Chernobyl Museum

Posted by Amanda on March 17th, 2008

 We had a great day Saturday, although unfortunately I have no pictures to document it.  We forgot to take the camera.  You can see the new photo gallery Darryl added on the left sidebar.  If you click on photo gallery, it may not work the first time, but it will work the second time.

I brought a couple of babysitters home with me from enrichment on Saturday morning.  At their recommendation, Darryl and I went to the Chernobyl Museum.  First we walked around that area of the city for an hour.  Not intentionally, we just couldn’t find it!  But we finally did, and now we’re not sure how we missed it in the first place.  It cost a whopping $1 to get in for each of us.  There was a tour that had just started, with a guide in Russian (or it could have been Ukrainian) and English.

It was very interesting, but I’m sure I won’t be able to write or remember everything.  So here are a couple of particular things I remember. 

In order to cover the reactor, they brought 15,000 young men to each give 2 minutes of work.  In exchange they would not have to serve the regular 2 year requirement in the army.  However, they weren’t told what exactly they were doing, that they would get radiation, etc.  So there were pictures of these guys joking and having fun. 

No one was told what happend until a few days after, in a very short, very vague statement that appeared in the newspaper, in small print at the bottom of the page.  Contrast that to the front page headline in the NY Times.

The government finally made a statement (the same found later in the newspaper), after Scandinavian countries reported abnormally high levels of radiation in their air. 

In the hallway of the musuem were many signs hanging from the ceiling.  They looked like big road signs or something.  I asked what they represented and the guide said they were all the names of towns and villages that no longer exist because of Chernobyl.  There were 76 in total.

Two or three days after the accident, people were told to evacuate.  There was a picture of an old woman carrying what she could with her:  an Easter cake and a cat. 

 I enjoyed seeing and hearing everything, and it made me eager to learn more about the subject. 

We went for hot chocolate afterwards.  I believe I have mentioned hot chocolate before, but I hadn’t had the real thing until now.  It is literally hot chocolate – like melted chocolate.  It is served in a glass with a spoon, and also a glass of water.  It was SO good!  I couldn’t even eat my whole thing, it was so rich (and things are rarely rich to me).  Darryl got dark and white chocolate, and I got mint chocolate.  Oh, chocolate will never be the same after living here.  Even the hot chocolate mix is richer, and I even mix it with more milk than the package says.