January 3rd, 2009 â€“ Skiing
We skied out for about an hour and a half across flat beautiful landscapes.
I don’t know how this happened.
Anatoliy led us across these vast landscapes to a giant birch tree forest. Anatoliy continuously encouraged us. As we walked through the forest, a horse drawn cart passed us in the other direction. Shortly thereafter we reached our destination: a little alcove in the woods where a wooden hut had been built. The people with the horse must have been using a fire because the burning embers remained.
Jess, Me, Anatoliy
What luck! Here we were in this most picturesque of places and there was a fire waiting for us. We warmed ourselves and then cooked some meat and bread that Jess had smartly packed. We dined and then, after a short snow ball fight, we started our return.
On the way back, the sun was setting over the vast landscape. It was beautiful. As we concluded our trip, the Moon and Venus were shining brightly above us.
After we got back and ate more food, we went to Larissaâ€™s place for showers. SHOWERS YES! Volodimir installed a pretty luxurious shower in their foyer. This isnâ€™t as strange as it sounds. The houses in Ukraine are all very small, presumably because small houses are a heck of a lot easier to heat. Had the family not put the shower in the foyer it would have had to have gone in the kitchen, dining room, or a bedroom. And the shower was separated from the rest of the foyer with tapestries. Anyway, the shower has a stereo, water jets, and hot water. Volodimir apparently had to install a pump in the well and a hot water heater in order to get this luxury. And I assure you, it was luxurious. After the shower, we had tea and chocolates. All was well.
Unfortunately, when we got back to the house it was freezing. I tried to start the fire and was terribly unsuccessful (itâ€™s much harder than one would expect). After struggling to keep it lit for over an hour Jess came in and worked her magic. The delay however resulted in a frigid 47 degree night of sleeping. That was decidedly my worst night of sleeping. So frigid!! Still though, between the pig, the cross country skiing, and the shower, the day was top notch. Even a 47 degree night couldnâ€™t put a damper on the day.
Special thanks to Anatoliy for this post’s photographs. Awesome!