A senior missionary couple lives near us, and attends the local branch.  We saw them last week, and Sister Lackey invited me to come to the branch’s Women’s Day celebration on Saturday.  I avidly agreed.

I met them at the metro stop one away from our stop, and we walked 5 minutes to the building.  That was the first thing that made me want to attend this branch – it is so close!  We walked into the kitchen and I saw little slices of bread with mayonaise (or some kind of spread) and large, orange caviar eggs.  Later, the plate that was served to each woman also included a slice of bread with raw fish on it.  I never planned to eat it (and didn’t have to because I left early to entertain some dinner guests we were having), but I was actually delighted that it was served to me – what culture!

As we waited for things to get started, Sister Lackey showed me around the building and we met the members coming.  So many women – at least 20!  It was so fun to see all the Ukrainian members.  A couple of them spoke very good English, and many others could say a few words.  I tried to talk to some of them, and it was so much fun.  That is the kind of thing I need to really be able to learn Russian. 

Then the program started.  All the men filed in (there were 5 Ukrainians, 4 young missionaries, and one senior missionary).  The branch president talked about how wonderful women are (at least that’s what I was told), and then they sang some songs.  They gave each sister a flower.  Three of the men sang a song that to me seemed to be with different words they had written, appropriate for the occasion.  The women really got into this one – clapping to the beat, laughing, etc.  I couldn’t hardly understand a thing, but it was a lot of fun to watch everything. 

Then the children came out – 4 girls.  Each said a little poem or something, then they all sang a song together.  One girl (about 10 years old) did a belly dance!  I’m not really into that sort of thing, but I could tell she was very good.  Someone had painted pictures of 6 women (members of the branch), and we had to guess who they were.  They had a great time guessing, and again, it was so much fun to see everyone enjoying themselves so much.

 I was sad to have to leave before the activity was over.  I realized the experience I have had so far in Ukraine has not been exactly what I envisioned culturally.  Now that I’ve had a little taste, I want more!

3 Responses to “Women’s Day Part II”

What a fun get together for you and the rest of the women. I am glad that you had good time. You are a good friend too and I love you as well.

Women’s Day sounds really nice. I hope you get (and take) more opportunities to experience the Ukrainian culture now. It would be a such a shame to come back and feel unfilled from your time there.

Brad agrees with his mom, what happened to holidays being a time to spend with family, friends and other loved ones. Ahhh, a downside to working in retail. But perhaps if holidays were not so commercially charged here, retail would not be the busy place it is during those times.

Just as an aside- while we were reading the blog, Ryan pointed to the picture of you guys, said “Dada” for Darryl, “Mom” for you and “Ryan” for Kathryn and “baby” for Amelia. He is at that point now where most men are Dada and most women Mom. Even in his books, he almost always points out the men in the pictures and says Dada.

Wow, Women’s Day sounds like quite the celebration over there: Happy Women’s Day to you! The cultural experiences are so much fun to read. :) I love it!

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