I was a bundle of nerves as I landed. I didn't know who I was looking for, so I waited, and eventually ran into my driver, V. Now for anyone who has not seen or met V, he is a piece of pie.....Cutie Pie! Oh, very polite and professional, but a cutie non the less. We drove around collecting groceries, water, and exchanging American dollars and I was pooped. It is always easy to think that you will sleep on the long flights, but I found that nearly impossible. I was excited, nervous, the time change was excruciating and so it just didn't happen. We arrived to my apartment in Kyiv, right outside St. Michael's Cathedral and we rode the scariest, tiniest and darkest elevator to the 4th floor where my little loft apartment waited for me. From there I was able to look out onto the street and just take in the view and collect my thoughts.
The street view was beautiful from that high up. I had a clear view of a painting on the side of a building. A painting of a man, I don't know his name, but I am told it was the first person killed in Maiden, which happened about 2 years earlier. Maiden is the first of the riots and war that happened in Kyiv between Ukraine and Russia. It was a little haunting to me at first; you do think of your own safety for a few moments.... thoughts of. "I hope nothing happens while I'm here" crept in but then I thought, "oh well. I'm here for a purpose". It was cold with the window open but almost refreshing. It is always hot where I live and it was a welcomed change. I can't explain it but it made the quiet and my thoughts feel pure and clean.
I threw up that night. I was worried I was getting sick then I decided nerves are crazy little monsters that steal a good night's rest.
The next morning I met a few more team members. It was very surreal to me. I've heard of these people. Seen them in pictures from other families and on Facebook, but I'm here now. I'm in their country and they are welcoming me. Meeting the big guy, S, is something crazy. I have always referred to him as, "The Don". The team is like his Mafia and he is the boss. (I say that with love!) He is like my version of Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone. It was pretty rad, in my opinion. This team makes things happen. Good things. Things other people are willing to overlook. A Ukrainian Pack of really great people with morals and traditions they want to share with others. (Note: I have no idea if a Ukrainian Mafia exists currently or ever has)
I am a proud Mother to all my children. They are my life. I am proud to have a child with such a rich heritage and culture. I am proud to incorporate Ukrainian tradition with our own. I am proud to say that I have one of the Pack, soon to be two. It is like I am in this cool club with people all over the world.
If you also have a Pack member or two or seven, take a look at these T-shirts we have up and going. Perfect for a boy or girl of any age. You can click the link below to purchase and have them shipped directly to you.
Thanks for all your love and support!