Big Day

 Today was a significant day for us in so many ways.  We rode the Metro (subway), we rode on a Ukraine bus, we got to see Ilya again, and we lugged too many groceries home at the end of a long day!

We met the Ritzman family and another adoptive family down in Maidan (my-don) Square, near the entrance to the subway.  We had a little meeting and the Ritzman’s filled us in on how it works and we developed a game plan.  You may be thinking “They’re just hopping on the train, what’s the big deal?” But I’m telling you, we are so grateful for them breaking us in and giving us good advice for our first ride.  As soon as we got done purchasing our tokens, we were kind of swept up into a whirlwind until sometime later, maybe on the bus, when we caught our breath!  Because our kids outnumber us, we needed a plan to hang onto everyone and not have someone get lost in the shuffle.  Dave took charge of Olivia and it was such a good thing!  He is a very experienced Metro rider at this point and it made sense for him to have the most active kid in the bunch.  He made a friend for life, and guided her with such wisdom.  I hung onto Katie, and the rest of the kids were divvied up between the 3 families.  We went through the turnstiles, rounded the corner, and came upon the longest, steepest escalator we have ever seen in our lives!  It took us deep into the ground at a good clip and it took several minutes!  It was an amazing and daunting experience.  Should someone happen to fall, they would knock down dozens of people like dominos!  The other remarkable thing about this was looking across at the people traveling in the opposite direction.  The people going up appear to be leaning way forward, and the people headed down appear to be leaned way backward!  I don’t know if it’s an optical illusion, or a physics thing, or maybe both.  It was one of the most bizarre experiences of our lives.  I’m going to try to take a photo when we are on there again.  When we got off the escalator, we had to board the train quickly and then it took off immediately and if it weren’t for the guy I literally grabbed onto, I would have been thrown to the back of the car!  We were lucky enough to get seats and we sat down as quickly as we could.  It was a lightning fast ride into the darkness!  We think we rode about 20 minutes, and then got off, and went up the stairs to street level.  We only came back up a short way to be at street level, so the train must ascend along the way.  We reached the bus stop, regrouped our crew, and boarded the bus – all 13 of us!  We really know how to overtake public transportation.  We were also blessed to get seats on the bus, as we’ve heard that many times you have to stand.  We rode the bus for another 30 minutes or so and then piled off in Novosilky where the orphanage is located.  It is a walk of a few short blocks to the orphanage from there.

Once again, we were greeted by a smiling, hugging Ilya.  It was great to see him again, especially after such a short visit the day before.  We had a GREAT time hanging out with him, playing games, and laughing.  After a while, we were gently reprimanded by a caregiver saying that we were too loud, so we decided to go outside.  While our Minnesota friends back home are enjoying springy weather in the 60’s, it has been quite chilly in Ukraine!  The temp was in the 40’s with a stiff wind and only intermittent sunshine.  But it was still fun to watch our kids run around outside and enjoy playing together. 

We stayed at the orphanage for about 3 ½ hours on this day and hit the market on the way back to the bus.  We really liked this market and found a few too many things and overloaded our bags.  One of the things I have been waiting to see in a grocery store is refrigerated eggs.  Well, I bought a pack of 20!  We broke about 8 on the way home, but 6 of them were salvageable, so we enjoyed some tasty scrambled eggs for supper that night!  When life gives you broken eggs, make an omelet! 

*We had internet problems again and had no internet service for about 24 hours, so I am finishing this post on Monday evening.  We miss having reliable internet.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Dave Ritzman
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 14:13:56

    You guys are Kyiv transportation “pros.” Remember, to teach the generations to come ;-)’


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