We're never alone in Ukraine
Finally a hot shower?
Vladyslav entertains us

Mountain Bike Trip Map: July 28, 2006
Day 23-Ukraine, Novohrad-Volyns'kyi-Korosten :
Complete Log entry for Christian

We awoke at 6 or so and packed. Emmanuelle was going to get a ride into korosten from someone who works with the UNDP. Wasn’t too sure of the details but I left Emmanuelle at 830 and pushed directly into the winds.

The roads were rough and the headwind was violent but I managed to keep an average of19 kmph. The day advanced and Emmanuelle caught up to me with Vladyslav who is the deputy director of the Chernobyl Recovery and development programme in Korosten.

they caught me in a big green UNDP van and offered me a lift. I accepted but I wasn’t too sure where we were going or what was going on. We stopped in the center of Korosten which is a beautiful little town with an active center square.

We arrived in town and Vladyslav who is the regional specialist for the Chernobyl recovery and development program, gave us tour of the UNDP office downtown. we communicated with the use of the computer which he carried with him. we met the staff and had a coffee. we then meet Anatolie who offered us to stay with him at a farm just outside of town.

We arrived at the town at about 6pm and were surprised to see how beautiful it was. it looked like an old hotel and had a fair amount of animals who all came to meet us. At this time I was a little lot and wasn’t sure what was going on. There were a lot of people milling around and the ride that we came in had taken the bags upstairs and left. a little later the host of the farm came and asked if we would like to take a shower and we graciously accepted so he led us outside to a little shack with a little stove and gave us a bucket of hot water and a bucket of cold water and pointed to the Russian sauna. Emma and I thought that this was the coolest thing to bathe on a straw floor inside a wooden shack.

After the shower we were invited to dinner. The dining room was all nicely laid out and everyone was sitting staring at us as we walked through the door. I was really touched by the attention to detail and the great food that we were served. We drank vodka, gave toasts with the help of a really bad computer translator program, sang and ate all night. The toasts were carefully thought out but by the time that the computer got a hold of them they turned out like: «good people very happy joy to and us being here», you know how computers are...

The party lasted into the night and the deputy mayor explained the infrastructure and the way that korosten works. This was the first time I could see the day to day problems and courage of the people here. Hidden behind the walls of each partially eroded house there was a strong Ukrainian down-home heart.

I was really touched by the welcome but tomorrow is another big day so Emma and I went to bed.