Day 16 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine

 Day 16 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine

Ahhh, Sunday. I love Sundays. Today is the first Sunday of the month when we usually fast for two meals. Lucy and I fasted, but we didn’t say anything to the children about it. Lucy slept at her home. I woke up about 8:30 and saw that Heather was still sleeping. I opted to just stay in bed so that I did not disturb her. After laying there just thinking for 30 minutes, I reached over and got my scriptures to read for the next half hour. We had plans to leave our apartment at 10:20 so that we could meet Lucy at a bus stop to go to church together. So 9:30 was the latest I could start getting ready and still make it. I quietly got out of bed. Heather woke up while I was saying my prayers and had a big smile on her face when I looked up. I went in to take a shower. I turned on the shower before I stepped in so that the water to get nice and hot. Well, I stood there for a while. I thought, “well, maybe it is the other knob.” I tried the other knob. I waited. I turned them both on for a while and waited. Still COLD water! I turned the shower water off and went over to the Jacuzzi tub where I had leaned over and washed my hair yesterday. I did the same thing as I did with the shower and STILL COLD water!I then tried the sink. About 15 minutes passed. I hurried and put my pajamas on, went out to the kitchen, and tried to light the cooktop to heat some water to wash my hair. The burner started and then immediately went out. I tried it again. Nothing. I tried the front burner and got nothing. Great! The gas must be off. I now have no hot water and cannot even heat any water on the cooktop. So, back to the bathroom I go. I leaned over the side of the Jacuzzi to wash my head. I froze my scalp almost to death. I would rinse my hair a bit and then wait for my head to warm up again so that I could rinse it again. It took a while to get the shampoo out of my hair and then the conditioner. I quickly sponge bathed and put on my Sunday clothes. I hurried out and found Heather watching a little children’s DVD that I bought yesterday. The boys were stilled totally zonked out on their bed and it was 10:00. With many fast gestures and words, I conveyed to them that we had to hurry so that we could take the bus and meet Lucy in 20 minutes. I then went to blow dry my hair and the blow dryer would not work. Great!! I had not turned any lights on yet, so I tried one in the bedroom. It worked, so I just moved my blow dryer to another outlet. It worked!! Yea!!  It took the boys a few minutes, but they cooperated. They all quickly dressed and ate a little something. In the meantime, Lucy called to say that she accidentally slept in. I said that was great. We were running 10 minutes behind. We hurried out the door at 10:30, caught the electric train, and got off at the second bus stop after the bridge.  We waited there for Lucy. She and her mom came. It was cold and Heather had a short dress on, short sleeves with short socks and bare legs. She insisted that she was not cold. We were glad that Lucy had a sweater she had borrowed from a friend and was planning on returning it at church. Heather wore it instead of it being returned. The climate here is a little bit like western Oregon and Washington.

Lucy, Anne & Galina (Lucy's Mom)

Church meetings were wonderful.  The testimonies that the members bore of the Savior and the gospel were beautiful. I am so grateful for the strength of the Ukrainian members. In Sunday school we talked about baptism and in Relief Society we talked about sharing the gospel. Then most of the sisters shared how they heard about the gospel. I really enjoyed it. Hyrum and Heather went to primary. All the children were quite a bit younger than these two. They really enjoyed it. Hyrum then went with Jonathon and two of the missionaries to have an Aaronic priesthood lesson. Lucy’s friend came up to her after church and said that Hyrum used some pretty bad words in primary today. Lucy said, she knows they do. That is what they have been around in the orphanage. They will not be learning English replacements, so that problem should be taken care of. Heather does not use any of the bad words, but they are part of both of the boys’ vocabulary. I never know what they are saying, so I never react when they say bad words. We have talked with them several times. Bad habits are hard to break, but with a new language, we should be good.

We walked around the block to try to get the soccer ball that the boys kicked over the fence yesterday. It still looked like the people were not home and the German shepherd kept walking around the outside of the house. I suggested that we go to the neighbors to get a phone number for the people. I called Lucy, who was still at the church, but she was still visiting with friends and missionaries, so she said we can try that later.

Do I look tired or what?!Lucy's Papa and Mama

We walked back to the church to retrieve Lucy. It was a bit chilly and starting to rain just a bit. We walked to Lucy’s parents’ apartment. Lucy’s mom made us the MOST delicious green borsch. She grows her own sorrel. It was sooooo yummy. I am hoping to get the general recipe idea. She doesn’t really use a recipe, so I will be doing good to get a list of ingredients and their approximate proportions. We then had a macaroni dish made with small macaroni shells and bits of vegies. Lucy’s mother does not salt things. It was a tasty dish, but I probably would have added a dash of salt. That says a lot about her cooking if she can make really tasty food with no salt or very little salt. We had some yummy dill pickles along with some pickled tomatoes. After our food settled a bit, she opened one of her the jars of apricots she had canned last summer. She poured me some of the thick syruping water. She barely added any sugar to the bottle when she made it. It was so tasty. The apricots had their pits in them still. They were also very good. I need to figure out how to can like that.

Heather swinging on Sunday

The children all went down to play. Jonathon came up shortly saying it wasn’t any fun without a soccer ball. I checked out the window on Hyrum and Heather for me. At one point he comes running to the kitchen saying that their soccer ball is back. We all could not figure out how the soccer ball came here. He was so excited he could hardly get his Sunday on he feet. Five minutes later Lucy’s dad came into the apartment. That explained how the soccer ball return all the way over here from where it was lost. He didn’t tell us how he got it. They seemed a bit astonished that we had spent 110 grivna ($14) on the ball. The boys were exstatic and played for the next two hours. I had Heather come in because it was too cold. Lucy found some striped tights that her brother had given her but were too small for her. She put those on. She worked with Lucy’s mom for a bit and made a little decoration out of some leaves and small apples. She then went back out to play. Lucy’s parents looked at our photo album. I had already looked through it with Lucy and her mom. Lucy’s mom was so amazed that I could have so many children and that we could have a nice house with a big yard.

Hyrum & Jonathon playing soccer in their Sunday clothes

Tony called. I talked to him while Lucy worked with her dad on the computer and uploading my photos to it. We decided to head back home.

We got on a different bus that took us all the way around town and then to our stop in 20 minutes time. As we went over a speed bump, Lucy asked me what we call those things. I told her. She said that they call them “lying down policemen.” I think that is pretty funny. Some people in Ukraine did not think it was so funny at first, because they imagined real policemen lying in the road. On the bus, we sat on the very back seat so that Lucy could point out tome of the things we were passing. Every time we hit any kind of bump, lump or hole in the road, we really bounced. The missionaries used to call the back rows of the bus the roller coaster ride. We finished up our roller coaster ride around 8:00 when we arrived at our bus stop.

Lucy walked to our apartment, called the landlady about the gas and hot water problem, and then left for a friend’s apartment. I had purchased some small notebooks for the children last night at the market, so I had them practice writing their names again. They also practiced writing bananas, grapes, purple plums, and other words. They also wrote sentences like. “Do you like to eat bananas?” “Yes, I like to eat bananas” “Do you like to play soccer?” “Yes, I like to play soccer.” And so forth. I really felt like they were beginning to understand a little of what they were saying and writing. Yea! We decided to have a yogurt snack. When I opened the fridge, I discovered that it was no longer on and the food was not cold. It was probably not working this morning either, but I did not notice since the children got something to eat by themselves and I was fasting. It must be on the same circuit breaker as the outlet I was trying to use for my blow dryer this morning that did not work. We moved all the food to the balcony window sill in hopes of keeping it cooler. One more thing to talk to the landlord about. 

Lucy returned just in time to read scriptures with us. Jonathon said prayer for us after much encouragement. I tried to blog for a few minutes, but decided to go to bed instead.

Congratulations to anyone that finished reading this blog. It was not very exciting, but it will be fun for the children and I to look back to someday.

New Note: Okay, I have now heard how Lucy’s dad got the ball. He found a VERY long stick that he used to stick through the fence to bang on the door of the house. We were unable to get to the door because of the BIG German shephard dog. The man opened his door. Lucy’s dad explained the situation and was eventually able to retrieve the ball.

3 Responses to “Day 16 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine”
  1. Wendy says:

    I read….the whole thing!
    Made my head hurt to think about your cold morning wash!
    We had some canned strawberries with syrup that was amazing. If you figure out their canning secrets….do share!

  2. Erica Michaelis says:

    I’ve been reading every word! 🙂 What a nice/fun little trip you guys had! Thanks for posting about it all. I love seeing the pictures and hearing about all your adventures. Have a great couple of days and we’ll see you on Friday! What time do you come in, by the way?

  3. Stephanie Holbrook says:

    You are a great blogger, Anne. It’s so fun to read about all of your adventures and all the things you are working on with the kids. The whole incident with the circuit breaker and no hot water sounds pretty crummy. Hopefully it is fixed by now and you are back in business with some hot water:)

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