We Were There

It seems very strange to watch the events unfold in the world.  To take in, yet another country seeming to come undone, like a hanging string on a piece of clothing, pulled by accident until the garment reveals a gaping hole.  Moment by moment, there is something blowing up, or being blown up. 

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as if the world is on fire.  As if people are running around with torches, touching the flames down where it’s most likely to catch and burn out of control.  Of particular interest, to me anyway, is what’s happening in the Ukraine.  And that’s because I spent time there – twice – on mission trips.  Below are a few pictures I can share.  I have hundreds and it was hard to pick them out because truly, it is a beautiful country filled with beautiful people. 

Maybe that’s why Mr. Putin wants it back.  I can think simple, can’t I?

All of the churches?  The architecture and style is stunning.



Everyone is allowed full access to walk around, and enjoy them.  Me – seeming pretty happy I’m allowed to be there.


Street vendors.  You can buy a lot for a little bit of money.  The bald headed guy is our interpreter.



Honestly – we stuck out like obvious Americans.  Maybe it was my ever present water bottle.  IDK.  They said it was the SHOES.  (???)


The dog lady.  She was there every day.  Notice she has no shoes on…while the woman talking to her is in heels.  Actually, I noticed a LOT of women, usually younger, in heels, tripping along as if they had on tennis shoes.


No words.  Hubby (left) and Boyd Dixon.  Two of a kind.  Miss Ella seems breathless over them.


Our crew, and our hosts (lady in white pants and print top, was our hostess and her husband was taking our picture)  DSCF0020

Okay.  So, here is the infamous squatty potty.  If you have knee issues, ankle problems, or trouble balancing?  You and the ole squatty potty will likely have a close encounter you’d prefer NOT to have. Luckily, I was able to somehow manage just fine, thank you.  Can’t say the same for some of the rest.  Thank God for hand sanitizer.


Another beautiful church.DSCF0031


And another….DSCF0036

This is one fancy McDonald’s – on the streets in Kiev.  This is what makes the architecture in Europe stand out (IMHO)  They take buildings that are who knows how old…and put modern facades, and entrances, and lights, and whizz bang awnings/canopies on them.  Odd, but it works.DSCF0037

Independence Square, the square in what is known as the Upper Town, in Kiev.  Turns out this area has had nine different names in the past two hundred years.  It started off as Horse Square (according to Wiki) because of, well, because of horse trading.DSCF0052

A building in what used to be a Russian Youth Camp.  We were there to try and work on these buildings to convert them to a children’s home/orphanage.  For the street children – who spent much of their time huffing glue – or fighting, or stealing what they could to get drugs.DSCF0058

Me doing my part – playing a Rosie the Riveter.  Jennifer, Boyd’s wife, helping out.DSCF0098

Interesting sign of old times at the Russian Youth Camp.

All of this to say…we were there.  We were there and it seems very strange and surreal to me, now.  No telling what Independence Square looks like now after the protests that went on and on weeks ago, months ago really, with people camping out and doing what they had to to make their opinions known.  We were there, and I’m glad of it, although, it’s doubtful we’ll ever go again.  It’s different times now, for us here at home.  I’ll remember the kids though.  The gritty, rough, hardness of their lives.  The same can be said for their determination.  I know because I saw it, one day on a street in Kiev.  I saw it and I remember the face of the boy when he saw me looking.  And then, he flashed me the peace sign.

Peace…, indeed.

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