After much anticipation, my parents made it to Ukraine! Despite flight problems on the way in, we had a great week together. We spent our first day sightseeing in Kiev and then we hopped the train to Lugansk that night.
St. Michael’s Church in Kiev
The 16-hour train to Lugansk (Rovenky is about 90 minutes south of Lugansk by bus)
Picnic on the train!
Once we finally made it to Rovenky and everyone had a chance to nap, we started our tour of friends and families that I’ve become close to during my time here. I tried to spread things out as best as I could so that each day, we had one group of friends or a family to visit. School was only in session for two of the days when we were in Rovenky because of the First of May holiday. And if you remember from my blog from last year, we have a big parade and cookout here in town for the holiday.
Dinner at Alyona’s house on Monday night! (Lyosha, Alyona, me, Mom, Dad, and Roma)
Everyone at school before the First of May parade
In the town square waiting for the parade to get started
Coal miners walking in the parade
Mom and Dad enjoying shashlik (Ukrainian equivalent of shish kabobs) in the park
Tuesday evening: dinner at my friend Alina and her family’s house (Grandma, Valeria, Lena, Valery, Alina, and my parents
Wednesday: We went to Lugansk to meet Cary, another volunteer, and take the obligatory picture with “Grandpa Lenin”
Wednesday afternoon: pizza with some of my students from the other school where I have an English club
After-pizza beers with Alyona at the Rovenky brewery
Thursday: English club at my school!
Thursday evening: dinner at one of my student’s house (Slavic, Dad, Mom, Asya (my student), Tanya, me, Grandma)
Eating lunch at school on Friday
With the principal of school before we left on Friday
It was a whirlwind trip for all of us, but really great. I had so much fun showing my parents my life here – school, town, apartment, friends etc. I only uploaded a limited number of pictures here, but if you’d like to see more, here’s a link: