We’ve seen some pretty amazing things in Ukraine so far. We’ve gotten to see the inside of three trains so far, with one more to go in a couple of days. The trains are a unique experience, to say the least. I’ve ridden in two different car styles (the older and newer), and can testify that the older style, though not as “pretty” is certainly functionally better.
We’ve been in a number of towns and villages across the country, with some pretty wide differences in culture, primary language and typical weather. Crimea was really warm, but our visit there probably had the most “rustic” feel to it. Kyiv has been a sort of “home base”. Kyiv has some amazing sights, but it has been an overcast drab-grey every day we’ve been there. Goes well, as my friend Lee says, with the heavy use of minor keys used in their music.
Tirnopil has been wonderful so far. It has varied between that same dreary grey and bright blue with clouds. Yesterday, I got to teach about the role of deacons to a classful of missionary students from across the Russian-speaking world. Pretty amazing. They had some great questions, and seemed really passionate about the gospel.
And I am really enjoying getting my Russian and Ukrainian into better working order. Study has definitely helped. I’m not a native-speaker, by any stretch of the imagination. But I’ve been able to ask for what I need, read menus, read signs, and hold some personal conversations (a mixture of English and Russian as context required) with some of our guides, etc. I’ve met some very cool people though, and the interest in their language has definitely been a good bridge.
This is the first morning where we haven’t been, “Go! Go! Go!” We’re getting some much-needed down time. Probably do some walking around here shortly. Hope everyone is having a great day.