BLOG # 7
April 30, 2019
How quickly time passes! This is our last week in Ukraine and therefore this will be our final blog. Our experiences have included lows and highs. Again we have become reacquainted with friends from the past and made new friends. The return of spring has resulted in much natural beauty. We are seeing new plants and hearing new bird songs. The locals are also noticing some of these changes.Climate change?
The couple owns 12 hectares of land which they had seeded in barley and wheat, but without adding fertilizer because they could not afford the cost. Even if the harvest is successful, grain prices are very low, because they are forced to sell to buyers who have access to the markets. They have a garden, some pigs and chickens, so that will keep them fed fortunately. The husband has a bad knee and struggles to walk, so he is due for a knee replacement.
As Canadians we cannot imagine their dilemma because our medical expenses would be covered. The only way Mennonite Centre can respond to such needs is through your donations. We thank you for your generosity.
Monday we were invited to an Easter Festival at the Tokmak Greek Catholic Church. There was music inside the church by a small choir from the Molochansk Music School, and outstanding violin performances by Dasha Barenovskaya, graduate from Dniepro University.
Outdoors there were displays of Ukrainian artwork, Easter Egg painting, and offers of paska, eggs, and tea for snacks. Dancers from the local music schools performed in colorful costumes. We enjoyed the music of guitars, bandura, accordion, and more singing. It was a wonderful community event for people of all ages, enjoying fellowship in this lovely wooded area. Many volunteers from the church had worked hard to prepare the grounds and displays. It was an Easter celebration by the church for the community.
On Tuesday we met with our Ukrainian Board, a legal requirement for doing charity work here in Ukraine. The members are leaders from the community whom we trust for feedback for the types of projects we do. The dialogue and exchange of ideas and perspectives among them was most encouraging. After lunch we were entertained by Sergei, Irina and Masha Lokotkov and pianists Tanya & Oksana, all from the Tokmak Music School.