It was another beautiful day in Kiev today. 30 Degrees. We did some more touring today. We went shopping for some souvenirs on St.Andrews Hill near the adoption centre. We couldn't buy too many though...they are very expensive. We want to make sure we don't run out of money while we're here.
We also visited the WW II memorial. It was amazing. Everyone in Ukraine knows about their history. Every war, every battle, every date. Life has been very difficult for this country for a long time. We are getting more of an understanding of why there is so much poverty and so many orphans. It's heartbreaking. Now we can see why nobody wants to smile.
We found out how to get aquainted with Ukrainians very quickly today....take a public bus!! My goodness. We hopped onto a bus and I felt I might get trampled! People squish on the bus like sardines in a can! I was up against other people's body parts that I did not want to be!!! And the smell.....not so great! We managed to live through 2 bus rides and 2 underground train rides today. Public transportation is very cheap. All 4 rides today for the 3 of us cost 6 gryvnas...or $1.29 USD. Amazing, eh? Although I'd have to say you get what you pay for.
Another strange Ukraine fact....people drink liquor all over the place. Many people can be seen walking down the street drinking beers. It is totally legal. Cigarettes are sold on the street. Very different.
There are shopping malls here. They are all underground. Some of them are quite nice. I was surprised to see how much stuff is available here. Not all cities will be like this, but Kiev is quite modern. We were in a "beauty store" yesterday. Very similar to a drugstore, but with no drugs. Here we were able to purchase anything we would need...shampoo, soap, deodarant, etc. All the same brands we have at home. The only thing quite different here is toilet paper. We could not find any white TP. It is all brown or peach colored. And no nice 2 ply either. We brought one roll from home, but it's almost gone. :(
Another thing we learned today...our washing machine is also a dryer!! Ya! 2 in 1! Once your clothes go through the wash cycle, you just turn it to dry. We always thought there were no dryers here.
Well, this may be our last post for a day or 2. We have to be out of our apartment by noon tomorrow. Then we will do a little more touring. We have hired a driver for tomorrow. Then at 7 pm we should be leaving on a train for Donetsk. We have not been able to get train tickets yet, so we are keeping our fingers crossed. Please pray! The train will be an overnight ride. Our facilitator says it is about 12 hours to Donetsk. Then we will go visit the little boy on Tuesday.
So long for now. Keep sending your comments and emails! We will catch up in a couple of days.
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