Emma at dinner
Us dancing the polka
The choir sings

Mountain Bike Trip Map: July 31, 2006
Day 26-Ukraine, Ivankiv - Borodianko :
Complete Log entry for Christian

We awoke and as usual ate breakfast before breakfast because we didn’t understand what was going on. so we ate two times but that was okay because I was not a huge meal. After we went to the assembly room in the centre where we found that there was a concert planned for us. We were greeted by the mayor and a Ukrainian choir with bread and salt. It was really touching and Emma couldn’t hold back her tears as the choir started to sing. We walked to the front and listened to a song before we were greeted and informed about the town by the mayor and local specialists.

They all gave a speech on the good things and some surprising stats that really gave a good impression on what the real problems were in the town. They all made us out to be heroes but I think that the real heroes were right in front of us. The determination to put the problems behind them seemed endless and allowed some to deal with the present problems of the community. The mayor seemed confident about the importance of the community centres which gave me a feeling of hope for the future of the community.

Then the choir sang with the most powerful voices I have ever heard which brought tears to my eyes. Our two translators translated the songs like a subliminal message which over sampled the songs. After a few songs we retired to the centre cafeteria where we broke bread and had coffee with the members of the choir. i had eaten too much but they still force fed me cake and told me to eat with both hands. This was a special moment for both me and Emma because we really felt like we belonged to the community.

After coffee we san and danced with the ladies of the choir in the hall. Emma danced the polka for the first time in public and I stood back and took some pictures. one of the ladies gave a shall to Emma right off of her own back which was a touching moment.

After we had a round table discussion about the differences in society and one of the ladies went back to her house and gave us a bag filled with homemade vodka and other travel goodies. It was a touching moment and I wished that it would last but we had to leave at three so we said our goodbyes and went to tour the hospital.

In the hospital we meant with the head doctor for the region who gave us some surprising stats about the uprising cancer case in the area. This is the first time I really realized that the stats that I had read from many sources were wrong or falsified. He pushed a document towards me which gave the true stats for the area over the last six months. This is really a turning point in our journey. Somehow these specs did not correspond to what the people showed or thought that they knew. at least the trend is stable the doctor reassured us but the old equipment and the rising need for new technology makes it hard to diagnose the people quickly and efficiently. There was only one x-ray machine that was fabricated a decade ago which worked in the whole hospital and the network of computers was poor.