Well I am now here in Manitoba, while Garry is I think, still making hay in Ukraine.
I have only talked to him through Facebook messages since I left the Kiev airport early Monday morning. He posted this photo of some of his haying crew on my Facebook. Its our friend Marina and Max Boradin, who got very exciting news on Friday, his student visa for Canada file has been reopened, and so he may be able to go after all! He has to go for a medical exam in Kiev June 15th. In the front row are the four Sashas. Student Sasha in black, tractorist Sasha in orange, student Sasha or Makerana crouching behind the chairs, and barn Sasha sitting in the middle.
Garry is said yesterday afternoon that they had to stop baling hay with about 600 bales to go because it was raining a little. I do not know if they were able to finish today. It is before dawn here, but lunchtime there. Garry was planning to go to the English class in the city of Dneperprajisk this evening and also have a late night in Dnepropetrovsk watching the football game with some guys from church. The Dnepro team is playing in Spain for the Europa?cup, and it's a big deal, so someone is having guys to watch at his apartment.
I had an uneventful trip, but long, it was 24 hours of actual time from getting on a plane in Kiev and getting off in Winnipeg, and that doesn't include the time spent from when Garry, Marina, Julia and Nikolai left me at the train station in Dnepropetrovsk around three pm Sunday after church, lunch and bowling.
Marina translated for Julia that Polo would really miss me and so would she, as she gave me a hug goodbye and told me to say hello to Micah, Crystal and Eugene. Everyone but Nikolai hugged me, and Garry kissed me, and I sat down to wait for my express train to Kiev.
Of course it was not on track one, as Garry had hoped, where you just go out the door to the platform, but track two; so I had to carry one large 23 kilo (50 pound) suitcase in one hand and the other two bags in the other down and up some stairs. Some nice man decided to help me halfway up the last flight of stairs and another helped me lift the big one up onto the train.
There were only ten minutes to get on between it arriving and departure, and of course I had to trot down the platform as it arrived and I realized that wagon two woyld be atbthe other end, but I was seated with my bags stowed, the smaller ones in the rack overhead, and I dragged, er rolled the big one to the front of the car to the rack for big bags, where yet another man insisted on helping lift it into place.
Victor had booked it the day before and only first class was still available. We had risen in the second class carriage on our way home two weeks ago, and I called Garry and told him it was worth it, the seats are wider with enough leg room for even him! I was seated well before the train rolled out of the station at 5:20 pm and had a nice air conditioned ride.
The train arrived shortly before eleven and I repeated the going down and up stairs with my bags, turning down one offer of help carrying the big halfway up the steps by the escalator, which wasn't working two weeks ago either. I had been told to get a taxi to the airport, but came out of the building right by the marstutkas to the airport, so I rolled the bags toward the cheaper option. There were two British girls sitting in the middle chatting, a first for me. We were at the airport terminal before midnight, but the lights were turned down so low that the door by security looked closed! Eventually we went inside, and they were off to check in while I settled in on the chairs to wait until three or four am when mine would start. Had a chat with a lady flying to Calgary and Vancouver via Amsterdam for a while, read and tried to not really fall asleep because I am afraid of missing my plane.
Any way, all went well, with four hours between connections in Frankfurt and Chicago, although I was sitting at the gate an hour before take off to Winnipeg when
I realized the gate had been changed and had to hustle from b19 to c1 and although I didn't have to go through security
I did have to change terminals and discovered that I was on the by Gate16 when I came out of the walkway, so I still had some walking to do! Anyway plenty of time to make the plane. It was a little jet, so I had to check my carry-on at the gangway, but my luggage was quick as was customs, and Jess was just turning on her WiFi on her phone when I walked out and we were off to her house shortly after 9:30. We got there at eleven and I crawled into a bed and slept to six am.
No such luck on night two, I woke up at three and ended up starting this blog post!