Day 9 (Sunday March 20)


Day nine of our journey (Sunday, March 20th)

Happy Birthday to Justin (our oldest son turning 24 y.o. today)!!

Nothing very eventful happened this morning as we got ready for church. We all showered in the bathroom and were actually able to close the door. If the washing machine is going, we cannot close the door all the way, because we have to plug the washing machine into the outlet in the little hallway by the front door.

Tony put two pots on the stove to boil water for us to wash dishes in (No exploding glass this time). I was able to get them all washed up before leaving at 8:15 this morning for church. We are splitting the cost and sharing the ride to church with David Howick and his son James Kola (in the final week of their adoption process and hoping to return home in a week or so). Our taxi driver drove the small navy blue limosine with the front cracked windshield. It fit is all comfotably. The limosine, by the way gets looks from everybody that we pass. It would even draw looks in the states. Our facilitator is still not feeling well, so he stayed home while we ventured off to the bigger city with a taxi driver that speaks no English, only Russian and some Italian.

We enjoyed the sacrament service and visiting with some of the people attending church. On our way home, we stopped by a cafe and had a chance to post a blog. PLEASE excuse all the many errors, typos, and missing words. We have so little time to actually blog, that we are lucky to post what we do. We had time to post a blog, write to our son, Joshua, who is serving a mission in the Philippines; wish Justin a happy birthday; and email Ryan. We missed getting one off the Caleb, so we will have to do that next time. Thanks to all of you that have given us encouragement through your comments on the blog. We have not been able to see all of them, but hope that we will get to catch up in a few days.

We are very grateful that our facilitator has been able to get our paper work completed to deliver to the inspector’s office first thing in the morning. We are then supposed to sign some papers and then the papers are hopefully going to be submitted to the court tomorrow!! Note to anyone reading this that is in the process of adopting here in Ukraine. If you are going to help your children select new American names, or decide on them yourselves, the new names are needed to be included in the papers that are prepared to submit to the court. So you need to talk to your child(ren) within a day or so of the writing of their letter to be adopted.

We returned from church about 3:00 p.m. We have snacked on yogurt and juice along with watching The Legend of Johny Lingo, having our own little Sunday School lesson on the importance of baptism, Tony has been practicing his tin wistle, and I have been reading a parenting book. The only problem with reading parenting books when my oldest children are 24, 22, 20, and 16, is I get to see all the many mistakes I have made. I still have two boys at home and am now adding three more (one being our first daughter!). If I never quite get the parenting thing figured out while I am here on earth, at least I will be an eager student in heaven with a hundred questions to ask.

I am going to go join the Sam and Gabe in watching Forever Strong. Have a great week!!


March 20, 2011 By Tony

We decided to drive to Zaparozhe to church today. It appears that while there are many very old churches in Ukraine, the remnants of atheistic communism still has a large hold upon the hearts of the people so that few if any are actual church goers.

Several things pop out at you as being different here in Ukraine. One is that the person who checks you out at the grocery store are always sitting down. I have never seen that any where else. It almost seemed comical until I put myself in their place and would welcome being able to sit down if I were a checker. Another thing is the natural gas. It is everywhere and instead of being underground it runs along the side of the road about 7 feet off the ground in a 3 inche pipe. When it come to a house, there is a little feeder pipe that comes off the big pipe and goes to the house. When the big pipe comes to a driveway (I use that term loosely becuase most people don’t have cars) the pipe pops up to about 10 feet spans the driveway and then back down to seven feet until the next driveway. Over almost every “driveway” is a grape arbor where grape vines have climbed up each side of the “driveway” and connect over the top making a beautiful tunnel in the summer that probably serves as a cool area as there is no air conditioning.

The EPA is non-existant here as people are everywhere burning their piles of dead grape prunings or whatever else people feel needs to be burned. There are small fires everywhere and the horizon has a constant smokely haze to it. I’m not sure if there is ever such as thing as a clear day around here.

One thing that is striking is the complete lack of new construction of any kind. You almost feel like you are on the set of “Mad Max”, everything is old,nobody makes anything new, and people simply jury rig whatever they have to accopmlish what they need done or simply do without. Maybe one building in a hundred looks like it was built in the last 50 years. Garbage is simply placed wherever it is convenient (we saw a field today that looked like somebody had planted baby plastic garbage bags and now it was ready for harvest). However, this is not unique to Ukraine as I have seen the same things traveling in other countries and even in the United States where urban blight is prevalent.

Another thing is that the global warming chaps forgot to tell Ukraine. Here it is the fisrt day of spring and we see people walking across large bodies of water because it is still frozen solid. It is not “bitterly” cold but certainly as cold as I have ever experienced at this time of year and at this latitude.

There does not appear to be any significant “middle class” here in Ukraine, simply a small amount of really rich people and then everybody else simply trying to survive. Having said that, it appears that the people here are better equiped to handle disasters on a large scale as they are already largely self-sufficient and growing their own food and seeing to their own needs. What things they do get from the store, it appears that if the stores were to all shut down it would affect them less than it would us back in the states.

3 Responses to “Day 9 (Sunday March 20)”
  1. Stephanie Holbrook says:

    Very interesting about the gas pipes. I love that the washing machine plugs in outside of the bathroom. Another thing (of very many) I take for granted. I hope that your facilitator begins to feel well soon!

  2. Melody Taylor says:

    Anne! I finally took the time to catch up with you via your blog this morning. No school this week so I have a few extra moments. What an adventure you are on! I will be praying for you, for your safety and health and sanity (!).
    I look forward to reading more about this journey. Much love, Melody

  3. Andreas Horlacher says:

    I got caught up on the blogs. I had to chuckle about the experience with the phone. Isn’t it always nice to have your kids around to remind you how they can figure anything out that you cannot? 🙂 Glad that you got internet and were able to give us an update. Hopefully a few pictures can follow as time and internet connections permit. Also loved the washer situation. I remember when we adopted, how my wife and I just wondered how families do it with many kids in these little apartments. Thank goodness for a little spread out room back in America, eh?

    Your kids sound like the same fun-loving, happy kids we all remember. They sure are going to flourish once they get here in America and gets a little structure in your home. You’re going to be the catalyst to change 3 little lives forever. Good luck in the coming days as you get closer to your court date. God bless!

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