June is flying by around here! We are enjoying hotter summer days (especially hot for our teammates who don't have air conditioning), but we're loving the sun and enjoying all the time we're getting outside. There's something about summer that brings the Ukrainians to life and it's wonderful to be a part of it.
These last two weeks we've had our teammates, Brandon and Katie Price, here in Kharkov with us. They left yesterday to go down south to visit Mariupol, Ukraine (to the congregation they worked with for several years). On Thursday, our whole team will travel down to Mariupol and spend the weekend with them. It will be good to go see a different part of Ukraine, meet other Christians, and get to know the people who Brandon and Katie call their family. After our time with them, we'll all come back to Kharkov, making a day stop in Donetsk, Ukraine to register visas and inquire about car registration. We hope to get a car pretty soon, we just need to figure out how to put it in our name.
Our Time with the Prices
We were blessed to have Brandon and Katie stay with us for the first week of their visit here. During that time we really got to know each other better. David and I are very excited to have another couple around our age coming here. They also attended our language classes during the week and our teacher Yelena took right to them. Katie also taught me how to make вареники [ver-en-ik-y], a Ukrainian pasta dish. Вареники can be filled with many things, but we filled ours with potatoes and cheese, then another batch with berries. You boil them on the stove for just a few minutes, then serve them warm with sour cream. Even the berry filled ones are served with sour cream (with a little sugar) on top. It was delicious!
Scouting the City
For the last couple weeks we've been walking around different parts of the city. We enjoy where we're living now (the center), but all hope to move to a different part of the city this next year. In the center, we feel like we're in an apartment building that is mostly surrounded by businesses. We hope to find a place that has a "neighborhood" atmosphere where we can become a part of a community. So, our team walked around four different areas of the city we were interested in, and two of them appealed to us all, so that is great. I'm including some pictures from our walk. We wondered how strange we must look to people-- 8 Americans and their kids walking around!
I also wanted to mention we received a care package from Legacy a couple weeks ago!! Denyce and Lucy both came "shopping" in my pantry as well to grab a few goodies. It's so nice to have fun foods around. The box contained food, books, fun toys, lotions, and medicine too. The medicine came just in time as Lucy has been sick with a horrible head cold and I got a minor version of it as well... it was nice to have American medicine we already know and trust on hand!
I'll stop writing so this post doesn't become too long. I still have a few more things to share, so I'll be posting again soon in a couple days. I did want to mention our teammate Brandon's blog. He's posting a picture a day and so far they've all been of their trip to Ukraine. Most of the pictures are common things we see around here, he just does a great job capturing it. His site is: brandonprice.posterous.com