Water Museum

Posted by Amanda on April 13th, 2008

I had heard from several people about the Water Museum in Kyiv. It sounded like a place Kathryn might enjoy, so I arranged to go there with a Ukrainian sister from our branch.  Besides showing me where the museum was and helping with language barriers, she helped with the girls a lot. I was so hot, tired, and sweaty when we got home. Two girls and a stroller on the metro, and stairs is not ideal. I thought, if I only had one child this would be so much easier. But the next day I took Kathryn to enrichment with me and we had a “pee-pee’s coming” experience half way home on the metro which resulted in me carrying Kathryn and running a lot and I was much hotter, tireder, and sweatier than the previous day with 2 girls. Anyway…

At the Water Museum we were able to get a guide that spoke English and seeing that we had Kathryn and Amelia, she asked if we would like to just go to the kid area instead of the 40 minute tour. I said a resounding “yes!”.

So we spent the better part of an hour feeding/looking at/touching fish, and playing with bubbles. Kathryn had a splendid time. I had been telling her for a few days that we were going to a “special place”, so it was cute to hear her talk about the “special place”. Amelia was clingy because she was missing a nap, but some cheerios cheered her up towards the end.

I had been told about the largest toilet in Ukraine (or maybe the world, I’m not sure), so I was expecting something much larger than this:

Golden Gate and other sites

Posted by Amanda on February 18th, 2008

After our wonderful dinner (see post below), we walked around a little bit.  I wanted to see the Golden Gate, but we saw a few things on our way.  First was a church (I think St. Andrews, because it is at the top of Andrivskiy Sputsk). 

After a few more minutes I realized where we were – very near where we had lived in our temporary apartments, our first three weeks here.  We think this building – the Minstry of Foreign Affairs – is beautiful.  I’m doing the sign for “cold”, because I was so cold.  Next to that building is another church, St. Michael’s.


Then we got to the Golden Gate, near the metro stop zoloti vorota, which apparently means “Golden Gate”.  It used to be the gate to enter the city, hundreds of years ago.  It is always interesting to me to see something that has been around for so long.  It looks just like a gate you would imagine that opens to a city surrounded by a wall.  Or the gate on  “ThePrincessBride” – “Fezzik, the portcullis!”


There happened to be a gelato place right there, so we had some extremely tasty ice cream.  Gelato can definitely fill the Cold Stone Creamery void while we’re here.

Valentine Celebration

Posted by Amanda on February 18th, 2008

Darryl got home from work about 8pm on Valentine’s Day.  He called to see if Kathryn was still up (which she was).  He walked in with a red heart balloon for her.  From the way she squealed and ran around with the balloon, he concluded it had been a good idea!  Darryl and I had already planned to go out to dinner Saturday night (but he also brought tulips and a chocolate candy bar for me.)  Later that evening Amelia took her first steps!  She took 2 and 3 steps, and has done so a few times each day since.  She was 2 days shy of being 9 months old. 

Saturday we had a couple of the ILP teachers come over to babysit.  Darryl had made a reservation at a restaurant recommended by one of the partners at KPMG.  He ended up eating there twice during the week for work things, before we went there!  So by then he could recommend it himself.

It is a French restaurant, very small (about the size of our living room), and is on Andrievskiy Sputsk, a very old street lined with souvenir vendors.  That street alone is on my list of places to go to in Kyiv.  I’m always glad Darryl speaks Russian, but the woman offered us English menus which was nice.  The partner that recommended the place mentioned that one reason it is so nice is there are no TVs in the restaurant.  Even Mcdonalds has 3 or 4 big TVs.  The only thing I would change is the smoking.  By the time we left it was getting to me, and when we got home my sweater was extremely smokey. 

While we were still discussing the menu, I saw the server bring out someone else’s food.  To me it looked like raw meat shaped into a hamburger (without bun), but with a raw egg on top.  I thought surely this was on its way to some oven at the other side of the restaurant.  Not so. 

We shared a salad – pretty much a novelty because lettuce is very expensive and bag salads are non-existent.  It was delicious and included duck meat.  I have to say I really like duck – I had it a few times in China.  I got a steak shashlik (shish-kabob) which was very tasty, and homemade puree (which is mashed potatoes).  We also had carpaccio as an appetizer.  It was quite tasty – especially when we sprinkled it with lemon juice.  The whole meal was very delicious, and just as nice was not having to feed Amelia, jump up for something for Kathryn, wipe up the spills, and especially do the dishes (by hand).


The Circus

Posted by Amanda on February 10th, 2008

On Saturday we went to the circus!  We had tickets for Darryl and I to take Kathryn to the circus.  However, Amelia has been sick and was still not well enough to be left with a babysitter.  After much discussion and persuasion, I was off to the circus with Kathryn.  I was able to find it fine, the travel was fine, and I enjoyed the show very much, so thank you Darryl for making me actually leave the house!   Some nice people at various times helped me get the stroller up and down stairs and escalators.  I actually understood them asking me if I needed help.  We changed lines on the metro, and made the 10-15 minute walk to the circus from the metro stop. 

We got to the circus and I immediately saw that we could/should check our coats.  I was hoping we could also leave our stroller there.  The first two places I approached, the lady started talking and pointing and so I kept going until someone took the stroller and our coats.  Then I had no idea how to find our seats, but we walked in and had an usher help us. 

We had been telling Kathryn all week that we would see elephants and lions and bears at the circus.  We got there and it was more like an ice skating show at the beginning.  They did circus-y type of things, but on ice skates!  I thought it was great.  I didn’t get a picture, but they had cats (like house cats) doing tricks.  The best one was doing a cat doing parallel bars like on gymnastics.  Not a gymnastics routine, but using its front two legs to go across.  It was fun to watch, but at intermisison Kathryn asked, “Where are the animals?” 


Finally out came some polar bears!  They were so huge, and looked so cuddly. 


I wondered if Kathryn would be able to sit and watch a two hour show.  She did like to climb on and off her chair, but I was very impressed that she was watching most of the time.  In fact, I liked watching her just as much as I liked watching the performers!  She was so cute, clapping and dancing to the music sometimes.