Sunday, May 13, 2007

Engleeskee in Ukraine

Cars have the right-of-way

A 'Babushka' with friend

Quickie Mart

Today I bought a souvenir made of wood, and asked the Ukrainian craftsman if I should oil it – he and I did quite a pantomime to communicate. It ended in the 6’4” 250 # guy sticking his elbows out flapping his hands near his ribs and buzzing around in the square like a bee – ahhh beeswax! Trying (with varying degrees of success) to speak Ukrainian has opened a few doors and connected us a little more to the people.

The other night for dinner, sig and I went to a Czech restaurant for a change of pace, and sat in the outdoor cafй in a 4-seat table nearer the street. Just a few minutes later, a group of 4 older Ukrainian businessmen came in to a cafй with only (2) 2-seat tables left, each near a post. So sig and I got up pointed to them and the table, “pajowlsta” (please) and that started an evening-long friendship. I was the benefactor of lots of hand kissing, sig got pats on the shoulder and handshakes. At first they thought we were german, and we all spoke a few please & thank you’s in german, then I said, no usa – but when that didn’t get a reaction I realized in Cyrillic we’d probably be YCA if that was even the right order, so the next time they toasted us – I said we’re American. Ahhhhh - americanskee! Bush! Well, whatever countries we were all from, it was a very fun exchange, from hello thru goodbye.

Friday nite we were able to meet up with a couple who’s working with our same team of Victoria and Alex. They were on their way back from their region and flying back home on Saturday. It was very helpful info and generous of them (thanks if you’re reading!!!) to spend their last nite in kiev with us. They shared their wonderful story and we were able to meet their terrific new 6-year-old daughter (who was their 2nd referral). Their son Daniel was enjoying being a big brother and his sister was teaching him counting numbers in Ukrainian – they were at 14 when we left. Besides language, the only other way we could tell she wasn’t an American kid was that while we were there, she said ok, she was tired and going to bed – she went into the bedroom, lights out and went to bed:) It was great to meet them all and I hope we have just as happy a story to tell at the end of our journey.

We’re still hoping for our 2nd appt early this week.

Happy mother’s day! Bucky – happy b-day Monday and lori happy b-day tues! And thanks thanks thanks for the wonderful posts! it's so helpful to know you're there and love the comments!!
Xo beth and sig


Shari said...

Happy Mother's Day to you Beth!! This one will be memorable one for you and Sig and I am sure! It sounds like there are some wonderful people in your travels. Best of luck for the next coming days :) Shari

Akyte said...

Happy Mother's Day!!!!! We are all wishing you the best of luck!!!

kcflemming said...

Hi Beth... and Sig...
We are enjoying your journals- we left a message 1 day earlier, but it was meant to be a "Mother's Day" posting. Oh well. Cheers & Best Wishes to the 2 of you.
The Flemmings
Peter, Kelly, Carson and Quinn

Shelley Uhler said...

Beth, that's all well and good, and you had me laughing reading about your pantomime, but where in the heck do you get beeswax in Americaskee? (Good thing your dad is who he is.)Shelley

Andrea said...

Happy belated Mother's Day Beth. Sig thanks for calling on Sunday, got your message after we came back from graduation. Good luck. Andrea

Laura said...

Happy belated mother's day, Beth. I was laughing out loud at the beeswax pantomine. What an adventure! We are looking forward to having Ethan over today. Caroline is already planning his day (it has something to do with princesses) -- poor Ethan! :)