Varla’s admission to hospital for her eyes have been put off until she has some of her neurological problems sorted out. This is proving a bit difficult as we arranged for her to have a CAT scan in a private clinic in Kyiv. When we arrived they took one look at her and told Stephania ‘You didn’t tell us she was that young’. Stephania’s answer was that they hadn’t asked her. We now have to arrange for her to see the paediatrician at the same hospital who will sedate her before the scan so that she will keep still. More wasted time, which didn’t please either of us.
Varla’s father is still not very stable in his seeing her. He rang us last week when we should have been at church (I think this is the first time we actually weren’t for long and complicated reasons) and again expected us to wake her up, although I told him several times she was having a sleep. He has said he will come on Saturday at 5pm to see her. We will have to wait and see.
She had to have a development test yesterday at the nursery and all went well, but while we were waiting to go in Natasha, our translator, was talking to another couple who were also waiting. Natasha told us later that, as with many Ukrainians, they couldn’t get their head around charity and fostering and were trying to work out what we got out of it. They just could not understand that we do it for love of the children. The father was impressed though, that Varla could talk fluently in English, Russian and Ukrainian.
We have had many visitors this month, including our friends Peter and Anne and two of their sons. Although it was partly a holiday and also meeting some friends Peter occasionally does work with over here, they also spent quite a bit of time working in the garden and I can actually see some of the crops I have planted. Unfortunately, I have planted much more beetroot than I realised so Sr Andrea who runs the soup kitchen in Kyiv will probably get quite a few sacks full this year as well as her usual potatoes. Patrick, the oldest of the sons to come over here wants to come back on his own in August for a holiday and Anne and Peter are looking into the possibility of this happening.
We also had Andre and Natasha, a couple we met in England who are hoping to come here eventually and open a riding school using rescued horses. They still have a long way to go as they have only just started looking into the legalities of this and also looking for land they can develop for this purpose. Natasha is a diabetic, not controlled properly, and wasn’t well for a bit of the visit so Andrew had to go out on his own to start looking into things. Tomorrow they are off to Kherson to visit friends there who may be able to help them as that is where they really want to set up.
Sunday was international Children’s Day and we were asked to go to an event in Brovary Park, starting at 10am. We duly went to Brovary at 10am, did a bit of essential shopping first, then to the park. Nothing going on or apparently being set up. We walked around the park for a while, looking for anything out of the usual going on, still nothing. Len’s knee was beginning to ache so we eventually came home. I had rung Natasha, the translator who had been with me when we were asked. She confirmed the time and place. Next day we asked Larissa about it and she calmly said, as if we were psychic, ‘Oh, it started at 11am.’ Does this sound a bit familiar to you Colin?
Ceman is away at the moment in the Crimea with the school. He rings us most nights, but as usual, trying to show that he knows everything and I know nothing, wouldn’t check in with the teacher at the station, wouldn’t check which compartment he was in or anything else I told him to do. He went running up the platform to the train, getting in the compartment his friends were in. Later that night he rang to say he hadn’t been given a ticket and didn’t have anywhere to sleep. I explained that it was his problem, there was nothing I could do from Kyiv and he should have taken notice of me when I told him to check things. He ended up topping and tailing with one of his friends (I knew one of them would). I still don’t think he’s talking to me as I didn’t snap my fingers from all those miles away and get him a ticket and bed of his own.
We are, to say the least, annoyed with Andre at the moment. It was Masha’s birthday at the beginning of the month and we bought her a hew bike as she had greatly outgrown the one we bought when she first came here. The big problem is that Andre is using it every day for work (7am until at least 7pm every day) so she still doesn’t have a bike to play with when she wants to go out with her friends. Thankfully, the girls who come here have been letting her use their bikes by turn so that she can play out with them and other friends.
We have another young man staying with us for a while. His name is Serhiy (Seroja). He is Russian with Ukrainian Residency, working in Borispol town as a welder and was living in a hostel together with three other men. He felt he had no privacy and we had met him several times at the church. He had also been over a few times, when he wasn’t working, to help in the garden. He is currently trying to get to Canada. I don’t think we will have the problems we have had previously as we said the terms were 100 hrn per week to cover extra gas and electric and meals (we cannot legally charge rent) or he could do 10 hours work a week, either in the garden with me or helping Len with jobs around the house. Without being asked he paid me 500 hrn for the first month. He leaves for work at 7am and doesn’t get back until gone 11pm most nights so far, so will not be able to help with the work most of the time.
Ceman was grounded until he started his holiday as the school contacted us and asked where Ceman was. When we said at school we were told that he hadn’t been to school for the last five days, although he had left here as if he were going to school. He said that he didn’t want to go to school, but wanted to play with his friend. We have explained that this is a village, not the internat or the town and it is noted if he doesn’t go to school and we are informed, so he can stop thinking he can get away with it as he won’t.
We had the first of the strawberries today, not quite red right through, but absolutely delicious, very sweet and firm, better than you get in the shops in England. While weeding I have also found some lettuce, spinach, dill and many other things that have started coming up. We also have so many pumpkins and marrows and I may end up ploughing them back into the ground, although I am spreading them out a little.
James, the priest at Christ Church, has said that after talking with his doctors it has been decided that he should not come back to Kyiv, so we will now have to start the process of getting another full time priest for the church. Please pray very hard about this.
We will be loosing many friends over the next few weeks. Martin from the embassy will be finishing his tour of duty this weekend and Anne, Graham and their daughter Buffy will be leaving Ukraine permanently when this school term finishes. I also have a feeling that some of the others may be leaving for good, so feel quite lonely once they go, but knowing God as I do, he’ll send us other friends to take their place.
That’s it for this month, will keep you informed as usual as things develop.
Many thanks for all the prayers and support given to us by you all.
That Len’s health continues to improve.
That we can get enough money to either buy or lease a 9 seater vehicle.
That we can get the funding and planning permission for the new building.
That Anatoliy, our doctor friend, can initiate his plans to come to England for work and to learn the language.
For Sasha, our friend here, for a complete recovery from injuries sustained in a car crash.
That I can continue to do all the extra work and running around I need to do until Len is fit again.
That Ceman learns the importance of education and work.
For private intentions of my own.
That Ukrainians will open their hearts to show the disadvantaged children love.
That Varla’s parents can stop drinking.
For James our priest at Christ Church, that he learns which direction God wants him to go next and that he makes a full recovery.
For Andre and his girls.
For the doctors and nurses at the hospitals, that Ukrainians recognise their worth.
Our American friend in his illness and for comfort and support for his wife.
That I can get all the medical needs done for Varla.
That Viktor can get his seaman’s ticket so that he can earn enough to buy a larger apartment so that he can have Ceman to live with him again.
For our Canadian friends, that she gets over her severe PND and he and his mother can cope with the problems this is causing.
Must finish now or I will never get this letter off. I have to retype it onto the lap top as there is not direct link and the main computer won’t connect to the internet.
Our love and prayers are with you all.
Pat, Len, Ceman, Kiril, Albina, Katya, Ira and Varla