Day 8 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine


Day 8 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine

I have debated whether or not to use the children’s new names in this blog. I am now always using their new names when I talk to them and it is getting more difficult for me to type their Ukrainian names when I am blogging. I tend to forget and type one or two names in their Ukrainian and the other in their American, so I think I will just start using their new names in the blog. This will probably be helpful to our neighbors, friends, and family that will be seeing the children soon after we return.

So . . . drum roll . . . our children’s new names are . . . Yuri’s name is Jonathon Michael, Zhenia’s name is Hyrum Lucas, and Luba’s name is Heather Julia.

We slept in a bit today. The children woke up before both me and Lucy. They were so super quiet for us. We purchased some colored pencils and drawing pads the other day for Heather and Hyrum which gave them something to do quietly in the kitchen. Jonathon is reading the Chronicles of Narnia books that I brought with me. He has already finished the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (in Russian, of course). I rolled out of bed, took a shower, and fixed oatmeal for everyone for breakfast. I forgot to put in the salt and the vanilla, so I tried to add them after the fact. Not so good.

Lucy worked with the children on more English. She is going to help them to learn enough grammar so that they can get the idea of how to make a sentence. We are still working on their vocabulary, phonics, and the alphabet song. One of the sounds that they do not make is the “th” sound. Heather and Hyrum figured it out quickly, but Jonathon is still having great difficulty with it. He can do the “th” in father, but has great difficulty with the “th” in Thursday. I try to tell him not to be embarrassed as he practices with us, because it is much better to practice hard now so that he will not have to practice it while talking with his new friends. He keeps trying. Hopefully, he will get it figured out within the week.

We decided not to go to the open market to get a soccer ball, because the market will be super crowded due to it being a holiday weekend. We got a little bit of laundry done. The washing machine is a very small front loader, but it works great. We have a nice drying rack that most everyone has around here. It folds down and stores flat. I really like it and would love to have one of my own. If any of you have seen one and know where I can get one besides in Ukraine, please let me know.

Ryan sent us a note on Skype while I was trying to quickly type my blog around 12 noon Ukraine time. We never see him online so that we can call him, so we were surprised to get the note. We found out he was up packing. He had just finished finals at BYU and was now needing to get packed and checkout of his apartment on Saturday morning. I calculated what time it was in Utah and realized it was 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning! We asked him to call us. He was pretty tired but he did call. He said that several times he has come home, turned on his computer and seen that we were online so he could Skype us, and has gone to get a drink or use the restroom before calling us only to find out that we were offline by the time he returned a few minutes later. We loved talking to him.

Great folding rack!

When we give a prayer of thanks on the food or say a family prayer, we ask the children if they would like to pray (in Russian). So far Hyrum has been the only one, and he has given two very sweet prayers on his own.  Jonathon said that he would like to pray tomorrow.

Lucy has outlawed any Ukrainian speaking:). She has told them they can speak only Russian or English. We have one more week to help he children on their English here. When we return home, it will be much more difficult, because we will not have Lucy and Ryan will already be in Russia for his BYU Study Abroad program for 3 months. We are finding out many of the names of return missionaries that live in the Salt Lake City and Provo areas that would probably like to come help us out on occasion. I am sure the children will love meeting them all.

Jonathon had seen some billboard signs advertising for a big soccer game tonight in Dnepr. We asked the missionaries about it only to find out that many of them were planning on going to the game. We ended up purchasing tickets that would seat us behind the missionaries. We invited the children’s brother to go with us and also purchased one for our facilitator. It ends out that our facilitator, Victor, is staying in Nikopol until he finishes some more paperwork on Tuesday, so the children’s sister from Kiev wanted to join us. She ended up bringing her boyfriend.

With the missionaries at the branch meeting house.
Playing soccer with a basketball in the chapel/dance studio

We met the missionaries at the branch meeting house where they were teaching a couple. We had a good visit with the missionaries. Tony called me on my cell phone to say a quick hello. Afterwards, Jonathon and Hyrum played soccer with a basketball in the chapel/dance studio for a bit. That was good for Jonathon. The missionaries changed into their jeans to go to the soccer game. We all headed over to Pazata Hata to meet the children’s brother (Sasha) and sister (Leena) and sister’s boyfriend (Sasha). Sasha is the nickname for Alexander. We had invited them all to join us for dinner before the game. We waited outside the restaurant for a while for them. As we did so, a couple of drunk guys staggered by. Jonathon turned to me and shook his head sadly. Sasha, Leena, and Sasha were late in arriving, so we all ate and then waited for them. They finally arrived. The two Sashas both smoke, so we waited for them to have a smoke break before entering the restaurant. We visited with them while they ate. We then headed off in search of the soccer stadium. I realize more and more what a slave master that little white paper stick is, and I am so grateful that he is not my master.

We arrived at the stadium and tried to get in the East Gate entrance, but were told that we could not get in with our paper receipts. We had to go over to the Main Entrance with our receipt (we had purchased tickets in an ATM type machine and understood that the receipt would be our ticket) in order to get our tickets to enter the game. As we went around to the other side of the stadium we past drunk men. Several of them were scavenging for beer bottle that were not totally empty. They were then pouring the remaining amounts of beer into their own bottle or at least they were trying to do so. They were doing a very bad job of it, and it was very sad to see men in this state.

We did finally get to the main window where we exchanged our little paper receipt for tickets and then we hurried off to our seats. We missed the kickoff, but that was okay. We found our seats and all got settled in for the game. We brought sunflower seeds that Lucy said we must have. I am so grateful for the good example of all the missionaries sitting around us. I think there were 12 of them all together. There were 10 on the row in front of us and 2 on our row. They were such a stark contrast to the beer drinking and smoking crowd. The stadium was not even half full. I was pleased that the crowds were not unruly at all as they cheered. This may have been partially due to the fact that Dnepr won 3 – 0. We left the game when there were a couple of minutes left so that we could beat the crowd, but on the way down the ramp we found out that the boys needed to use the WC (water closet). There were many doors that had WC on them, but they also had a sign saying they were closed. We did find a couple that were opened that the boys used. Men and women were going into the same bathrooms. Hmm? I did not go in to see what the stalls looked like. I should have. Oh, well. You all hear about bathrooms enough as it is.

Jonathon, Hyrum, heaether, Sasha (boyfriend) and Leena
Hyrum, Jonathon, and Hyrum at the soccer game in Dnepr
Elders Torrance, Hammon, Bodily, Clifford , Hall with Hyrum, Lucy and Heather
Elder Hall and Heather
Anne & Lucy
Heather & Elder Hammon

After leaving the stadium, we started to head in the direction we thought the train station was in. At one point, after we had walked a ways, we asked a man where the station was located. He told Lucy, but then he added that there are many drunk people and many angry people (probably those whose team lost the game) that are there, so if we did not need to go, it would be best not to. Sasha, Sasha and Leena needed to go. Lucy and I decided that we would be best to wait and buy our train tickets for Kiev at a later time. Leena told us that she did not think we would be able to get any. She said the tickets are all gone because of the holidays. We are hoping this is not true, because we really need to get to Kiev for our Wednesday morning appointment at the US Embassy. We are waiting to get papers from Victor on Tuesday before we can leave for Kiev. We will have to wait and see how that one all works out.

After saying our goodbyes to Sasha, Sasha, and Leena before they got on the streetcar, we headed off to find a food market to get some water, bread, dumplings, etc. for Sunday meals. I am sure you will all have much nicer Easter Sunday meals, but I am sure I will remember ours here for a very long time.

We returned to our apartment about 10:00 p.m. We did dishes, the children all showered, and then we talked through video Skype to Tony, Caleb, and Sam at home, and to Ryan and his friends at someone’s apartment. Ryan says that he has more guests coming to visit this weekend. I told him that before I left that I had just washed all the sheets on all the beds from his friends he had visit on general conference weekend. He said they will get the sheets all taken care of. I think that means that he will need to recruit Caleb, Sam and Grandma Haws to help him, since I told him not to wash the sheets on Sunday.

Well, that is enough about our Saturday and the end to my 26th wedding anniversary. I hope that all of you have a wonderful Easter weekend with your families. How grateful I am for the birth, living example, and atoning sacrifice of your Savior and my Savior on our behalf. May we try harder each day to always remember Jesus Christ in all that we do so that our lives may reflect our faith and our hope in Him.

4 Responses to “Day 8 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine”
  1. Wendy says:

    I spent Easter there two years ago and you are right. You won’t forget it!
    How great that you were able to go to a soccer game and even better, to be surrounded by missionaries!
    Hang in there. The Kiev part should go pretty fast and you’ll be home before you know it!

  2. Erica Michaelis says:

    So fun to see all the missionaries again! Please say hello to them from me before you head to Kiev!

  3. Andreas Horlacher says:

    Love the new names! Your kids look like they are loving being with you as mom, and they are learning so much about everything. This is time you’ll all remember forever, where it was just mom and the 3 kids.

    You’ve got a great perspective and it is a lot of fun reading your blog. It sounds like you and your kids had a fun Easter weekend!

  4. Kerry says:

    So much fun! I love hearing and seeing how smiley and happy the kids are. You are so lucky to have Lucy with you to help with language. You’re already very far ahead if our progress!

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