Garry drove me to Kiev Sunday evening to catch my plane Monday morning. We left Dnepropetrovsk around 4 pm, as dusk was falling, along with rain. We were hoping the rain would stop, as it makes for more difficult driving, the darkness already makes spotting the holes in the road more difficult. Garry had reserved a room in Borispol, which is the city the where the airport actually is and we hoped to be there by ten pm.
We would have left earlier in the day, but Garry has taken a "job" teaching English conversation classes on Sunday afternoons and he has been doing that every Sunday this fall until he comes to Canada in two weeks. While he's doing that, I walk around downtown and buy things. This Sunday I met a fellow missionary to get some things to put in my suitcases to mail to their sons in Canada for Christmas.
So about an hour into the trip we realized it was going to be difficult, as the rain was mixed with fog, rather heavy fog at times, but we were hoping it would clear up as we headed north. Then we hit the big one, as in big pothole, in the rain, fog and oncoming car's lights Garry never saw it. Bang, bang as we drove through it. Stop the car, put on the flashers, find my mini flashlight in my purse/computer bag so Garry could check the front tire. Then he dug around for the mini air compressor under the seats and luggage and plugged it into the cigarette lighter to re-inflate the front tire. As it was filling he walked to the back of the car and noticed it was a double, two flat tires on the same side. That tire pumped up while I talked to our daughter on the cell phone (morning in Manitoba).
Unfortunately, that back tire started making a strange noise further along, so we pumped it up again, as we got into Kremachuk, looking forward to our dinner stop around 6 pm at Mc Donalds, we passed a shino montage (tire fixing place- however first we'd need a tire if this one was shot) and then drove across the bridge over the Dniper River... and it went flat again, so as soon as we were off the bridge, Garry pulled off to the side of the road and we started changing the tire... I say we because I helped some with turning the jack handle and spinning lug bolts off and on. It was raining lightly at this point, the rain varied from light to heavy while we were traveling.
We now needed a new tire, and bought one at the Nova Leni store, after the Mc Donalds drivethru hamburger run. Now to find a shino montage to mount the new tire on the rim, we didn't find one of the drive out of the city. In fact we never found an open one, we stopped at two that were closed, driving more than 200 kilometers, cringing every time we hit a hole, praying to make it there safely.
About a half hour after buying the tire, things got worse, when we saw snow mixing with the heavy rain, then it was like we were in a snow globe, or my favorite childhood lamp that turned from the heat of the lightbulb and made a Currier and Ives snow scene with flying snow as it spun around. The road became snow covered, I am sorry there no photos of this to show you. Garry drove slowly to lessen the possible damage of going through the potholes to the tires. We finally found an open shino montage with 30 kms to go, but at that point forged on and arrived in Borispol at 22:22 according the dashboard clock (Ukraine uses a 24 hour clock.) Needless to say we were both very relieved.
I made all my planes after Garry took me to Mc Donalds for breakfast (good thing I had that MacMuffin there was no food on my 10 am flight to Amsterdam on Ukrainian Airlines, only water was free- Garry, you'll need grivan for your coffee in two weeks! I had to hurry along by the time the plane landed 5 minutes late, taxied forever, then we got on a bus that drove around to drop us off to go through security, and even thorugh my flight was not listed for the rush line, it said "got to gate" on it once I was through taking out and putting away my computer and so on, so hurry to the gate. There was a store I noticed close by so I took my 10 euros and bought 2 packs of stroopwaffles for Christmas as they were calling for families with children under two, Pleasant surprise as row 51 was an exit row so the window seat was fine for getting out to use the rest room. I was really hungry for the nice pasta meal on KLM about eight hours after the Mc Muffin!
It was easy coasting in the Toronto airport with lots of time to get to the plane for Winnipeg, and Garry had an easier drive home with Victor and his wife Elena, who returned from their trip with him, he said he was home by 8 pm and had no flats on the way home. He did get the new tire on the rim after dropping me at the airport that morning, so he was prepared.
Noah and Audrey were waiting at the bottom of the stairs for me in Winnipeg, even though the plane was 20 minutes early so I am home getting ready for Christmas. I should have things cleaned up by the time Garry gets here anyway.