We're all here safely in Ukraine!

Written by Greg

We're here in Kyiv now. Mom and the girls (and Paul) are in one 2 room apartment and Dad, Steven and I are in another. We're in different buildings but we're really close to each other and it's only 'til we find an apartment for all of us.

The flights were not fun at all but not as bad as I thought they would be. There were two times that someone wasn't crying... other then that though someone was crying the whole time. Especially with the pressure changes because the little ones can't have gum and wouldn't drink or eat when their ears hurt. They also didn't have much to eat until last night. (It's 10:00 am here on Wednesday now.) The airline people were all very helpful and we had no trouble in any of the airports. (Except the TSA people didn't like me taking video of the airport... I got searched... with the wand and by hand... I think it's called a frisk or something... anyway, that was fun. Not.) I did find a lot of change in various pockets though. We got to go straight through security in front of everyone else. We also boarded the planes before anyone else. In Frankfurt the Luftansa Lady actually carried Grace for us while leading us to the gate for the flight to Kyiv. All in all it wasn't as bad as I had imagined but it was no fun. One thing was clear: God had prepared a way for us. It could have been much, much worse.

Ukraine isn't as bad as I thought it would be either. It's not the US that's for sure but it's not so bad. (Haven't been to a public bathroom yet.) Anyway, we got through immigration (or whatever it's called) with no trouble. (They put us in front of the line too.) Getting our baggage was hard though, Dad went and found some guys to help us. They loaded our 27 huge bags onto 5 carts and just went straight through customs and not one of the many uniformed people told them or us to stop. Meanwhile everyone else has their bags x-rayed and the officers were going through them. Our bags had been gone through too but that was at heartsfield with the TSA (and probably the Ukrainian baggage handlers, although we haven't found anything missing yet.) Praise God!

There are a couple inches of snow on the ground and it's in the 30's. Not really as cold as I thought. (I couldn't imagine what the numbers 20 or 30 actually felt like.) I am glad for the jackets and boots though... and I'm not so sure about January... it's going to be COLD! Right now I have jeans, long t-shirt and a polartec fleece on and I'm fine. 

We went to an indoor market last-night and it was neat, and some things are quite cheap. (Other things are more expensive.) The YWAM people are all being very helpful and gracious. They are taking care of lunch and dinner for us for this first week. An american family brought us dinner last night (a casserole similar to spaghetti) and gave us lots of tips about things like the water and the market and food and phones and shipping. The apartment also had a welcome basket in it from the YWAMers with food and stuff in it as well as a little handwritten book with ideas and tips for meals in ukraine as well as recipes for american style food using the food available here.

Today we're going to go buy some highchairs, learn about cell phones and the internet and look for an apartment. ;c) The battery on my laptop is almost empty so I need to go. (I can't plug it in now, need to find an adaptor... not sure which bag that is in.)