Garry made it safely back to Canada on Thursday, after a few adventures along the way. Saturday morning he was awake at 4 am- one of the blessings of traveling from Europe, it feels like it should be mid-day, he washed up the dishes, made coffee, tried to check the internet (the wi-fi was down in the house) wrote a biography for the program for the presentation he's giving in January at the Eastern Manitoba Holstein Club forum, and cooked himself eggs before anyone but me was awake.... I tried to go back to sleep, since my clock has been reset to closer to 6 am now, but gave up and wrapped Christmas presents.
What adventures? Well, he took the overnight train to Kiev Wednesday night after talking to his English group in Dneproprjisk, where they gave him more presents, including a new wallet, because his is falling apart- I guess someone noticed when they were paying for milk that he sometimes brings to class for people who ask.
Anyway, he got to Kiev at 7 in the morning and didn't need to be at the airport, about 40 km away until afternoon for his flight, so he decided to go see the protests downtown. He put all his small bags into his large suitcase, and left it in a locker at the train station, but he did keep his passport and put it in his pants pocket, and stuffed his wallet (the old one) in his coat pocket. Then he went to the the Metro (subway) bought a couple tokens, and got on a packed train.... and somewhere before he got downtown, his wallet was gone. I guess he checked out the protesters anyway, but he phoned Victor to see if he had any ideas on how he could get from the train station to the airport since he had about 10 grivna on him, and a token to ride the Metro back to the train station, and the bus to the airport costs 40 grivna now (twice as much as 4 years ago).
Victor the the rescue! He called someone and they picked Garry up at the train station and took him to the airport in plenty of the time for his flight. There he ran into a young woman we know from Zaporosia, who does mission work with orphans. She was returning to Boston for Christmas. When he told her what had happened she gave him 20 dollars American, so he was able to buy a sub to eat in Toronto, before his flight to Winnipeg.
He was supposed to land a half hour after midnight, so I had checked into a nearby hotel after spending some quality time shopping and eating with Seth and Jonah who are doing exams at the university this week. I got a wakeup call for midnight (or 00:00) in case I fell asleep. I checked the flights online just before 12 and discovered his was now coming in at 1:20 am, so I waited until then to go down in the crisp -23 C night to start the car and after the engine warmed up a bit, drove down the street to the airport. That late on a cold night, they don't chase you off from the pickup area, so the car was warm by the time he got out and found me, his bag was the second last one to hit the baggage carousel. It was -25 in the morning when we checked out at 8:30, got breakfast and headed home after stopping in Steinbach to get him a new bankcard, his new credit card should be here before Christmas, there were no charges on it when I phoned to cancel it after getting the message that he had his wallet stolen.
Only problem is he has two wallets to choose from, because I bought him a billfold while I was shopping with the boys, because I didn't know that he had already gotten one as a gift in Ukraine, complete with a grivna coin in- because in Ukraine you can't give an empty wallet as a present.