Helmet crash tests
Arrival at the center
Emmas art therapy project

Mountain Bike Trip Map: Aug 2, 2006
Day 28-Ukraine, Borodianko - Boyarka :
Complete Log entry for Emmanuelle

It was 10 am when we finally hit the road after many goodbyes, a few tears and many blessings.

Although we had sent a box of gifts home, my bags were still very heavy. Our generous host had packed this huge lunch with only 12 snickers. Bless her heart! What a sweet and generous lady. I will miss her and all the people from the centre. It s amazing, I ve only known them for 2 days and it feels like we have been friends for ages.

It was near 2 o clock when we finally hit the outskirt of Kiev. The traffic had become heavy and I was getting really tiried of inhaling the fumes of the cars and trucks. We stopped on the side of the road for lunch. Chris went to get a huge watermelon for desert. That was so refreshing!!

We didn t stop for long because we knew we were being expected by people from the Boyarka centre who had come to show us the way out of Kiev and towards Boyarka.

A few kilometres later, there they were waiting for us with ballons, ukrainian flags and a banner with our names. Our new translator, Natasha introduced us to Tatiana, the deputee chairwoman of the Boyarka centre and her husband, a massage therapist and artist.

They functioned as a pilot car for us all the way to Boyarka. I was very thankful to them because driving though Kiev was hell! So many cars, and so many crazy drivers. One truck actually brushed Chris while the others were honking at us like crazy!

Finally we arrived at Boyarka. To our surprise. A committee of kids and staff was waiting for us and gave us the warmest welcome. I was told they had been waiting for a long time. I felt bad we were arriving so late but when you bike it's difficult to precisely calculate the time it will take you from one place to another because our speed of travel depends on so many parameters. This time, it was the head wind.

Then another surprise was waiting for me. The intercultural art therapy project was there! beautifully displayed on the wall in the entrance. It brought tears into my eyes. All that work and the final master piece in front of me!

We toured the centre, visited the different rooms. I was especially interested by the art therapy program. I met with the art therapist Oxana who was a psychologist who specialized in art therapy. I regretted I could directly speak to her as I felt we had a lot to talk about. The centre is very nice and well set up. A lot of people coming to the centre are from the hospital of Boyarka which is next to the centre.

We then had a delicious home made dinner that women of the centre had prepared. So much time and care was put in the dishes and table decorations. I was very touched.

We ate, laughed, shared our trip, impressions,..again it was another precious moment.

Then Natascha took us to her home, a typical traditional Ukrainian home. We met with her sweet baby boy and her grandma. She showed us around and told us about her ancestors. Her husband offered to give us a free Tibetan massage, I accepted it as my back hurt a lot. I felt much more relaxed and ready to go to bed afterwards.