After 12 hours on a plane we finally arrived in Ukraine. We were greeted by Iuliia and her brother Andrew at the airport. They took us back to their parents flat where we had our first taste of traditional Ukrainian food, which consisted of a cold cucumber soup, fried zucchini, potatoes and pork fat. For dessert we had cherry filled perogies with honey and fresh strawberries from the market.
We then had the chance to drive around a bit of Kiev and see some of the sites like the Opera House, Saint Michaels and Saint Andrews church. The next morning we meet a different Iuliia from the YMCA who took us on a walking tour through downtown Kiev. We got to see the national university, the national park of Ukraine, the national library; we took a gondola down to the river and saw some of the 7 bridges that connect left and right Kiev. Later that day we went to the national YMCA office of Ukraine and met Maria, Tatiana and Alex. We pick up our train tickets and made our way to the train station on our way to Lutsk.
We had an extremely hot 8 hour train ride. It’s been +30 for the past few days! Ivanna’s husband and Hannah, our camp interpreter, picked us up at the train station and we headed to Ivanna’s house where we were greeted with giant hugs. After showers and a quick meal, we climbed into bed exhausted.
We woke up early the next day to go to the Lutsk YMCA to catch the bus to camp at lake Switziya. After a long hot bus ride Sarah and I went through the rules of the lake with the kids and then jumped right in to cool off. Everyone is very welcoming and we look forward to the next week of camp.
Keep following our blog for more updates about our time at camp.
Co-written by Sarah Finn