Thursday, February 14, 2008

Be strong and very courageous--Joshua 1:8,9

Pictures: maydan Nezalezhnosti -- Independence Square
You wouldn't think a simple thing like walking out of this apartment, locking the door behind me, pushing the elevator button and walking outside into the snow by myself would require so much courage--yet I procrastinated and procrastinated and procrastinated--we're talking I figured out excuses to put it off for like 2-3 hours. It was so obvious I was laughing at myself. Finally I made the break, actually quoting the biblical phrase above for strength.

First, I needed to exchange greenbacks for grievnas. This is something Kevin has always done but I honestly couldn't remember exactly where. I must have walked right past the spot because I know I was on the right street. So I figured I'd just keep walking and surely run into something. I was trying very hard to look like I knew what I was doing, to keep my mouth shut so my English-habit would not be obvious, not to gawk or try to sound out all the signs, and not to fall on my head in the slush. I did finally find a nice warm spot inside a Columbia Wear store where cash could be exchanged. I had it all figured out which pocket was going to hold what money so I wouldn't have to carry a purse. Then I made myself walk though the maze of shops below our apartment. My quest was to find wet wipes, baby shampoo and plastic cup/dish. This cannot be that difficult. I did find the candy store quite easily which was good because I think I want to get candy for the ladies at the orphanage. Unfortunately for me I can't figure out how the pricing works. The sign said something like 27.50 and then some letters so I didn't know if that was 27.50 per so many grams or what. And since this is Valentines Day--here, too--there were several people gathered around her booth anyway.

So back to the apt to de-stress, eat lunch, try to get hold of Juan and Nancy (no luck), procrastinate a bit more and down to the Metro station with the sun now shining brightly. I rode up to the Maiden stop, checked out all levels of 2 underground malls, walked past stores all around the square, even up a couple streets to no avail. I've found fancy clothes, fancy coats (we are talking gorgeous, full length fur-of-all-kinds coats), fancy boots, fancy underwear, fancy shoes, fancy jewelry, fancy watches, fancy furniture and other fancy household furnishings, music, food court, Valentine bears and hearts and balloons and candy and flowers. But where is good ol' Target or Shopko or K-Mart? Where is a store that sells just regular stuff? I have seen real living, breathing babies and small children here so there has to be someway their parents feed them and wash them.

I did manage to make 2 purchases: a McDonalds meal (interestingly there were 2 other seats at my tiny table and 2 other ladies asked to sit there) and tourist books about Kiev. (I do realize that eating at McDonalds is cheating because Big Mac, fry and Cola Light are the same in both languages but it was still scary to walk in there.) By the end it had turned bitterly cold and was very slick. I think those ladies with spike heels may have a little advantage because they can dig in and not slide.

Just in!! News flash!! Nancy just called and she's found a store that sells wipes and cereal and baby food. So the plan is to join her tomorrow afternoon after paperwork so she can show me where it is. Funny thing is her apt is down by the Maiden so maybe I was right by it and didn't know.

Thanks for your comments everyone. They make me feel like I'm still connected to the rest of the world.


Anonymous said...

you're doing just fine. THere is a baby department store, I am not sure where it was but Dima took us there, plus it was surrouned by lots of stalls selling childrens clothing, etc. I am not sure if they had wipes and food but they certianly had clothing and shoes and such.
Have a great time for your last few days and tell Nancy I said hi.
Would be so nice if you guys could post pictures!
Amy O.

Lynn said...

Wishing you everything of the best. As my mom says life is an adventure to be lived. So enjoy every moment and have a safe trip home

Lynn said...

Please ask the Gonzales family to post. You can tell them they are quite famous - last night I spoke to a lawyer friend at Orphanage 12 and he was so excited to tell me that they were there adopting at a nearby orphanage. Is suspect that they need your courage to figure out how the blog works and we would love to read their story.

Rich, Andrea, Reece & Owen said...

I am so proud of you for venturing out on your own! I was in Estonia in the most beautiful part of the year, but I was so afraid to go out by myself. There was a restaurant literally in the basement of my apartment building and I never went there. So dumb! Try not to worry about Mr. Sasha....he will get so much better once you're home and he is not distracted by you interrupting his normal life! ---Andrea Roberts, Reece's Rainbow

Anonymous said...

Hi, Joy....
I wrote you earlier but don't see it so I must have done something wrong. I'm so proud of you for being so brave on your own - as I said before, I pray God's angels on every side of you!!!!! You are missed here and we can't wait to see you! Stay safe, warm and kiss the baby for all of us!!! We love you! Linda

AZmomto7 said...


I commiserate, I did the same thing, I would go to breakfast and then right back to my tiny room whwere I would lock the door behind me.

You can get all those things in Vorzel in that little store I showed you. There are two stores that sell great chocolate candies.

Glad Nancy called you, you are all so lucky to have folks there with you.

Do you see Caleb tomorrow?

WheresMyAngels said...

I would be so like you, afraid to venture out on my own! Glad you tried it even though you couldn't find what you wanted. Good luck tomorrow with it!