Sarah’s Adventures in Ukraine

Greetings from Ukraine, everyone!

In the first 7 days, I have:

1. Been stranded at the airport.

2. Been left at the wrong bus stop.

3. Been attacked by bus doors. Twice.

4. Decorated a wedding for people I’ve never met, and then attended the wedding. (Still not sure who those people were, but at least they looked happy!)

5. Been lost in Kiev after midnight.

6. Seen the best fireworks show in my life.

7. Prophesied, blessed, and prayed over to within an inch of my life.

8. Huddled on a bench at 3 a.m. in literally my darkest moment, wondering if/when/where I’ll sleep, and guessing probably the bench.

That bench marks a turning point for me. It was the point where I lost it, wondering exactly why I came, why I ever thought this would be a good idea, and what the hell I was doing here. I considered a certain hobbit and how badly I always wanted adventures of my own. Stupid books, filling young peoples heads with dreams of great deeds, bravery, and adventures. Look where it got me: alone and desolate on a Ukrainian bench at Souls’ Midnight. I watched the moonrise over the roofs, and thought how appropriate the line is “at night the stars put on a show for free”, from my favorite song “Up On the Roof”. And then I got mad, because even in the middle of being miserable, unhappy, and depressed, I still couldn’t hate it here. I kept thinking how beautiful the moon was and how I would never have had that moment otherwise. But not enough to keep me from thinking, “I don’t even care if they kidnap me, as long as they give me a bed.”

I can’t really tell you Ukraine is wonderful. I wish I could. It’s beautiful, fascinating, and crazy. But mostly everything seems dark, dismal, and hopeless, most of all peoples’ eyes. And after all my adventures over the last few days, I was convinced that Kiev, Ukraine was out to get me. I wish I could tell you that everything looked better after I had a shower and a good night’s rest. But it didn’t. Ukraine is still a grumpy, cranky old babushka, who just might smack you with her sack if you twitch funny. But I will tell you, that after I had a shower and a good night’s rest, I somehow found the confidence to pull myself together, and face another Ukrainian day head on.

Until next time, dear friends.

10 responses to “Sarah’s Adventures in Ukraine

  1. You are brutally honest. Maybe you got that from me! My first thought while reading your post was “this is going to worry your dad!”. I am also glad that you are ok. You are much more closely immersed in “real” everyday life this time than ever before. You are getting acquainted with that old babushka, but she is not mean. She is just doing what she has to do to survive. You will be fine and it will get better as you (re)learn her ways and learn to get along with her. God be with you, daughter.


  2. So glad that you’re doing okay, but I’m sad that you’re not having a better time. When you’re sharing the experience with someone else like you, it’s much more fun. Instead of being sad, you just laugh about all the bad things that come to you. I pray that the rest of your trip is safe, and I look forward to hearing about your trip in greater detail. Love you!


  3. Well I have to say I cannot tell you I led a sheltered life. Well i kinda did until I joined the Air Force. then i found out real fast that life is not easy or sometimes fun. I also have been left alone on a street in a foreign country. I have wondered if I was going to live to see the next day. A few times I thought I would be knifed before I got back to base. At least, Sarah, you can speak their language. The country I was in I could not speak the language and those people did not like American military. I want to hear your adventures and I know you’ll be OK. Of course I am worried….That is what fathers do about their daughters.


  4. has it already been a week?!
    how did you get lost? who are you staying with? did they try to find you?

    very familiar feelings. sometimes it seems to me that it is easier to conquer NY than Kiev or Moscow. Actually there is a very old movie about it: Moscow does not believe in tears.
    and the most amazing thing is that very often you can see real miracles happening in such situations. i am sure you will soon find an answer to why you are there. you may even understand it after you come back home.


    • Thanks, Tanya, I’ll have to look for it. Things always seem to work out ok. That’s miracle enough for me!
      I can’t believe it’s been a week already either. Too many things happened to write in one post!


  5. When a butterfly flutters its wings to take flight, by cause and effect it may instigate a tornado elsewhere in the world… or something.
    Sarah, I am a firm believer that God sets his children up for nothing but prosperity, and that He does it with a dark sense of humor. You are where you are because as long as I’ve known you, you’ve always tried to do the right thing, and now you’ve done something neither right nor wrong. You’ve done something enviable. You’ve done something scary. You’ve done something because gosh darn it, the world might end and you’d regret it if you didn’t take this risk. God will protect you because even if you don’t believe it, I do. I love you, Cousin.


  6. Pingback: The Park Bench | The Eye of the Tornado

  7. Pingback: The Park Bench | Two Red Tornados

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