Sunday, July 29, 2007

jetlagged in kiev

After 18 hours in the air and 15 minutes of sleep, we finally made it here in Kiev!

We got through customs really easily and had no problems meeting up with our facilitator, Galina.Things were really good. So, I was really relaxed and walking, swinging my arms, talking to Galina when all of a sudden, my hand swings and precariously hits an old man reading the prompter. I think he said "yeow" in Ukranian really loud... Within two seconds of getting off the plane! Geesh!
We got to our apartment and passed out by 6PM and woke up at 2AM. Gotta get used to this time zone...

Today, we went sight-seeing in Kiev. (We took pictures to share, but we have to download them another day since we don't have internet... I am writing this from my phone.)Lena, our translator showed us around and gave us a history lesson. Kiev has really changed over the past sixteen years since their independence from USSR. The last ten have have the most significant changes (there is now toilet paper in the bathrooms Marty!). They are just starting to get international tourists and hotels are really expensive since the demand is higher than the supply(300 to 700 a night!).
Lena told us that the American tourists are the easiest to spot because they all wear plaid shirts, jeans and a belt. Funny how it was the exact description of Zenon's outfit for the day- and he isn't even American!

She took us to the main street called Independence Square.It was really fabulous. It was all built by Russian architects right after WWII so they are all ornate with arches and textures. Of course we went to a traditional Ukranian place for lunch. Yes, chicken Kiev was on the menu. Saw two American tourists in there and- sure enough- they were both wearing plaid!

Tomorrow is the big appointment day. We will most likely travel to meet some kids on Tuesday already. Everyone put out the good vibes for us!

Travel tip for the day- don't drink bubbling tomato juice.

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