Slow Final Sunday in Ukraine

We had absolutely no schedule today, so we took advantage of it by easing into the morning, coasting through mid-day, slacking in the afternoon, and slowing down a bit in the evening. The day started with Five-Minute Church. This is a take-off from Fifteen-Minute School for Nathan. Fifteen-Minute School is a short period of time he spends writing and drawing pictures in his bound notebook of various memories of Ukraine. Five-Minute Church this morning compared the adoption story we find in Ephesians 1:4-6 and relating it to Nathan’s adoption into our family. Repenting and putting faith in Christ forever admits you by adoption into God’s family. Nathan is forever in our family. I forgot to bring my Bible from home, so I found an online version that had several to choose from including NIV and Ukrainian. As a result, I was able to show him the verse in Ukrainian and explain what it meant using Google translator. After that, I was able to catch up on Pastor David’s message about fasting from last week (Renovation Church). There are a few positive things about technology.

Nathan and I went to the Home Cooking cafeteria after helping Jeanne and Jason find the unfortunately closed souvenir shop on Khreschatik that Jill visited in April. I have been watching Nathan’s food choices carefully so that I may be able to replicate some favorites back home. Today wasn’t favorable because he wasn’t as excited as I had hoped and he only chose verenkys (forgive the poor spelling) filled with quite an assortment of things. I am only familiar with ones filled with simple cheese or meat, so that will require a bit more investigation. After lunch, we looked in the windows of the Aston Martin dealership before heading over to a bookstore behind the National Opera House to buy a Ukrainian Bible.

We arrived back at the apartment and picked up Jason Ritzman for a trip to the park. But first, Nathan decided he absolutely must have a pair of sunglasses exactly like Jason’s. So, another trip back to Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), 50 grivnas at the street vendor’s kiosk, and then back to the park. While I was watching the boys decide what to do, a group of thugs ran into the park and looked for a place to hide. They had something with them, so I decided they had stolen something from the kiosks over near St. Michaels’ church. I quickly laid eyes on the boys to make sure they were safe from these ruffians. They left in a hurry, no doubt convinced the police were after them. Then, another group of thugs ran into the park acting exactly the same way. This time, however, I noticed the “thugs” had ID cards with a lanyard around their neck. And, they had pieces of paper with maps on them, and they were strangely examining the benches. OK, Dad, calm down – this is nothing but a scavenger hunt! My, we have an active imagination!

A call for ice cream was made by the boys, so we wandered over to the ice cream kiosk behind St. Michael’s. I abstained, but the boys enjoyed what looked to be some sort of jelly-filled cold treat. In any case, the “angel” on stilts was entertaining. Then, some guy with a tame pigeon approached Nathan and wanted Dad to take a picture. The scam radar went up right away, and I told him no. By this time, Nathan was signed-on, so I relented and asked, “how much?” It was only 10 grivnas I was told, so OK, I’ll take the picture. Jason wanted in on the action, and I was assured the price only went up to 14 grivnas. That sounds pretty good, so I took that picture too. Now birdman’s friend shows up with more birds and more reasons to take more pictures. I put my foot down and said we were done and oh, by the way, that will be 40 grivnas. I kept saying “nyet” and tried to hand the first birdman 10 grivnas as I was trying to free up a hand to get another 5. He wouldn’t take it and finally I just grabbed the 15 and gave it to him. The Russian was still going back and forth and I stayed firm with my “nyet.” I finally gave him another 5 or 6 and made it clear that was all that was coming out of the wallet. They realized it and left, and so did we. Forty grivnas is only $5, but it was the gall of the scam that ticked me off.

We came back home and Jason and Nathan played some computer games until it was time to go for him. Nathan and I puttered around until Mac-N-Cheese supper time. Then Skype with the Minnesota family and then bed. Not a bad day for nothing to do!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dave
    May 15, 2011 @ 22:06:50

    Great seeing the boys enjoying their friendship, freedom and finall days in Kyiv (for awhile). Thanks Bruce for my son in your day as well as sharing your Sunday. Looking forward to seeing everyone at MSP in six days.


    • motorcyclemama5
      May 16, 2011 @ 00:13:22

      Yes, Dave, party at MSP on Saturday night!! What a happy day that will be for both of our families! See you SOON! 6 more days! Yay! : )

      P.S. I must say again how grateful we are to have your son in our son’s life. He is an awesome friend for life. Sad circumstances brought them together. Happy circumstances will keep them together!


  2. motorcyclemama5
    May 16, 2011 @ 00:03:16

    Good stuff, Bruce. Thanks for an awesome post! I laughed out loud multiple times and I absolutely love the pictures. I suppose there’s room in this family for two authors. : ) I have a request for a “Dad & Me” photo shoot. I don’t recall seeing any of you and Nathan together. Do some self-portraits of the two of you around town. I think my favorite out of this post was the one of the cool boys in their shades with the city as a backdrop. : )


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