An American view on life in Ukraine; Received permission to visit orphanage.

Today we met up with John and Mel, another American family here to adopt, and we walked downtown to have lunch.  We went to a restaurant serving Ukraine cafeteria style food.  Some funny things about this restaurant were that as you walked in there were two sinks to wash your hands and there was a cage with a bunny in it.  Hmmm…  Anyway, Scott and I proceeded through the line with our trays and just pointed at things that we wanted.  We ended up with a lettuce salad, an apple pie turnover, cream cheese and raisin pastry, rice, and a sausage.  The apple and cream cheese things were like sweet appetizers, not really like dessert.  Total Cost – Under $10.

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On our walk home from lunch, “Uncle Niko” called and said that he was at our apartment ready to take us back to the SDA office to pick up our permission to travel to the orphanage.  Luckily we were just a block away from our apartment.  Our apartment is located above a grocery store, so when we were rushing back, we noticed a lot of activity around the front of the store.  And then we say a guy in a cactus costume.  We asked Uncle Niko and he said they must be shooting a commercial.  It was random!

We arrived at the SDA office around 3:00 pm and there were lots of couples waiting around for their paperwork.  We talked to the other American couples while we waited and soon enough they called us in and we showed them our passport and we signed a log book.  Then they handed us a stack of paperwork.  Most of it is in Ukrainian, but we did find our original dossier in the stack.  Crazy to be holding that paperwork again!


So now we can officially visit the orphanage on Monday.  We have train tickets to leave Kiev tomorrow (Saturday) at 5:30 pm.  The train ride should take 6 hours.

Now I will leave you with my comments about some Ukrainian things:


This is our bathtub.  You might be impressed that it is a whirlpool tub with jets, but please realize that Scott and I are shower type of people because I don’t really like the idea of sitting in my own filth.  So, how would YOU shower here?  You might notice that there is a little seat in the corner if you prefer to shower.  I don’t know how I feel about sitting in the same place that unknown people have sat.  Scott’s idea was that one of us would hold up the nozzle while the other person showered.  Haha!

Oh, another comment about the tub.  So, we as Americans are not really used to the whole nozzle thing, nor are we used to making sure we are always aiming the nozzle into the tub.  After Scott took his first bath/shower, he promptly warned me not to push the button on the nozzle because it changes the water from sprinkling into a jet stream and it is difficult to change back.  I could only imagine how many times he shot that jet stream of water across the bathroom as he was trying to switch it back to a sprinkle.  Needless to say, the bathroom was soaked when he was done.


Next, these are the lights in the hallway by the apartment door.  I’m a very analytical thinker and these lights drive me CrAzY because I can not recognize a pattern in their placement.  What was the person thinking when they installed them??IMG_0719

Crapdog anyone?

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Toy store and a baby doll in the toy store. More like Chuckie Doll!


The Hamster Party Bar!


In Kiev, there are many streets where you do not cross on the actual street, but rather you walk down a set of stairs and cross in a tunnel.  There are some that have stores in the tunnel and one is an entire underground mall!  In this picture you will notice a small set of stairs next to the regular stairs.  This is actually the way that the Ukrainians have made the stairway handicap accessible.  I have yet to see a wheelchair try to get up the stairs at that angle!

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Everyone drives nice cars!  I haven’t heard of this make, but here is a Megane, along with a Porsche and Maserati.

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While waiting at the SDA appointment, there is a famous statue and church nearby.  There were many brides coming and going.  Here’s Scott getting his picture with them.


They paint half of the trees white.  Why?

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You are allowed to park anywhere.  Either halfway on the sidewalk, or you can just pull it on up all the way on the sidewalk, whatever works for you!


This is the original gate of Kiev.  It used to be surrounded by a huge wall. More pictures and some videos of our SDA trip from today after the break in this post:

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5 responses to “An American view on life in Ukraine; Received permission to visit orphanage.”

  1. Family & Friends Avatar
    Family & Friends

    If I remember, the trees are painted white so that bugs don’t bother them….or they are easier to see for the crazy drivers. But they are white everywhere!
    Did you like the cafeteria style food? Our Ukrainian friends LOVE it, but I was un-impressed. Our food was always room temperature, not hot.
    The shower thing….yep, we never had a true shower in Ukraine. Drove me nuts b/c I wasn’t good at holding the nozzle. In our region (where we spent most of our 42 days), the sink had a long faucet (like you see in a kitchen) that rotated, so I ended up squatting in the tub and using the sink facet to wash my hair.
    You found TGI Fridays! YEA!
    Have a good last few days in Kiev! Enjoy the train! (Go potty before getting n the train–bathrooms on there are SCARRY…You thought the shower was bad!! 🙂


  2. Family & Friends Avatar
    Family & Friends

    We are really enjoying the up dates …. so glad we are able to keep in touch, we miss you both so much …. Lindsey, you are so funny, we LOL so hard about the tub and trying to take a shower story …. Love Mom and Dad H

  3. Family & Friends Avatar
    Family & Friends

    Loved the description of the bathtub/shower. Glad Scott got the nozzle figured out. (You sure you want this guy bathing your new child?)

    Dad B.

  4. Family & Friends Avatar
    Family & Friends

    I would like one Crapdog at the Hamster Party Bar! 🙂

    You crack me up!


  5. Family & Friends Avatar
    Family & Friends

    It’s 5pm here, so, it’s midnight there. Just thinking about you and wanted you both to know … hope the trip was good … Love you … Mom and Dad H