Planes, Trains and Automobiles

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in Ukraine for over 48 hours. Maybe because this is my first time sitting on a real bed since being here– or maybe because I feel like we’ve already been all over Ukraine.

image3 (1)We went directly from the airport to the train station. Fortunately, we had time to stop at Puzata Hata, a Ukrainian style cafeteria and we got to have dinner. I got my two favorite Ukrainian foods– cabbage salad and varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings, like pierogies).

Then, we headed across the street to the train station. This was a little side trip for some P143 business. We had an overnight train to a different region. It brought back memories of when we took the overnight train to meet Reed and Lena for the first time. However, this time, I was much more relaxed, not too surprising!

The train is just an adventure. I woke up around 5am and couldn’t go back to sleep. The sun was starting to rise, so I enjoyed watching the Ukrainian countryside go by.
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Our day was spent in meetings, sharing about hosting with important officials, and the best part– a bit of time spent with kids! I love the opportunity to get to know the kids and give them a bit of attention. All of the kids we met are on the P143 photolisting. I hope to share a little bit more about them to advocate for them in the future. There are a set of brothers, ages 14 and 12, who I am particularly rooting for. If you might be interested in hosting these great brothers, please let me know.

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The younger brother, drawing pictures for both Aaron and me.

image2 (2)After visiting with the kids, we took the overnight train back to Kyiv. This time, we shared a second class cabin with the facilitator who joined us on this trip. A second class cabin has two sets of bunks, so a total of four beds. We had this type of cabin when we returned to Kyiv from Donetsk, with Reed and Lena. Again, lots of memories.

When we arrived back in Kyiv, we had some time to kill before Oksana, our facilitator, would pick us up, so we hung out around the train station. It’s a gorgeous building, so I was eager to take photos.

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The beautiful train station.
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Outside of the train stations, there are all of these people yelling out city names to sell you bus tickets if you happen to miss your train. Oksana said that these buses don’t really have tickets that you purchase ahead of time, so i’m not sure how this works.
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Schedule of trains.
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The train station combines beauty with purpose. It’s a gorgeous building.
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Outside the train station, you have options for food– McDonalds or McFoxy. We were warned not to try McFoxy unless we are in a big hurry and McDonalds is busy.

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We had enough time between Oksana picking us up and our driver arriving to take us to Lyuda’s region that we could nap and shower at Oksana’s house. It was so kind of her to let us do this!

image1On the way to Lyuda’s region, we stopped by N’s orphanage. We wanted to drop in and give her a hug, mostly just to let her know that we’re still thinking of her. Unfortunately, she was not at the school, as she was sick. We still got a tour of her orphanage, which is very nice. We also got to see her friend, S, who we met over summer hosting. S was shy, but walked around the orphanage with us.

After a quick lunch stop, we finished the 5 hour drive to Lyuda’s orphanage. We had many gifts for the children there, from their host families and/or soon-to-be adoptive families. I felt a little bit like Santa, with big boxes for them!
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Lyuda was happy to see us. She is ready for court, even when our facilitator listed off the type of questions she will be asked, Lyuda just insisted that yes, she is ready. Good, so are we!
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So, tomorrow will be court. About 2:30AM Eastern time. Please pray that it all goes smoothly.
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5 thoughts on “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”

  1. So, sometime slightly before noon local time, which means in the morning Gmt+1..or not..? Trying to think, but I guess I’ll just keep you in my thoughts all day while at work! Hoping you will have a smooth day in court without any issues at all!!
    I am SO ENVIOUS of the possibility to host. I truly wish we could do it again but there isn’t a single organisation left in Sweden, ours was the very last.

  2. It’s great to hear how you’re doing! Lyuda looks so old and gorgeous in these photos!! I’ll be praying for a quick and easy time at court. The day is finally here!!!!

  3. From this host family, thanks for playing Santa! And it’s great to see a pic of our girl. Sorry to hear about court, I guess our Irish luck ran out. 😦

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