As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Driving in Ukraine

Driving is always an adventure in Ukraine, and the snow has brought new challenges. The nice 4 lane highway from Dnepropetroesk to Zaporozia that we drive the most, since the village is off it, has some places where it is only one lane because the snow is not removed, or more like one and a half mostly, so passing slow traffic and being passed by the fast black cars is a little scarey at times.

Garry has had a few exciting moments driving this week. Last Sunday we drove into Dnepropetrovsk to go to church in the fog, thinking that it would clear up by noon. Surprise it was even foggier when were driving home at 3 PM! I have included a few photos taken from the passenger seat to illustrate this post.
On Monday afternoon he drove in to the city to go to the bank and get the money so he and Viktor could drive to Kerzon and make the first payment on the barn building so they could start making it (it is supposed to be ready in a month) It was dark before he drove home and the road got icy, so he followed a salt truck most of the way on the highway. There have been a number of accidents and close calls in the last month in the spots where the 2 lanes suddenly become one, and some driver tried to pass, but were unable to see ahead. It has been warm and the snow is melting this week but these spots where the drifts have become as hard as dirt are still there, and a definite hazard. A white car flew by him at one point and a few miles up the road, there was the white car in the middle of the meridian on top of the snow. Cars in the other side of the road had run into each other in the confusion and traffic was stopped over there, but Garry could still get by to come home.
Tuesday the drive back from Kerzon was long, with two flat tires, from hitting potholes in the dark, and bending the rims. It wasn’t so bad in the daytime as they could see the holes coming and swerve around them, or slow down for the really bad sections of road. They got the first flat tire fixed at the little tire shop along the road at 9:30 at night, which was good, since they had to put it on an hour later. When Garry brought it into the shop on Wednesday (the sheena- montage, they put your tire together) the man took off the rim and announced it was square. Since they charge by the number of dents they bang out of the rim it was cheaper to get a new one.
On Wednesday Garry went into Dnepro to have a root canal done (and get the tires fixed) and saw another near accident. A transport truck tried to pass a semi just as the lane disappeared into the snow, Garry slowed down and watched as the truck hit the snow, lost control, but amazingly managed not to hit the semi and ended up on top of the bank of snow, tires spinning.
Thursday we went into the city to be guest English testers for a class and hit a bad hole on the highway near home. The tire was flat in the morning and Garry banged out the rim on his own, got the tire pumped up so we could head into the city Friday to go to the Bellamys for a delicious spaghetti dinner with them and the Porters who are very busy trying to get to see different members of the team here in Ukraine, in spite of the roads. They had a flat getting back to the city that day, as darkness fell.
We had a close call with a black Lexus SUV at one of those sudden merges because of snow when he flew around us and pulled in front of us on the right, inches from the front bumper. Garry braked, blew his horn, swerved and hung onto the road (my hero!) and once again we arrived safely. Did I mention that to main rule of the road in Ukraine is the right of way belongs to a) the police and b) the one who has the most expensive (often black) imported car!
When we got to the city I saw a car with a license plate frame that said (in English) In God We Trust- a good motto for Ukrainian drivers and passengers! We are planning to avoid night travel as much as possible until the patching crews get most the holes filled.

Sunday in Dnepro

We are hanging out at Daffi Sunday afternoon with the free wi-fi. Garry is checking out Olympic coverage and I am writing this. We haven't been able to get the Olympics on tv, much to his disappointment, but we find out some of the medal winners on the news. Seth and Jonah are eating lunch at Pazata Hata (chicken kiev and kartoshka verenicki- potato perogies) right now, and hope to get a hamster later.
Morningstar church was 2 hours and 50 minutes, Jonah reports (he checks his watch) Last Sunday there was a church family lunch, that lasted until 3 pm and the Sunday before we went to see the circus, so it's the first time we've been here since returning from Canada. Next week we look forward to hearing Daryl preach. I am attaching a little circus video if you want to check out "the best thing in Ukraine" according to Jonah.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Making progress

Yesterday Garry and Victor drove about 300 km to a place where they make canvas covered barn structures to check if they have what he wants for the barn (rather than the namebrand ones he priced getting from England or Canada- it starts with a C- all) He was pleased with what he saw, they toured the place where they make them. They are supposed to have price including set up on site soon.
It was above freezing yesterday, making puddles around the trees in the snow in the yard and causing the ice from the freezing rain a couple nights ago to fall off the metal roof in loud rattling avalanches. The driving was not good, their trip took about 15 hours- 6 to get there over a bumpy, snow packed and melting washboard road. They came back home a different and better way. Thankfully, God has been watching over us when the roads have been less than ideal for travel since we returned home.