Welcome to Kyiv

As soon as we touched down in Ukraine, we set out to show Zoe everything we possibly could.  We only had about a day in Kyiv before we had to head out to where Silas was.  So, speedy sightseeing was on! Zoe was so excited to be on the main street in Kyiv.  Mainly because she read the street sign without help. The Maidan. We had missed it on our previous trip (even though we stayed only a few blocks from it on our first trip) and it was a blast seeing it with Zoe.

Several Ukrainians have worked tirelessly to get rid of the old boring sides of apartment buildings (most of which were built during the Soviet occupation) and have brought in both local and international artists to spruce things up.  This one, by far is my most favorite.  You can check out more murals on Euromaidan Press.

Selfie with the sun in our eyes.  Mark and Zoe put up with a lot of my silliness. Um, the food was, of course delicious and did not disappoint Zoe at all.  The food was the highlight for her! We love Pirogi for lunch.  Never disappoints. St. Sophia’s Traditional Ukrainian Borscht at a local Soviet style restaurant.

Milkshakes for yummy desserts!

Can I just say this trip was not just for Zoe?  She was wonderful to have with us.  The  day we were to head to region closer to Silas, we had a chance to run out and grab a bite to eat at a street vendor before our driver showed up.  The street vendor did not speak English.  We told Zoe what we wanted, she told the vendor and we were all super happy.  Mark and I thanked her over and over.  She also was a big help at the super market, other restaurants and when we met up with Silas at his summer camp.  Having a semi-polyglot is awesome!  We had our own personal translator with us wherever we went and all we had to do was feed her and let her sleep.

A restaurant out of Kyiv.  Beautiful scenery.

The prettiest part of the trip was seeing the sunflowers EVERYWHERE.  Ya’ll…we had beautiful blue skies most of the time.  So, it felt like we were driving by the Ukrainian flag over and over again.

The day we had time to stop and get pictures, the sunflowers were turned away.  But we found a few rebels not following the sun. Golden Ukrainian wheat and a beautiful blue sky.  Slava Ukraine!

Making it to region, we stayed in an apartment in Bila Tserkva (the White Church) and were able to spend a bit of time sightseeing there.  It’s a smaller city than Kyiv but still a few things to explore.  This was our local supermarket.  It was just a short walk from our apartment.  It was more like a mini mall with the supermarket on bottom.

Slava (Glory) Park  was in the center of the city and was dedicated to the soldiers who fought in the Great Patriotic War (World War II).  We saw this wood building from the other end of the park and were pleasantly surprised to find it was a church.  The doors are absolutely beautiful.  While we were taking pictures, a man came up and asked as best he could if we were Americans.  Between his English and Zoe’s translations, we figured out he wanted us to email pictures of the church.  I noticed a rosary in his hand and after he gave us his business card, Zoe translated and told us he was the Father at the church.  Obviously, the church was under construction and we were excited to be able to send him pictures of it in progress.
After watching the Netflix special “Winter Under Fire,”  we started noticing memorials set up to the brave men and women who fought so hard against a corrupt government with virtually nothing.  This one was at Slava Park.
Zoe and I got a kick out of the translation from Ukrainian to English only because she had several laughable moments of going from English to Ukrainian in speaking and each time, every one was so gracious.

I had a Princess coke.  Coca cola speaks…even if it’s a different language.

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