Archive for the 'Kyiv Adventures' Category

Sheets

Posted by Amanda on September 14th, 2009

Another Ukraine thing that I want to remember (actually that I can’t forget right now):  Sheets.

When we got to Ukraine I was disturbed that the bedding included only a flat sheet, no fitted sheet.  So you lay the flat sheet on the mattress and lay on that, then your blankets or comforter or whatever over that.  It drove me crazy!  For two reasons.  First of all, the flat sheet is not big enough to be tucked into the mattress, so it never stays in place.  So annoying.  Second, it just made me cringe to have my covers right on my body.  I need a sheet in between! 

21 months of suffering, dreaming of American bedding.  And guess what?  The fitted sheet is great, but the flat sheet is just getting in my way now.  I don’t need it!  I don’t even want it!  We actually left it off our bed for several weeks.  Now we’re trying to get used to it again, but it is just getting in the way.  Oh, well.

Moms at the Park

Posted by Amanda on September 14th, 2009

Several weeks ago I was at the park with the kids and observed the difference between moms in the US and moms in Ukraine.

Moms at the park in the US:  half were wearing work-out clothes, hair pulled back, and looked like they worked out a lot (not just slender, but strong).  The other half were wearing regular clothes (casual).  We (the moms) sat on the side of the sandbox and our kids sat in the sand.

Moms at the park in Ukraine:  99% wearing 3 inch heels, very nice clothing, makeup on, hair done.  Women in Ukraine would not leave the house without looking their very best (in many ways I admire that), and that definitely includes not wearing work out clothes.  At one time I thought they just always wore really nice clothes.  What about taking care of their kids at home?  What about spit up and stuff?  Then I realized that inside the home they wear veyr casual, comfortable clothes.  They are very skinny but I don’t think very many work out.  And they would never sit down on any kind of pavement, or sand.  Or anything but a bench.  It makes you sterile, they believe.  I’m living proof that is a myth.

Farewell

Posted by Amanda on May 29th, 2009

There are lots of things to post about.  We had some internet problems, so I still need to catch up on our trip to Chernivtsi (a city in southwestern Ukraine very close to the Romanian border), Babi Yar (a site in Kyiv where thousands of Jews and Ukrainians were killed during WWII), and Amelia’s 2nd birthday.

But I decided I should write about some of my “leaving Kyiv” feelings before I forget them.  In a word, I am sad to leave.  I recall during the fall of 2007, hoping I could survive, and one night soon after we came when Darryl was in Moscow, I literally cried myself to sleep.  Now I find myself wishing we could stay longer.  There are a lot of things I will miss, and I am bracing myself for some major reverse culture shock.

As much as I wished we had a car to drive to church every Sunday, I think driving around everywhere and traffic are going to be a pain.  Mostly putting 3 kids in carseats will be a pain.  I’m sure Amelia has no recollection of such a thing.

I know we’ve mentioned the bread we like so much.  I just love the warm, fresh loaves we get from the bread kiosk.  About 11am is the time bread is delivered.  If you go shopping too early in the morning, you’ll get yesterdays bread.  I will miss that delicious bread.  But I look forward to wheat bread.

I’m used to grocery shopping 3-4 times a week.  Its just part of what we do.  We go shopping for a few things and then play outside.  Trying to get everything in one trip for the whole week sounds kind of weird now.  A car will help with that, though.

I will really miss shopping at and just walking around the open market.  I have never gotten tired of just looking at everything.  All the fruit and vegetable vendors.  The ladies that I usually buy from.  They know we always get bananas, and if I don’t have all three kids, they ask where they are.  Even the kid who sells raisins that gets all excited when we come.  Then the rows and rows of other products and little stores.  I love that I know our market.  I know the areas of cheese, ham, kids clothes/shoes, household goods, candy, etc.

Even though I learned a small fraction of what I wanted to of Russian, I will miss at least understanding/using what I do know.  And I realized I haven’t heard any swear words around me, since I don’t understand what people are saying.

I also actually enjoy hanging the wet clothes on the drying rack on the balcony.  It’s kind of cool becauase I can just leave them there.  Especially in the winter, they have to dry for a few days and I don’t have to feel guilty of not putting them away.  It will be weird to have a dryer again.  But I’m looking forward to having a dishwasher.

One thing I admire about Ukrainians is the value they place on children/babies.  On the bus or metro if I have a child with me, someone immediately pops up so that I can sit down with my baby.  They help my kids on stairs.  Ladies are always commenting on and to my girls.

One of our favorite things here has been our branch at church.  We have made friends with some wonderful people and it is hard to leave them.  The senior missionary couples have been some of our favorites.  We will miss them and they will miss Daniel!  A couple of the senior elders love holding Daniel to remind them of their grandchildren.  And the temple architect and his family have been in our branch for the past 9 months.  He has worked on temples for 20 years, I think?  That means the Prophet and others of the Brethren meet with him while the temple is being built and he gives them tours, etc.  Darryl says he has great stories in Elders Quorum.

And the Ukrianian church members we have been privileged to know in our branch and the stake here.  Recalling my missionary experience in Romania 10 years ago, I thought I could be an example to the members here.  Guess again.  There are so many amazing church members here.  It is obvious why a temple is going to be built here.  If I ever get around to it I should post about some of these members, and the stories I have heard from them.  Truly amazing.

Fashion

Posted by Amanda on April 25th, 2009

I have wanted to write about fashion here, but I am not the best writer, describer, etc. so I didn’t know if I could do it justice.  But on the bus home from enrichment this morning I had an experience that I just had to share. 

I am used to people staring at me.  Even without two or three kids with me, people stare at me a lot.  I suppose its a combination of my white coat (there are VERY few white coats here), lack of a big, gawdy purse, my jeans that are not skin tight (meaning how in the world will that girl get those jeans off her legs, they might be painted on), my boots or other shoes that don’t have three inch heels.  So fashion-wise, I don’t really fit in, here. 

This morning on the bus I caught a girl staring at me.  She looked at my head/face, then her eyes wandered down to my shoes, and back up to my face.  I stared back at her, and I will attempt to describe what she was wearing.  She had a black cap on, with black and silver sequins on it, a mustard colored coat with black polka dots.  It was fitted, but poofed a little at the bottom, which was just below her behind.  She had black leggings on with a shiny silver stripe down the outside of the leg.  And I could see hanging under her coat was a long sweater, kind of shiny and auburn colored.  And she had a large, shiny, hot pink purse.  I’m just now realizing that I didn’t even look at her shoes.  I was a little distracted…  I wished I had a camera.

One thing I admire about fashion here is that people always try to look their best.  Except in the comfort of their own home, which I don’t know much about, but have heard from others – the take off their nice clothes and lounge around in sweats or whatever.  But when someone goes out of the house, they really make sure to look nice.  I think back home people are a little too casual sometimes, resulting in sloppiness.  People here are not sloppy in their dress.  Only homeless people, who have a good excuse.