Ordinary Day

Not that being in Europe and having my husband and kids home all day is ordinary in any way, but it really was a rather “normal” day.  I finally got a decent amount of sleep, which made starting the day much easier.  We didn’t have anywhere in particular that we needed to be, so it was low-key.

I did officially start educating the kids today with some goals in mind.  I’m hoping to be in a pretty good routine by the end of the week.  The kids are all excited to start working on Russian, but I am kind of holding off before getting too serious until next week.  Our school back home will be doing two weeks of “Concentrated Study” starting next week.  The entire school will be studying Ecuador.  We will be studying Ukraine and mostly Russian language.  Ukrainian is the official language of Ukraine.  The government uses Ukrainian for its functions and the signs are written in Ukrainian.  But it is most useful for us to learn Russian, because everyone here knows Russian.  Not everyone knows/understands Ukrainian.

We saw a park from afar the other day.  Today, we ventured over there and discovered a nice playground for the kids.  So after having school in the morning, we had lunch and then went to the park for some exercise and fresh air.  The kids had a blast (even Brian who initially said it was boring and felt too old) and burned off some steam.  So that was a great find.  We bought a map of Kyiv yesterday and have made all kinds of discoveries.  This will be very helpful in the coming days as we venture further out on our own.

The highlight of my day was a successful brief conversation with one of the ladies that works in a small office near the entrance to our building.  I did a little studying ahead of time, mustered up some courage and said to her in Russian “Dobrey dien.  Pahzhaloosta… gdyeh gahstrahnohm?”  (Good day.  Please…  where is grocery [store]?)  To which she replied a whole bunch of words in Russian with hand signals directing me.  I said “Great! Dah! Spaceeba!” and motioned to Bruce and said “Let’s go!”  Bruce followed none of what she said and asked me if I understood.  I said “Yes!  Perfectly!”  I caught the word “opera” in Russian and understood where she was directing us from there.  The Opera House is right across the street from our apartment.  So I was thrilled to have effectively communicated what we needed to her and equally thrilled that I understood where she told me to go.  I was almost skipping down the street after that exchange!  It is amazing how you can go from being fearful of trying to abundantly confident after a little success!  It gives you the courage to try it again.  So I was in my Russian language workbook tonight quite motivated to dig in.

After we left the park/playground, we found the store I had asked about and bought some things for dinner and beyond:  milk, cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers, some sausage, more bread, bananas, and a little chocolate.  We made it through that experience pretty well, but it was a little stressful internally because the shop was small, there are 6 of us, and it takes us longer than your average customer.  We were glad to be done and on our way.  We made one more stop on the way home at a tiny little flower shop.  Stephanie and I went in while the others waited and we picked out some cute little flowers (African violet?) to brighten up our temporary home.  Just what our little table needed!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mom Judy
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 16:06:01

    It is so good to follow your days. It helps ease my mind. So glad Bruce told me about this. Love to you all Mom


    • motorcyclemama5
      Apr 06, 2011 @ 05:32:15

      Hi Mom Judy!

      So glad that you’ve found us in the blog world. : ) We are so happy to have you along for the ride. Things are going very well and we are safe and sound. Don’t worry.

      Love you! Jill & All


  2. The McEacherns
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 20:39:03

    If you’re right by the Opera House, then you’re also right by Taras SHevchenko Park, as well as the museum about his life and art. (Google him.) The museum is cheap and has English translations, so it might be a good thing to do with your kids if you’re going to study Ukraine. The WWII Museum is awesome, too, but it’s further from you. Happy adventuring!


    • motorcyclemama5
      Apr 06, 2011 @ 09:29:22

      Yes, that is the park we went to yesterday! And yes, the museum would be very good as part of our “concentrated study.” Thanks for the suggestion. As for the WWII museum, that was on our list before arriving in Ukraine. We also want to visit an aviation museum that is very near our boy’s orphanage. We are having fun with both schooling and touring a bit, but at this point, we haven’t been beyond Maidan Square!


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