I'm anxious to get to Kiev where I'll be met by a Anatolij Nikiforevich Kukosh. Ivan Yurishko asked him to pick me at the train station and see that I got to Kiev Borispil airport for my flight to Vilnius, Lithuania. My bunkmate friend Volodya gets up, digs for his cigarettes and heads out for a smoke. Now it was my turn to give him a lecture about health.
Our train rolled into Kiev on time exactly at 9:53 am. Anatoliy was at the door with another friend also called Anatoliy whose patronymic was Pavlovich. It was so good to see these helpers because I have absolutely all I can handle. Anotoly Nikoforevich works for a Baptist mission, his wife works for the
government. He's been very helpful to Ivan with his business documents needed for work outside the country and with LifeNets in obtaining necessary registrations. Anatoliy Nikoforevitch is on LifeNet Ukraine board fo directors.
We stopped at what they call Ukrainian McDonalds at the train station The chain is called "Shvidko" which means "fast." You order at the counter like you do at McDonalds except that you have vareniki (pyroghi in Russian), blini and other Ukrainian favorites. I ordered a half order of mushroom vareniki. Then we sat down and had a fine talk. I wanted to take a picture of the ladies behind the counters taking orders, but a Soviet-style guard in all black popped up and told me that it was strictly forbidden to take pictures in a fast food restaurant. What state secret do they have to hide, I wondered. After we sat down to eat our food and when I saw the guard turn the other way I took a internationally sensitive picture of a Ukrainian fast food restaurant which is or will be included in this blog. Then they put me on the shuttle bus to the airport which was an hour ride.
Arriving at the airport I discovered that my flight is one and a half hours late. In Ukraine you go through customs on your way OUT of the country as well as into the country. I sail through customs with no problem. My concern was lots of carrying one type of literature and coming under scrutiny for perhaps carrying articles of commercial or salable value.
Time to check in. I walk up to the check in counter and ask for Tatiana. I tell the agent that she would "help" me check in my unusually heavy baggage. When she saw what I had she said that Tatiana was not there, but she knew what "help" I needed. My two bags weighing 50 pounds each sailed through with a smile. What a relief! What a great blessing it was to have Volodya call Tatiana last night and arrange for this "help." This is probably a 50-80 dollar value blessing.
(MORE COMING FOR THIS DAY)
Tuesday, January 16, 2007