Wow, what an experience to be back! While I took a walk in Kiev at the open air market, I felt like home. Now I realize it is not like home, it IS home!
Saturday I met up with Misha and Natasha. We worked together helping Jewish people. They are both still involved with the work. Even though we haven’t seen one another for about 8 years, I guess, it seems no time has passed and we simply continue where we left off. We walk over to the Kreshatik and the Independence Square to see the big tree (yes, the one that had given me so much trouble the day of arrival). We have lunch with typical Ukrainian food, yummy, and then it is time for me to catch my train to Kharkov.
Alla is waiting for me at the train station in Kharkov and has arranged transport. It’s nearly midnight by now, so that is such a blessing. At her apartment we keep telling ourselves we have to go to bed, but we continue talking. Finally we force ourselves to shut our mouth and go to sleep.
I have been reunited with many friends and still many more to see. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions. My stuff is in the process of being sorted out. Even though it is just ‘stuff’, it still means a lot to me. I am glad I can give away the useful things. My tapes (yes, I am from that generation and not ashamed of it!) I thought would be destroyed by time and dust. Nothing is further from the truth. To my unspeakable joy I can still listen to my favorite music! There are two special tapes, one that my dad taped for me with his handwriting on it, and one taped for me by my mother with her handwriting on it. I hold those close to my heart.
Furthermore, my soft toys are waiting for me. Each one of them carrying a story from a special person or occasion. Like the Winnie the Pooh that my team in Dnepropetrovsk gave me many years ago. It could sing a Russian lullaby. When I got overstressed, I would take a walk in the office with my Pooh singing to me :) . I can’t wait to be reunited with them and recollect the stories!
Nelya has been my hair dresser in Ukraine and honestly, she has been the best ever. She just knows how to deal with my hair and how to make me look nice. This time I have chosen the colors myself. It is on the daring side… I had little time to choose and have second thoughts about the endeavor. According to Nelya and some other friends it turned out nice. I still need to get used to it. Luckily, there is still time to change my mind before I leave…
The strangest thing of all is, that meeting with friends that I haven’t seen for nearly 5 years is so absolutely normal! Each and everyone has the same feeling. We simply continue where we have left off, as if there hasn’t been a gap and hardly any communication during that time. Time has no meaning in this respect. How awesome!