Good-bye to Khust, Hello to Kiev by 14 hr. train

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

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Flag of Ukraine  , Misto Kyyiv,
Sunday, July 12, 2009

It's my last day in Transcarpathia before taking the overnight train to Kiev. I’ve done that several times and rather enjoy and look forward to it. The scenery in the Carpathians is beautiful.  The train doesn’t move that fast and sleeping in the sleeper car is OK.  The train rocks you and kind of keeps you asleep.

In the morning Ivan and I needed to spend some focused time discussing things that we can only get through in person.  I had m agenda with five things that I had to resolve while here.

One was to discuss the printing of literature – lessons 7 – 12 of the UCG Bible Study Course.  We decided to print 1000 copies of each lesson. 500 will stay in Ukraine and the rest will be shipped to Tartu, Estonia.

Next, we need to get about 1000 pounds of literature to Estonia from Ukraine.  We’ve really had a terrible time with shipping. But, with the volume of printed matter we have on hand we need to take a load by van to Tartu, Estonia.  We talked about doing that while Johnnie Lambert is in Estonia in August and September.  We have a driver (a LifeNets board member here in Ukraine) who will get it across the border in Hungary.  Once there there are no barriers to drive it all the way up to Estonia.

We are printing 1500 copies of the booklets about the Holy Days.  Our group of four teaching English will bring back 200 copies for immediate use.  The rest will be printed and delivered to Estonia.

We discussed Vasyl Mondich’s evangelistic travels and the need to buy a church building in central Ukraine.  He gave his perspective about how the Church in Khust finances his travels and about the Church building.  One thing I find is that while the world’s economy is suffering and horror stories abound about people’s plights, there HAS been overall improvement in so many economies. When we worked with these same people in 1993 things were REALLY bad.  Nothing was available.  Virtually nothing was imported.  Now, you see all kinds of goods, vehicles around.  The city of Khust has public works going (of which Ivan is very much a part of).  More and more people are getting their own computers at home.  High speed Internet is readily available. People wear better and more fashionable clothing.  In church the people look very nicely dressed.  Sure, their living standard is far below ours, but it does not carry the desperation it did when we first knew them.  [
We had a few other very needed subjects to discuss and did so at brunch. 

From there we went to Ivan’s Shturmer Office.  We call him the Kinko’s of Ukraine.  There we downloaded some immigration documents for said issue and filled them out. 

We then drove around town and Ivan showed me all the curbing sidewalks that he has been contracted by the city to do!  Ivan designed colorful patterns in sidewalks and plazas all over Khust.  It’s everywhere.  Monday he’ll be doing a major bid for an abandoned city park.  The mayor is in constant contact with him.  Ivan is changing the face of Khust. 

Then back to his house before our drive to Mukachevo where I’ll take the 5:57 PM train to Kiev. His brother-in-law Victor Pavliy came by to talk a bit.  He runs Mission Nazareth.  We used to work with him in the harder earlier times, but have not since 1999.  We had some strained relations and he’s wanted to clear some issues up. It was good just to try to. 
Off to Mukachevo.  Before we went to the train station we stopped a supermarket to buy some water and other items for the road.  The big supermarket was no less than any US market. This is what I mean. Everything seems to be available and the store was full of shoppers.  There were all kinds of specialty food items.  Even dog food!  I had never seem special food for animals sold in Ukraine before. 

At the train station Ivan, his son Vladik and I parted.  So sorry to say good-bye. It will no doubt be another year before we see each other again.  But, who knows. The platform is full of people.  It’s Sunday night and it looks like many people who came to Transcarpathia from Kiev are headed back to work.

I have a bunkmate in my compartment.  He is Vasyl, a 75 year old man who is headed to Kiev for diagnosis and consultation for a serious illness.  He was a Russian and Hungarian schoolteacher in Irshawa, near Khust. 

I’m writing this on the train as I view the spectacular scenery of the Carpathian Mountains.  My wife called me on my GSM cell phone via Skype.  This really works great.  I’ve got my computer, my Blackberry, my GSM phone….my bunkmate is asking me what next I’ll put out of my bag. 

Will sleep and meet my friend Dr. Vasyl Pasichnik in Kiev at 9:30 am. I’m loving every minute of this, but am really getting anxious to get back to Indiana. 
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