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Monday, June 6, 2011

We have arrived.

We arrived safely via plane from london into Kiev at 3:00 pm  today.  After stumbling through customs and being yelled at only once, we met Valentin.  We followed him outside after a quick cordial greeting.  Outside we again got yelled at but found car.  Valentin quickly assessed that car was too small for all of us so he and i took off leaving Monique and Jeremiah with his wife who drove them to our apartment. I on the other hand had no clue that i would be getting to apartment by local van, train and by foot.  Walking as fast as I could I was amerced in the local transit system.  It seemed just to get to the train we traveled a half mile underground via escalators (what an experience)  and then we hoped on our crowded old train. Valentin continued to amerce me with token buying, money changing, buying water and ordering dinner at local restaurant. When we finally got to our destination  Jeremiah and I  hauled our 200 plus pounds of luggage up to our apartment on the seventh floor in the tiniest scariest elevator I have ever been in!  They insisted we shove 150 lbs of luggage, Jeremiah and myself into a 3.5 x4 dark wood paneled  space called an elevator.   The door shut and we hit the #7 button and everything went pitch black and nothing happened. Sad to say two cuss word slipped out of my mouth and my fear of tight spaces kicked in.  I remained as calm as i could after screaming and trying to scratch my way through steel and wood (just kidding but that's what i was doing inside).  Finally our facilitator opened the door, which seemed to take an eternity and then before i could object he closed our door again and with my finger shackingly  hovering over the number 7 button we sqeeked our way up 7 flights to our apartment.  I have yet to go back into that elevator and instead i have ran down seven flights of stairs and climbed up seven flights after dinner.  I think I might try it again tomorrow though.   We have a beautiful view of Kiev from our downtown apartment.  We have a nice apartment with toilet shower dish washer clothes washer kitchen living room etc ceilings are at least 12 feet tall.  We are paying about $75 US dollar.   The accommodations are very modest for American standards but its comfortable.  I am a little nervous that we have to have a steel door to lock then heavy wood door as well for our entrance and we have been told we must always have it locked. We are in awe at were we are and of the unknown.  Mostly we feel in a dream and a surreal one at that (could be jet lag though)  We have a busy schedule but will keep you all posted as the time permits.