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

Friday, September 5, 2014

Road trip to Rene, part two

tire fixing first thing in the morning (there was a nail)
So on Saturday we drove toward Odessa, (right after Garry pumped up the flat tire 50 feet from the hotel) and then drove all the way to Ismail, the last city before Reni, since we were expected on Sunday.

The car has a Soviet-era licence plate, the red bus may be older

at a crossroads we passed trucks lined up loaded with produce

and then a long line of seller booths opening for the morning

We saw some interesting things, some of which we got photos of, drove through the edge of Odessa, went through more checkpoints (they seem to have ones going into every city and near railroads and canals) Of course we checked out what the local farmers were up to, how the crops looked, what was harvested. There was a large field of tomatoes that had been pulled up and there were a few people out gleaning, another guy was hunting for fallen sunflower heads in a field that had been combined. There were a few people with long poles knocking walnuts out of trees along the highway. Most Ukrainians are putting away as much food as possible in their basements for what they assume will be a bad winter.

Another check point, they had a box to donate to the troops

more beautiful Orthodox churches

Ukraine still has sea salt flats near Odessa (the others are in Crimea)

Garry buying grapes to snack on
Garry couldn't resist stopping to buy some grapes to eat as we drove past more roadside sellers. Since the air conditioner broke a couple weeks ago and he has been unable to find someplace that says they can fix it, the windows were down for most of our trip (except for the early morning part of the drive back to the village- we left at 5 am before dawn now that summer hours are fading.)

 This made it convenient for him to spit out seeds as he drove. He bought another bunch on the way home, somewhere in the Kherson region.

However, with the windows open I was wishing I had remembered something to tie my hair down since it got rather tangled by the end of the day!

Even wifi with lunch, checking the latest news
We were surprised after stopping for gas station hotdogs for lunch to discover that we crossed into Moldova for a short distance after Odessa. We couldn't figure out what was going on (you'd think the GPS would have useful information like this) when we had arrived at what seemed to be another checkpoint, the guy in uniform gave us a little paper with an official stamp that he scribbled the number 2 on, with the time, and part of our car license written also. After a few miles another guy collected it when we re-entered Ukraine. No one asked for passports, which is good as Garry had forgotten to bring his (I teased him that if Russia invaded he'd have to drive back the village without me.) We were later told by Sasha's foster mom that foreigners can't go through without passports, she knew someone who had to drive a longer way around. So good thing they had assumed we were Ukrainian since we were driving a Ukrainian car.

not just another checkpoint!

Is that really passport control?

let's check that paper map

Coming up to the Ukrainian border #2

We saw herds of cows, mostly reds, but some other colors and after our excursion to Moldova  we started to see herds of goats and sheep. We even had to wait as one herd crossed the road in front of us, which meant I got some good photos. The shepherd was grinning at us when he noticed me clicking away after they were safely on the other side.

There was a bus waiting too

There were dogs herding them across the road

See the donkey cart in the middle?

We saw sunflowers being combined and tractors working up the harvested fields everywhere we drove.  However, we were surprised to see that they seemed to have already planted wheat the further southwest we drove. In our village September 15th is when winter wheat planting gets started, hopefully after some rain.

More about Ismail and Rene to come...
sunflower seed going into a truck from the combine


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