March 26, 27 Days 15 and 16

March 26, 2011

We cooked a meal at home and spent time catching up on our blog and emails. We enjoyed Skyping Caleb and Ryan. We tried to Skype one of Gabe’s friends through his dad’s Skype, not realizing that the dad is in Japan and not Utah. It was Sunday early afternoon in Utah but the middle of the night in Japan when we called. We were so thrilled to now have the internet, but boy did we feel aweful about waking him up out of a nice slumbering sleep. 

By Tony

How does one spend their birthday in Ukraine? Well, Anne was at the orphanage and all the kids sang happy birthday to her in Russian. They used the same tune that we use for happy birthday so it was pretty cool. Fingernail painting was the order of the day at the orphanage along with some more friendship bracelets. Additionally, we did the “stomp rocket” outside. The stomp rocket is a small hollow plastic tube with a foam nose and some tail fins which slides over the “launcher”. The launcher is attached to a self inflatable bladder that the kids stomp on and the rocket goes flying upwards of 200 feet into the air. It almost got stuck in the tree a few times and pretty much everybody wanted a chance to give it a stomp to see how high they could make it go. The way the kids stomp, I’m not sure how long it will last when we leave it at the orphanage.

Dinner was back in Zaparozhye with the Gollings and the Shaws at Pow Wow which turned out pretty nice once we were able to find the place. Fortunately, we did no go too far off the path. It started to sprinkle and we all got a little bit wet on the way home.

When one looks at the outside of the apartments, you would immediately worry that it is crime ridden. However, unlike similar areas in the states we have not heard any gunshots or sirens during the nights. The only thing we have heard is a car alarm go off in the middle of the night. As we do not have a car here, we didn’t worry too much.

The doors to the worst apartments here have better locks than the best homes in the States. Our apartment here has a total of 18 dead bolts in the side, top, and bottom. Kind of looks like a bank vault door. We haven’t figured out what it is that the people here don’t want stolen as there is really nothing in the apartment other than living essentials. Perhaps they took the jewels and hid them before we came. There are an additional six dead bolts in the top and bottom of the door not seen in the picture.

Vault door to our apartment

Vault door to our apartment

We did finally get the internet hooked up Saturday afternoon so hopefully we can keep everybody more current.

Note from Anne:

I had a wonderful birthday. I received some nicely made cards, some drawings, and some candy. I put them all in one place in the classroom that we were using to paint fingernails and do more jewelry and friendship bracelets. The school was actually locked when we arrived since it was Saturday. Usually all the class rooms are locked but not the entire school building. Our Yuri went to check to see if the building could be opened up. He didn’t say anything when he came back, so we assumed that the answer was no. Then Eddie, a tall young man that will be aging out of the orphanage when school is over, came up and used body language to ask us if we wanted him to get a key for the school. I am not sure what he had to do, but he returned a bit later with keys to the school building. He then unlocked the classroom that we have been using. All the children trickled in and started working on projects, painting nails (I had Lucy tell the children that the girls are the only ones that can paint their nails), making cards, etc. Whenever we are starting to clean up, everyone pitches in and cleans up. Yuri and Zhenia do not let us do any sweeping or putting the chairs back on the desks. After taking everything back out to the taxi, I went back in the classroom. Yuri, Zhenia, and Eddie were not only sweeping, Eddie was mopping the room. We assume this was one of the agreements to let him open the room. What nice kids.

March 27, 2011 Day 16 of Journey

By Tony

Today was a day spent at church and home here in the apartment. We rode the bus home which was pretty cool. Pretty much everybody uses some sort of public transportion. Marshrutkas are small buses that hold about 20 people and cost 25 cents to ride. The larger buses cost 12 cents. They also have their version of “TRAX” but much older.

The boys are holding up remarkably well although they do complain about the sparsely stocked refridgerator.

Note from Anne:

Walking in the Tunnel under Prospect Lenin

Lucy interpretted in Sacrament Meeting for us. Two missionaries from the States spoke and then a native. Lucy said that it is much easier to translate the missionaries’ talks than the native Ukrainian’s talk. Tony and I sat and visited with Andy and Kim Golling. We enjoyed sharing some of our experiences that have got us to this point and also some of our parenting experiences and lessons that we have learned from our children. I really enjoyed the time. When Tony wasn’t visiting with the Gollings, he was reading The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis to Gabe. Our family loves the Chronicle of Narnia books, in fact, I have already purchased a set in Russian for our new kids. We are reading them for the second time to Gabe in the past year.

One Response to “March 26, 27 Days 15 and 16”
  1. Amy Rast says:

    Great Blog! You guys are doing awesome. I love the joint effort. It is fun to read about things from both of you. I am glad to see you are hanging in there and enjoying the Ukraine 🙂 Happy Birthday Anne and Good Luck with court this week!

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