Day 11 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine

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Day 11 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine

Tuesday morning seemed to come early. I woke up at 8:00 a.m. Heather was already out of bed while the boys and Lucy were still sleeping. I showered, made oats, and put in a load of my laundry. After the boys woke up, they saw some kids in a small field next to our apartment building playing soccer. Jonathon thinks he needs to play soccer every day, so the children asked if they could go down and play. I told them that I would need to go with them. We did just a few things to get ready to go down, only to notice that the children were no longer down there when we were ready to go. Oh, well.

Lucy went shopping and I worked with the children on naming the letters in the alphabet, phonics, and reading. After we finished that, we played pit. Heather really like playing that. I won the first two rounds.:) After we played pit, Hyrum found some game on our computer named Bejeweled or something like that. Hyrum loves any techno gadget he sees. Sister Nelson was showing her  and Ipad touch last night(I think that is what it is). He loved it. They got all their stuff packed into the big gray duffle bag, while I packed up my two small black suit cases.

We ate a snack lunch so that we could go to Lucy’s favorite restaurant that serves American food for a meal between lunch and dinner. At 1:00 the children saw kids playing soccer again. We were a little quicker getting down there. The field was all enclosed, so we walked down the street and around to the other side. It was gated, but there was room for us to slide through. I assumed it was some kind of a school. An older lady kind of hollered at us for going through the fence. I hadn’t a clue what words she said, but I kind of got the idea she was telling us we can’t go in there. I looked at Jonathon and he just  looked at me and shewed his hand like she did not know what she was talking about or that what she said was nothing important. I just followed the children. There was a blonde lady that looked about my age and was trim and fit. She questioned the kids, and I think they told her that I was their new mom and was taking them to America (at least I heard the word America), and that we were staying the night in that apartment building(the point at our building). The children had just stopped as we came through the gate. They looked like that were between Hyrum and Jonathon’s ages (12 – 16). While I was standing there, one Asian looking boy that look 16 or 17 who had just finished playing soccer, took his shorts off and put his pants on. Why do we need to spend money on locker rooms? The lady did not tell us to leave before they all went into the building, so we just hung out there. About 20 minutes later a different group of youth came out with the same blonde lady. She quickly gathered the boys together and included Hyrum and Jonathon as they divided into teams and played soccer. They played for quite a while. It looked like Jonathon and Hyrum were having a great time. Heather and I just watched. They finally finished up. I thanked the lady and she said, “Don’t mention it.” She did not try to say anything more. There are nice people all over this world. Jonathon had his soccer fix, so I figured we could go for a couple of days on that.

Heather & Hyrum in the school playground
The nice lady is in the bluish pants.

 We returned to our apartment. Jonathon took a quick shower and we started walking up Karl Marxa Street to go to the American restaurant. Lucy needed to pick up some photos that she had dropped off earlier in the day to be printed, so we took a detour off of our planned route. Victor, our facilitator, called to let me know that he had just arrived in Dnepr with our taxi drive, Victor. We told them the direction we were headed and they planned on meeting us. Next thing I know, we are at a food court standing in line at the McDonalds. So much for that nice American restaurant. I did not want to eat at McDonalds, so I let Lucy help the kids order while I went to the food thing right next to McDonalds in the food court to order a baked potato. Victor found me just as I was getting ready to order my baked potato, so he helped me. My baked potato certainly did not look like the one on the picture, but it was okay. The kids love Victor and were glad to see him. Jonathon ate his hamburger, Hyrum filled up on his drink and French fries and threw out his hamburger. I looked at Heather eating vanilla ice cream on a cone. I questioned Lucy about where Heather’s lunch was, and she told me she didn’t want anything else. I don’t think we will try the McDonalds thing again. After finishing our “meal,” we joined Victor the taxi drive to take Victor, the facilitator, and his bag to our apartment. Lucy did not join us. She went to take care of a few of her own errands.

Since we had tickets for the night train to Kiev, I had to pay for another entire day for the apartment so that we didn’t have to haul our luggage around. If we checked out at 6:00 p.m. I would just have to pay a half day, but I wanted to check out at 9:00 p.m., so it would be a whole day. We realized that it would work out great to have Victor stay at the apartment since I was paying for it. That worked well.

The taxi driver took us up to the area where the branch meeting house is located. It is on the second floor of a business building. The Victors went off to get some tea while the children and I went up to the branch. We were early, so we had to wait about 15 minutes for the missionaries to arrive. The missionaries taught the children about faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion, baptism by fire (or the receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost), and endure to the end. That is the last time we will meet with the missionaries here. The elders have been great. At least now the children will have an idea about what is being taught at church when we return even if they cannot understand the language. The children and I went back outside to the nice little plaza area and met Victor. Lucy told me that Seslon(sp?), a friend of Ryan’s was going to be able to stop by before English class around 5:30. Our son Ryan taught Seslon’s girlfriend the gospel. She was baptized. She had many questions, and Ryan was able to help her find answers to them. The temperature was so pleasant, that we just waited outside. Seslon was a bit late in coming, but I had a very nice conversation with him. He is in the branch presidency, but was out of town on Sunday, so we did not see him. He is a lawyer. Very, very nice man. I would loved to have met his wife.

Our last night with our missionaries and English teachers.

English class started at 6:30 p.m. The children had looked forward to attending English class. Elder Hammon and Torrance teach it. Elder Hall teaches the advanced class. Heather really likes Elder Hall. We talked about describing people on the outside. We also talked about how you don’t tell a guy he looks cute. It is not nice to use the word fat when describing a person. They gave suggestions. It was quite a fun class. We also discussed how to describe people on the inside, their personality.

We had to hurry home after class, because we found out that Victor cannot stay in our apartment. The landlord already rented it out to someone else and they would be arriving at 7:00 a.m. I won’t go into detail with the money discussion I had with Victor and then with the landlord, but finally, in the end, he was willing to charge a little less.

So our taxi driver, Yuri, arrived at 9:10 p.m. We hauled our bags down to his taxi, loaded up, and drove off to the train station. Yuri was nice enough to park and walk us to the platform. We were a little bit early, so we had to wait a little while to find out what platform our train would be arriving on. Yuri took us to the platform before he left. That was very nice of him. He did tell us that he would like to keep Heather for his own daughter. Well, what he actually said was that once we get to the platform, he would like us to turn around and face the other way, and he would steal Heather away.  I think that is what many of the people we meet would like to do. She has such an infectious giggle and beautiful smile. I hope she will always keep her happiness.

The train arrived. We discovered that our train car #14 was at the opposite end of the train, so a walking we did go. We made it to the other end. Jonathon and Hyrum got all the bags loaded into the train and down the hall to our compartment. We quickly got our beds made, drank some of our juice, and sat cooking in the hot train car. Once it took off, we read scriptures, said a prayer, and climbed into our bunks to sweat. I think we were pretty settled in and sleeping by 11:00 p.m. I woke up at 1:30 feeling a bit chilly, so I found the top sheet that I doubted I would need, and then found Heather’s and covered her up. I couldn’t sleep for about an hour, I laid on my bottom bunk smelling the odors of the bathroom which was only one compartment away. Between feeling a little bit chilled and the bathroom odor, I thought I would be awake for along time, but out I went.

Jonathon on the train to Kiev.
Anne and Lucy on the night train to Kiev.
Jonathon & Hyrum
The children looking out the train windows as we enter Kiev.

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