Day 10 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine


Day 10 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine

Today is Monday. I took a nice shower with warm water. The shower head is one of those hand-held ones that can be placed in a holder up where the shower head would normally be. This one does not secure in well. The force of the water is what helps keep it in place, so when I rinse with cold water by turning the hot water down just before turning the water off, the water pressure is decreased. Once the water pressure is decreased, the showerhead starts to drop down. One morning, I had turned the water down enough as I finished my shower that the shower head fell out of the holder and clobbered me on my head. I am a quick learner, at time, so this has NOT happened to me again.

We had oatmeal for breakfast, again. We washed up the dishes and started working on English words. Lucy started working with the children some more on grammar and sentence structure: I am, we are, she is, he is, it is, etc. along with adding “ing” to the verbs.

At 12:00 we met with their sisters Leena  and Anna (along with her little 2 y.o. girl Dosha), Leena’s boyfriend, and their aunt (their dad’s sister). We all walked over to the park where we had gone before. We had a very good visit. I was able to find out a little bit more about the children and their childhood. The older children in their family had a little bit better life when they were younger. Their parents were a bit better at that time.  By the time these three younger children came along, there mother was not being a mother. She did not take care of them or fix food for them. They did not go to school. Their father died. Their mother is totally given into alcohol. Her last little girl has severe fetal alcohol syndrome and was adopted by a woman in France.

The aunt brought some native foods. She made one of their sweet breads, with some kind of natural yeast (sour dough starter?), that Ukrainians only make at Easter time. It looks like a very tall Costco muffin with frosting on top with the dripping look going partially down the sides with sprinkles on top. She brought hard boiled eggs. She has chickens and four cows, so I assume the eggs were from her chickens. She brought three more dried, salt cured fish. Her husband catches the fish. I have now eaten from two of these fish and haven’t died. That is a good thing. They are very salty, so we are very thirsty after eating them. The aunt also brought some little fat slices (salo). I believe they are from pork. They are a bit salty. I tasted those also. They usually put them on bread. So I put some on bread. The fish will not make it through customs nor will the fat slices, sorry to my boys who would love eating them. We will bring home some of the candy the aunt brought.

Anne and the children with Lena and their aunt
Anne and one of the fish
The fish love these guys
fat slices

Leena and the aunt are very happy that we believe in God and that we will be able to help Jonathon catch up academically and all the children will have many opportunities that they would otherwise not have. The aunt said that she and her husband live a very hard life. They just try to survive. They said that the children’s mother is 41 years old. I told them that I am 47. They said that I look much younger than their mother. I am sure that is due to her alcohol consumption. What a terrible slave master alcohol can be. We walked to the streetcar where we said our goodbyes.

We returned to our apartment shortly after 2:00 to work a bit more on our English and grammar. We had some lunch. I blogged for a bit while the children watched a movie, with English subtitles. Thanks to our friends, the Leishmans, for lending us some of their DVDs. I don’t think they meant to lend them to us for so long, and I meant to ask them if I could bring them back to Ukraine and never did. Hope it’s okay. We brought some of our own that are favorites.

We went to President and Sister Nielson’s apartment for FHE. The live in one of the two nicest towers in Dnepr (see photo).The Nielsons were gone for a week visiting in the mission and returned last night, so we told them we would bring the refreshments and the lesson. We invited Elders Hammons and Torrance to come also. We stopped by a little market on the way to the Nielson’s to buy refreshments. We were a little undecided on what to bring. We settle on some little cake type things that come in a box about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. They are dipped in chocolate and are layered inside with wafers (Lucy says they are called Vafelnyi tort) . Since I am not a chocolate eater, we also purchased some hazel nuts and yellow raisins. I did not actually eat the chocolate dessert to say whether or not it was good, but the nuts and raisins were great. The lesson was on putting on the armor of God. It was very good. Then Sister Nielson had an activity. We all kneeled in a circle. We put both our hands on the floor. The trick was that one of each of our neighboring people each had a hand between our own two hands (my left hand, the person on my lefts right hand, the person on my rights left hand, and then my right hand—I am sure that did not make any sense to you, but it will remind me in case I want to play it again.). One person started by patting their hand on the floor, then whoever’s hand was next had to pat the floor. If someone patted the floor twice, it would change the direction. If one of us patted our hand when we were not supposed to, then the hand we patted with was out. President Nielson did not play, Jonathan was out first, I was out second, and I do not know who was out next because Jonathon and I started taking pictures of their beautiful view of the river. We visited for a bit and then headed out around 8:00 p.m. to return home. We ran into the current APs (Assistants to the President) as we were leaving. Ryan knows Elder Anderson.

Anne & Lucy
Family Home Evening activity
View of the River

FHE at the Nielsons
See the two towers in the background. That is where the Nielson live.
The current APs, Elder Henderson and Elder Anderson with the children

We stopped by the large market on our way home to pick up more yogurt, juice, bread, apples, bananas, etc. Hyrum and Jonathon are so great to carry the bags for us. We hopped on the street car to go the few stops to our apartment. We arrived home around 9:00 p.m. and Skyped with the family. The landlord came by to collect rent for a couple of more nights (450 gr. or $50/night). The kids all showered. The boys were watching the movie about the Constitution and the treasure with that Gates guy in it. I finished watching the very end with them. Lucy invited me to watch Charly with her, but I declined in order to get some necessary beauty sleep.  I usually cry through the last half of that movie, so I definitely would have looked worse by the time morning rolled around. The end of another day in Dnepr.

Skyping with the family at home

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