1. Your blog is more interesting than mine with all your pictures and stories. I am going to have to spice mine up if I want to be a best seller!

  2. Suz - You were's a beautiful picture. It's just shocking (and sad) to see a picture of a young man as opposed to a little boy. Please pass out hugs from us as you are able!