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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Congrats Seth!

Here he is with his proud Dad
Two years of homeschooling may not have won Seth any prizes (perhaps some interesting exposure to other cultures) but he did graduate with his class today, after doing his grade 12 year back where he went for grade 9 in Ste Anne, Manitoba. Grandma and Grandpa Verhoog also came to the ceremony this morning.

It's over...

Well we made it safely home to Manitoba about 6 last night, Garry immediately jumped into the self-propelled chopper to ride along with Josh for a couple hours while he finished chapping the oatlage. That's why we were met at the airport in Winnipeg by our daughter in law Kari and our three adorable granddaughters standing at the bottom of the stairs, the boys were all working.

Today Seth graduates from high school, and then it will be all fun as we get ready for Josh and Krissy's wedding on Saturday, some of the relatives even got here before we did!

I borrowed this photo from our friend Curtis, it is the gray Hungarian cattle, he got one where you can see them! We did have one problem leaving Hungary, I had forgotten about the paring knife tucked into the pocket of the carryon. We had it for cutting food on the train, and the inspectors filled out a form in Hungarian for about 15 minutes and had Garry sign it, they kept measuring the dull paring knife over and over and talking to each Hungarian and then saying things like write your mothers name here in English, but we made our flight to Paris and they kept letting us fly on the Montreal and Winnipeg...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wooly pigs and other stuff

We are at the Europe area Mission conference for our denomination, it's why we came to Hungary. The meetings are being held in a lovely facility a hotel on a former stud farm. 
Everything is quaint with lots of horse pictures on the walls, and actual horses outside in stables and fields. Horseback riding and wagon rides are available, along with other activities- Garry and I took a short spin on the bicycle built for two yesterday

The area reminds us of our farm in the Catskills in New York State about 27 years ago, with rolling hills. 

Remembering the days of farming at an angle...

 On Wednesday and Thursday we were wishing the place had air conditioning, but it cooled off a little yesterday after the thunderstorm the night before. It made Garry wish it was back it Ukraine of course, but it sounds like there may have been a little rain in the village since we left. We have had a great time connecting with other missionaries and recharging.

The wooly pigs

From the tips of their tails

to the tips of their ears, they are really wooly pigs!

All you'll see of the long horned Hungarian gray cattle

they ran fast, I think they could knock you over!

in the afternoon they were cooling off, rooting in the mud
My camera now needs to be recharged when I get to Canada (I didn't pack the converter) but I did get a photo of some of the unusual traditional Hungarian animals they keep on the place, along with the horses, they look like someone crossed a pig with a sheep, the wooly pig. .. There are  Hungarian grey cattle here also, but they didn't want their photo taken when I was out there yesterday morning, hiding at the back of the pasture,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ag Museum- Budapest

We found it!
Garry decided while I was researching what to see in Budapest that we should visit the Hungarian Agricultural Museum, and we found it today. We struck out on our own after a couple hours at the pools at one of the famous bath houses in the city with our travel partners. I highly recommend both places, even with a little sunburn, we enjoyed the thermal and mineral water pools.

that's the name of the place

We grabbed a quick lunch on the street and walked through the park across the street on the opposite side on the bath house and found this incredible castle that houses the museum. It was as beautiful inside as out and the exhibits were interesting, the hunting and fishing ones upstairs- you should have seen all the antlers mounted up about 40 feet to the ceilings of the incredible building (and the wide marble staircase to get there). I snuck a couple photos inside, and we bought a book about the exhibit of farming in Hungary from the beginning until 1945. Afterwards we took the subway home to the hotel and a nap for Garry before the Ukraine football (soccer)game is on tonight.

incredible details outside the castle like building

forestry exhibit 

Upstairs fishing exhhbit


We made it to Budapest after 8 hours on the overnight train to Kiev, a couple hours hanging out at Mc Donalds before getting on the train to Budapest. We had a 2 man compartment (the overnight was 4 = we had the bottom bunks, to ladies the top, they asked if we were going to Euro 2012) our car was older than the ones on the front of the train, which had started in Moscow. Stacy, Curtis and the two of us made a walk through 6 or 8 cars to check out the dining car. It was rather nice, we ate soup and bread, it was good but rather overpriced, especially with the exchange the waiter gave us from rubles to grivna!

out the train window in Hungary

After 25 hours on the train, including a 3 and half hour stop at the border where Ukraine took our passports, came through the cars with a dog, and changed our wheels for the different size track on the other side of the border (all while most people slept) we had our passports stamped on the Hungary side about an hour later, and got to Budapest around 11 am.
Managed to get the Metro (subway) find the hotel, and go sightseeing as a group...walked a lot the first afternoon..

Saturday, June 16, 2012

we need rain!

Stacy has hay hair!

Possible trade school students throwing bales into the mow

 ...or at least the crops do! This morning Stacy helped Garry and Max bale the second cut hay, all 55 bales. There has been almost no rain since first cut, about a month ago, and no significant rainfall since sometime last year. A lot of the winter wheat was plowed up this spring and planted in corn or sunflowers, since there was such a dry fall. Garry's corn crop, which looked so promising a few weeks ago, is shrinking and coming into tassel already. Some of it is very short, maybe four to six feet.  Without a good rain in the next couple days, there will be very little grain in the cobs, and Garry will be chopping some poor corn silage early, like when we return in three weeks!

There are a few dark clouds promising rain around this afternoon, but the wind seems to be blowing them away from the village and Garry's fields...
Taco lunch, was followed by pizza night and....

.Check the other blog to see why we had orphans here today for a tour...

......the grand finale dinner, fried crowlik (rabbit) Stacy had wanted to eat rabbit last summer when she was here, but the restaurant was out that day, so Max promised here we'd eat rabbit when she returned, it has been in the freezer since fall, but Stacy was too busy teaching English in Kranmatorsk to come visit when we were here until now!

Euro 2012 hoopla

Well Euro 2012 (in Russian it sounds like evaux diwstie-drauset) is finally here, this country has been talking about it since we came for teaching English five summers ago! Even if I only know a few Ukrainians going to an actual match (on facebook a couple of former Summer English Institute have put up photos) the whole country was excited when they won their first game earlier this week. Last night we watched the game against France on the televison, but they lost. Always fun- when they read the sponsors at the breaks-- Kia__MAK DONALDS! _ Sharp----More interesting to Garry was the huge thunderstorm in Donestsk which delayed the game, he was wishing it was here to rescue his cornfields.

You hear on the BBC how Ukraine is a dangerous, backward country (the reporter took a train trip to Donestsk from Crimea) and prejudiced, and while I may not be looking forward to all of the hours on the train we are taking tonight for Kiev and then Budapest tonight; I wonder if the bad rap Ukraine is getting is really accurate. On Sunday our church family in Dnepropetroesk was very sad to be saying farewell to one of the members of the praise band, Edward. He sang I Can Only Imagine and there were many tears in the congregation's eyes. He is going home to Nigeria after finishing six years here for medical training. I know there are Nigerian medical students studying in Kharcov (where the Dutch have been playing) also, I met one when I was in Kiev recently, not to mention the American import pro basketball players, some of which have played here a number of seasons. I think that most Ukrainians who meet black people, while some might see them as unusual,  are even welcoming to them, so the families of British players who weren't coming to the tournament would have been safe here.
Even Dnepro has an official cup ball in front of a mall

I was excited in Kiev to see signage that had been improved in English in the METRO (subway) it's much less confusing to follow, and even street sins downtown. Maybe the new airport terminal was not ready uintil the last minute (they were still working on it when I returned mid-May) but this counry is trying hard to be good hosts. In facts, Daryl and Molly, who I stayed with in Kiev, told an amusing story about riding the METRO. A few weeks before the tournament, they started having the announcements on the trains in English also. On some of the trains, they would announce Caution, the doors are closing! then they started skipping the caution, as it was causing talk among the general public, who could not understand why they were talking about Kasha (bulgar- a staple food in Ukraine) on the trains.Victor and I heard both versions on our subway ride.
I can understand this! look you can tranfer to the blue line there!

We went shopping a few weeks ago at Epi-Center, a hardware- Home-depot-like chain here, which is an official sponsor of Euro 2012, and I was amazed by the amount of branded merchandise for sale, I snuck I few photos, as you can see, but didn't get one of the female manniquin wearing a most unusual dress, a one sleeved, short-skirted, Ukrainian embroidered style linen item with a large embroidered Euro 2012 emblem on one side....but maybe I'll get everyone screwdriver sets for Christmas with Euro 2012 on...or a new portable air conditioner! I did buy a new umbrella to put in my purse, its purple, one of the official colors of the games, with a Poland-Ukraine logo, of course, but I needed one anyway, in case it ever rains again...

sneaky photos, fans and A/C for fans!

not just dishes, shirts and beach towels!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hot, hot, hot

It has continued hot this week, calling for high 90's F the last two days. Stacy came out to visit before we leave for Hungary- she'll be on the train with us there- and we drove into Dnepro yesterday afternoon for a concert in the organ hall which we had not been in. The car thermometer read 39 C as we drove, hot air blasting in the windows (this is why we lament the lack of A/C in Ladas) and may have malfunctioned when we got to the city as it went up to 46!

It was cool inside the hall (you may guess that it was a church but was repurposed during Soviet times) and the concert was nice, although I nearly choked trying to supress a coughing fit during one selection. There was an organist, an assistant to pull out the stops, a young lady dressed in black and silver who introduced the pieces, and a featured violinist, as you can see in the poster. The stops wer on the left panel over the organ in the photo, and we got the full effect on one peice when they did "pull out all the stops"!Tickets cost about  5 dollars for the second tier of seats, rather like thrones really, but the lady announced just before it started you could now sit anywhere and we ended up in the front row.
the organ palace, you can see it was an Orthodox church once

sneaky photo before it started (no photos sign)

advertisment of the performance

We had a surprise when it was over, as the wind was blowing and it had cooled off to 28 C as we drove home. Sadly the rain that seemed to be around did not fall here, Garry's cornfields are in danger of drying up and dying if it doens't rain soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wow, that's hot!

Just noticed the headlines from the kievpost website Garry was on earlier today- Explosion on Dnipropetroesk tram on Monday- 8 injured-  Turns out that it had nothing to do with the bombings last month, in which four people have been arrested apparently after trying to get paid millions for not setting off more. In fact, it is reported that this explosion was caused by a hunter carrying gunpowder in a case which exploded because of the heat. It was hot yesterday morning when I picked the peas, and by afternoon when I hung out the laundry it was like a wall of heavy hot air hit you when walking out the door.

Garry was hot yesterday as he stacked the first wagonload of hay himself, nine bales high in the afternoon. He called me to drive over and bring some cold water to drink, while they were waiting for Serosia to bring them a second wagon. Garry had raked the hay in the morning and thought it would all fit on one load, but there was more than he thought. They made 250 bales off the new seeding across the highway on its first cutting- there was some ragweed growing there with the alfalfa, but he says the cows think it looks good to eat. Before lunch Maxim baled some hay for some people, as he explained to Garry last night, there were two pieces side by side with people standing waiting to grab the bales as they came out of the baler, Max was traveling from one side to the other so the bales with one's hay would come out on the other's side of the field so they would run back and forth behind the baler, returning "their" hay to their own side of the field, with the other guys doing the same in the hot sun. Many people are getting the guys to bale their hay, with it compressed into bales they can store much more if they keep it inside a shed.

This morning he unloaded them into the barn with the assistance of a couple young guys, since Maxim had to leave by 6:30 this morning to go take his tractor exam (its true- Maxim may finally be getting his tractor driving licence, I'll believe it when I see it!.) The bales are lighter than the first ones they made this year, but they had trouble keeping up moving them across the hay mow and stacking them, so Garry would jump into the mow and help stack so they could catch up .Garry was back in the house for breakfast by 8 am, he got a shower to cool off, and yet another spinach-based treat, you wouldn't believe the crop we are getting this year with the drip irrigation in the garden.

I took a photo when I brought them some water while waiting for a second wagon yesterday

This guy didn't last long throwing the bales off into the mow, he was too slow for Garry- so he took over and unloaded both loads!
Garry hopes to get the second cut done, along with cutting the rest of the new seeding over on this side of the highway, maybe even before we leave Saturday evening on the overnight train to Kiev, since it looks like Maxim will have to bale the straw while we are gone; the wheat (and so the staw) will be ready early this year. We will be taking a 23 hour train trip from Kiev to Budapest to attend our mission conference, and then flying to Canada for Seth's high school graduation and Josh's wedding to Krissy on the 30th, returning the first week of July.

Well, I have a list a mile long to finish before Saturday, plus this morning I am turning the raspberries Garry got as a gift while breeding a cow Sunday evening into jam...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cow tales

Garry has a few cow tales this past week or so...and I am finally getting around to telling them. Tonight Garry and I  were going to the magazine (store) to buy ice cream and we followed the cows down the street, since our dry cows and heifers had just turned in the gate as we were going out. When we got up to the cross street, one of the young heifers was causing a problem, yelling and trying to go up it when she wasn't supposed to, the reason became visable when one of the herders chased her little friend back out of the lane by the church, she had gone the wrong way. The cows coming home is a bit of an event every evening, people sit out by the road waiting for their cows to come home, the people from the other streets come down the crross streets to meet their cows and separate them from the herd and follow them home. Most of the older cows will turn in to their homeyard without any assistance after the first week or so in the spring, but the young ones can get into trouble sometimes.
Genya milking the cows

This year the ladies always get our cows in the evening, and often put them out in the morning to join the herd as they go down the street. We have rotating milkers, it seems. Right now Yana is gone, her mother Genya is milking with another middle aged lady, who Garry says seems happy, she hums as she works. Unlike the other people in the village, who send out the same cows everyday, milking or not, we only send out some older heifers and dry cows. Since the cows who are not milking changes, we send out ten cows everyday, but the ones we sent out in April are not the same ones that go out now. The guys herding yelled at Yana one day when one of the "new" dry cows was difficult to keep with the herd the first day she went out. Maxim had a word with him the next day, when Yana was reluctant to chase the cows out to the road to wait for the rest the next morning. Last week Infeshah (our moldy cow as Garry calls her since she is a peculiar color) went out for her first day after going dry, so Garry helped chase the herd out and stayed for a while until she settled down and stayed with the rest of the cows.
That's Infeshah coming back from her first day out 

While they were chasing the cows down the street that morning a small sporty car came up behind the herd, and the driver acted like an idiot, trying to get through the herd with his car. Some cars, move slowly through, some hang back and wait, and some seem to be trying to hit a cow to express their need to show how the cows are slowing down their day, horn blowing, and vroooming the engine. This guy having worked his way through the cows, put the pedal to the metal, without considering or maybe knowing that there is a curve at the top of the street. Garry said the car went too wide, and tipped over the side of the road, rolling the car all the way over, landing on its wheels in the deep ditch. He said they ran to see if the driver was hurt, but the guy got out of the car, yelling and then got behind the wheel and after a few tries, drove out of the ditch and off...

One day last week Garry and I were coming back from Dnepro in the afternoon, and he drove out to one of our corn fields to cut some cornstalks. He has been cutting about 15 stalks everyday to feed to his two sick cows. One cow has been doing poorly for a while and someone came up with the idea of tying her out in the yard, so for the last couple weeks she has been tied up in different spots in the yard, sometimes eating off the grass/weeds in parts of the yard. One day she had strawberries when someone put her too close to the patch.

The other sick cow, the red one, had twins a few weeks ago, and had gotten really sick after with infection (she didn't pass the afterbirth.) One day Garry decided to put her outside last week, and convinced she was dying, he didn't bother to tie her up. She walked into the garden, ate a number of corn plant, the tops off some beets, tripped over Garry's drip lines. Since Garry now knew she liked corn, he started cutting her some field corn everyday. Thursday morning Garry went outside and discovered that she had eaten off more sweet corn, later  he went down to the magazine to see if they had gotten any rope in when I asked why she didn't get tied up over the first incident, and came back with a chain.
our grazed garden 

 Anyway it was about 6 pm when we drove out to the cornfield, and there seemed to be some problem because the herders of the day (the owners take turns) bring the cows back from pasture about 7 pm and there were about 25 or 30 cows just at the top of our street, one standing on the road, some eating grass, there was one young lady with them, and she had not noticed that some - including Infeshah, our odd-colored cow, who went dry recently- had wandered into someone's field, so Garry got out of the car to chase them out of what seemed to be a radish field, which now has footprints marring it and even some munching of plants, oddly they seemed to be eating more weeds than plants. Garry was wondering how the herd had gotten separated into two groups.

Maxim had a explaination the next morning, it turns out that after lunch that day, the herders decided to have a bit of vodka, and then they fell asleep. When they woke up they had a big problem! Everyone was upset when the a bunch of cows came wandering into yards over an hour early, when no one was expecting them.


Sorry I have not written anything lately, since I got back from Kiev I have worked on lesson plans for teaching English in July, made strawberry-rhubarb jam, cherry pie, frozen cherries and just picked a big pile of edible pod peas to freeze....after I defrost both freezers today and make dinner for I promise a cool post about cows soon, hopefully today!

Friday, June 8, 2012

My trip to Kiev

Victor's mother lives here

 I had to get more pages in my passport, it was so full that the officials who stamp passports were starting to grumble, there are three pages with Ukrainian visas and more used  pages for the registrations. Since it is a US passport it lasts for 10 years, and there are four to go, so I paid to have more pages put in. I had to make an appointment at the American embassy in Kiev to get it done while I waited. Since Victor was going to Kiev this week anyway to move the Porters, who are finished with Russian classes in Kiev and are getting ready for the Summer English Institute in Dnepropetroesk next month, I tagged along, and here are some of the photos I took.We stopped on the way to Kiev and dropped stuff off at Victor's sister's house in the village he grew up in, his mother made us food potatoes, salad and zuchinni before we continued on to Kiev on Monday afternoon.

Girls in the fountain across from Mc Donalds in Kreamachuk

The new American embassy opened in January
 It started to rain about the time we were going to leave the apartment to go to the embassy on Tuesday, so Victor and I took jackets and umbrellas and headed to the bus stop. We took a marshutka and the red line of the METRO (subway) to the closest stop to the embassy. Vicotr got direction form a passerby and we walked about 10-15 minutes to find it. "Go straight and turn left at the construction, and we found it. We were so early for my appointment we walked back to the Metro stop, through the woods this time, and got some food. Lucky that the stand had a roof because more thunder, lightning and pouring rain.

That evening after dinner Victor helped Anya, who used to led the praise singing at Morningstar, and had been living with the Porters since moving to Kiev a couple months ago; to move her stuff to her new apartment right downtown. I went along and we checked out the Fanzone for the Eurocup soccer matches while she talked with her new roomates. We took each other's photos, as you can see.
Me in the fanzone for Euro2012

Victor- the street is closed in the city center

There are a lot of beer tents set up for the events.

Victor says the man was asleep and the dog awake when he first saw them

On our way back, Wednesday afternoon
Yes that man is lying right on the pavement, right next to the dumpsters at the nice apartment building the Porter's lived at in Kiev, taking a nap in the shade of the shelter, holding the dog's leash.
We saw a few men looking for useful things in dumpsters, but I admit Molly and I took a couple empty shoeboxes to recycle from the dumpster the next morning, one box was a Gucci one, with a 600 dollar price tag on!
Grain fields are ripening, there is a herd in the background

Make hay while the sun shines!
 I saw many cornfields between here and Kiev, from 2 inches high to about three feet tall. Nothing as tall as Garry's-look for the photo on Monday! There were some showers as we drove, but they were hit or miss and we missed most of them! I am sure there were happy farmers who got some rain for their crops, very close to ones who did not (happy only if they were making hay!) We saw some farmers baling and some that were making haystacks.

 I didn't get a photo of the little blonde kids selling strawberries in one town, though, or the man cutting hay along the roadside....too slow to get the camera up as I looked out of the van.

Back in Dnepro- a lady walks her goat up the street
We met up with Garry after dropping off Anya at her mother's home on the street where we saw the goat. Some very friendly kids decided we were from England and had come to see their street on our excursion. It was good to get back home, but Garry had to go off when we got home at 9:30 pm to breed a cow in the village. He seems to have at least one cow to breed everyday lately. Today someone banged on the door after the cows came home to get him to breed their cow, he said the parents and two kids watched him breed the cow, and commented how fast and easy it was to do.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Driving in Ukraine- rules of the road

You never know what you will see driving in Ukraine, yesterday after church Garry got a ride back to the village with some people who wanted to see the farm; I left him at the airport, so I could drive back into Dnepro to help Marina with Summer English Institute testing (there is a pre-test for students to check their level, since the Canadian teachers don't speak Russian, all classes are in English). On the way into the airport a Maserati zigzagged through travel, on the way back out I saw a Mini with a British flag painted on the roof. I wish our Lada had two things fixed- second gear (it pops out of gear) and the gas gauge; which constantly beeps to announce it is empty, when it's not, but you are never sure how much is in there! I had no problems driving although I did have to stop in an intersection at a green light, when an ambulance put on its siren and drove through the other way. On the highway home I passed an old Lada with furniture tied on all over the roof, and sticking out the open trunk, and saw another Lada coming the other way pulling and old trailer with a cow in the back, head down to avoid the wind whizzing past.

The thing about driving in Ukraine is at first glance,  it looks the same as driving in North America, but you quickly learn that some of the rules of the road are not the same. You can only make a right on a red light if it is posted that you can, instead of assuming you can unless there is a sign saying you cannot! There are signs that tell you only marschutkas (vans for passengers) or buses can turn or go straight at some intersections, and cars better go the other way, because you can get a ticket, or at least and interesting conversation with a police officer, who does not understand you any more than you do him. When driving in the city, I am always worried about accidently getting on a one-way street in the wrong direction. Many of the streets are narrow, and sometimes signs are lacking. Check if there are cars parked in both directions.

When approaching an intersection in the city, look for several things. Is there a STOP sign- may be in English- or CTO(think upside down U) in Russian ;  then stop! or yield sign? Or a sign with a yellow diamond shape? The diamond means you are on the main route so have the right of way, the yield means you don't have the right of way. If there is a working stop light, it superceeds this signage, of course, but if the light is flashing yellow, beware! Go back to the previous signage rules, because there is no flashing red light like in the US or Canada to tell you the other side has the right of way, but if you look carefully there will be a yield sign somewhere. We had a couple near misses before figuring this out, while crossing Heroes of Stalingrad,  a main road in Dneproetroesk.

The stop light changes from red to both red and yellow and then to green, so you can get a jump on the light, just remember that it has changed from green in the other direction to yellow at the same time as you got that yellow/red light, so look before hitting the gas. If you are walking across the road at a light, I think that when the green walking man starts to flash, the yellow/red light is up for the cars, so look out too! If there is a light for turning left don't think you can go if there is a regular green for going straight, you can have a nice chat with the police. Don't be surprized if some lights facing you are green, but the one directly in front of you is red, just wait unil that one is green, or you could be in trouble. When making a turn, you may have to wait for the light to cross the rest of the road, because oncoming traffic may be coming across, as their light directs.

Remember it is not really a joke that the most expensive car has the right of way in all traffic situations, look out for black SUV's swerving through traffic to the front of the the line at stop lights, flashing their lights to tell you to get out of the their way because their car is faster and they want/need to pass you. Try to ignore how you'd feel if someone did this at home, and keep alert for the really slow large trucks and old Ladas and Moskevitch's you'll want/need to pass and the speeding black car coming up in the rearview mirror, that you need to stay out of the passing lane for on the four-lane highway (always check the rear-view before changing lanes because some of the fast cars are going 140 km/hour or more, suddenly there is a car whizzing by, that wasn't in the distance when you last checked.) Many of these car will travel with their headlights on during the day, just to let you know they are coming, at night they resort to flashing their highs behind you instead. If a car coming toward you flashes their lights at you, then it is a friendly- the cops are ahead -notification. On the two-lane highway to Crimea in summer, you soon realize there are really three lanes, because both sides will move over the sides for the crazy driver passing in the center of the road where they shouldn't. Defensive driving is the rule of the day, anticipate what could happen next, and make a plan to avoid it!

A sign with  letters that look like this-  YBArA (oovargah) (the bottom of the Y -ike ooo or ew is more curved and lower case R looking guah will be taller) means caution, so keep your eyes peeled for whatever is coming.Road construction may have one, or any number of things, so you may have to slow down. Road repair crews rarely have one, they tend to have  temporary signage and/or some traffic cones,  that are really too close to where they are working for safety.
The police post between our house and Dnepro
Remember the story from last June when he got pulled over when we took the boys to the airport? The police waited in the tiny village which had a village sign that was hidden in the bushes to pull over "speeding" drivers that didn't see the sign. If the village or town has a white name sign you slow down to 50 km/hour, when you see the name of the village with a line through it, you can return to highway speed. Unless you see another village sign, which happens sometimes! If the name of the village is blue you don't have to slow down for it. Watch out for traffic lights and signs hiding behind trees in the summer, most lights are on the side of the road, and the trees are not trimmed much, if at all.

The police have some new rules since last year, they are only allowed to pull people over if they are at a police post, or have signage up- look for a small blue sign with a cyrillic D- it looks a lot like a giant fancy A, HA in white letters, or they have flashing lights turned on a police car. They will wave their baton at the driver they want to pull over, sometimes it is hard to tell if it is you when there is a lot of traffic on the road. Most of the time it is not because you did something wrong, but for a document check. Garry got pulled over on a curve in the highway (next to two cows staked out in the grass) where they liked to set up shop in the old hide and get them near a no passing zone, or speed zone days. This policeman remembered Garry from when he pulled him over last year, so we were on our way quickly. He was the one who got Garry to get out of the car, when he saw how tall he was on his Canadian licence to see if he was really taller than him.