Monday we went to Dnepropetroesk to go bowling- really to buy paper towels for the ladies to use while milking the cows- Garry forgot we were supposed to buy them on Sunday. It was 40 C as we were driving away from bowling, and we hit a big thunderstorm right after Garry stopped to buy some cold Pepsi (which is harder than you think- every store has 50 kinds of beer in their coolers, but hardly any have cold sodapop.) It poured, and some small hail hit the car as we approached Heroes of Stalingrad (street.) Of course the streets had lots of water on them, because drainage is a little underused (or broken) in many places, so the downhill parts of the city become huge pools of running water whenever it rains hard and fast. The water hides all the holes ..... that you normally see to drive around, so doubly harzardous driving, with some loss of control by drivers as they hit the puddles.
When we got back to the village, Garry was disappointed because it had not rained here yet. It did give him a chance to drive at and look at the field of millet he planted last week, and he was excited to see tiny plants up in rows all over the field. We did get one storm in the evening, but not as much as he hoped. I pointed out there was rain in the forecast for the next couple days, and when he got up to go feed the the cows on Tuesday, it was raining. In fact here is a photo of Garry when he came in from feeding the cows...
|a smiling soaking wet guy|
|and it rained more...|
Garry decided we should drive to Zaporosia for the afternoon- I had been making taco sauce in the morning, we picked up tomatoes on our way home on Sunday from one of the fruit/veggies stands along the highway.
Our trip to Zapporosia
|1944-1948 That's WWII|
|She's holding a branch of oak leaves.|
|The names under the star are the heroes|
On the corner of the park was an old gun (maybe anti-aircraft?) tires intact, painted silver, bolted to the ground, it seems to be a popular kind of WWII momument, because there are a lot of tanks and guns bolted down like this in Ukraine.
By the time we got to the middle of the city, and sat down in Mc Donalds for lunch- mmm.... french fries and hamburgers; it was pouring out. For those of you who don't like eating at Mc Donalds- I am sorry, but spend a year living in Ukraine and you'll love the taste of home! It is the only hamburger joint that has come to Ukraine, and they love it, and so do all the Americans and Canadians here, when they are a little homesick, it's as close as you get unless you have big bucks to spend at one of the TTIFs in Ukraine (there is one in Dnepro)
|Mc Donalds is packed for lunchtime|
|People selling milk under a roof at the market|
|Main street has rose bushes planted in the meridian|
Power's out and more rain
Tuesday evening it was still raining and the wind had picked up, the ladies were busy milking when our half of the village lost power- a tree had gone down knocking down a hydro (telephone) pole. Did you know that they are square and made of cement here, by the way? Garry went out with the little battery powered lantern we took camping and looked for the problem- strangely when it first happened the barn was without power but the house had power for about 5 more minutes. Then no one had electric, so Garry had to drive to the gas station because his can that is supposed to be full to run the generator was empty (the guys 'borrow it" when their scooter is empty). So when the ladies finished evening miilking, he turned off the generator until morning, when he put it on again for milking and cooling the milk in the tank. It was still raining, and rather cool, only 14 C in the morning, and most of the day.
A job no one wants on Wednesday morning- herding the cows all day in the rain!
|Look right near the level of the hay rack, you'll see the water coming out|
Garry took off his shoes and socks and rolled up his pants to his knees, before jumping in and letting the muddy water fly out of the pit. When the load started to dump out Garry was really happy, as you can see in the second photo, a big cloud of steam rose as the brewers grain sloshed in to the pit, because it was fresh stuff, the brewery is making beer again. The truck left without getting stuck in the driveway, a bonus!
|Shoes in hand, Garry watches the steam rise with Andrei|
Thursday was cool and partly cloudy, they were selling brewers grain all day it seemed to people in the village, since there wasn't any to sell last Saturday. It will be next week before they are in the fields I think, the ground is really soaked. Too bad this didn't happen a couple months ago...