All Five of us head for Ukraine from Budapest

Trip Start Jun 28, 2009
Trip End Jul 16, 2009

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Waking up is hard. With the Harper's we head for the metro subway and off to the Nyugati  train station.  We’re triple checking everything.  Of about 11 times that I’ve done this trip, only ONCE was it perfect without some kind of hitch.  We are surprised at all the hustle and bustle in Budapest at 5:15 am.   It’s warm already.  One thing we quickly find is that we have failed to change any money and need some Hungarian Forint for the subway and for some goodies for the train.  Dan quickly runs to a hotel across the street changes five euro.  Enough for the subway. 

We meet with Ken and Cherie at Nyuagati.  It’s so good to see them.  Lafayette one day, Budapest the next.  Dan, Ken and I find a store and buy some goodies....great poppy seed pastries and yoghurt.  Breakfast of Champions. 

Off we go at 6:23.  No mistakes.  The right station, the right train, the right time – the right everything.  Everyone accounted for.  No lost women as was the case on our trip with the Scharpens in January. 

It will be a total of four and a half hours before we get to Zahoney, the last Hungarian town before crossing into Ukraine.  There we have almost an hour wait.  We got the world-famous gyros…..with gaudy red and white ketchup/mayonnaise.  It’s our ritual whenever we stop in Zahoney now. 

The crossing in the one car train to Ukraine was uneventful as we click clack at 20 miles per hour across the Tissa River into Ukraine.  The new kid on the block on this trip is Cherie Zahora and she’s taking our adventure in in stride. 

When we arrive we routinely go through passport control and customs and are greeted by Vasya Tomaschuk and Vasyl Polichko.  Great to see them again! 

Then our drive to Vinogradov.  It’s peach season here and we stop at no less than half a dozen roadside stops to find the ripest peaches.  Then we arrive at the Light of Love Mission and so glad to greet our kids…..the orphans and the other children who come there.  It’s great to see Diana, Anyuta, Slava, Ivan, Petro and all the others.  They were playing with a soccer ball outside and jumping on a trampoline. 

We are glad that our four computers are in place.  We still had some setup and bugs to iron out.  Dan / Cindy and Ken / Cherie got out all the educational materials for the classes that will be starting tomorrow.  All is running smoothly. 

LifeNets was able to arrange through generous donors for four desktop computers and a printer.  Two of the monitors are larger for classroom use.  I am very happy about how the team is working and preparing for the work starting tomorrow. 

I brought my GSM phone and got a Ukrainian SIM card….makes me have a local phone.  I bought it in Africa last year and have used it as a local phone in Malawi, Zambia, Estonia, Sweden and now Ukraine.  Great connectivity.

We then drove to the Siloam Orphanage where we will be staying.  Ivan Yurishko, his wife and Nina and  two year-old son Sergei come by and we spend some really enjoyable time talking and laughing.  We have known these people for 18 years and they are dear friends.

The evening finally winds down as we get situated in our rooms at the orphanage, get a good night’s sleep and get on with the program!
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