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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Vatutine, Ukraine

Feb 12, 2011 - Lessons Learned

After being in Ukraine for almost two years, I'm moving on. It's not easy leaving Ukraine. In fact it's breaking my heart. When I decided to leave I was going through a hard time but as I left I realized that my language skills are better and I'm having progressive studies. I'm very sad to leave my babushka studies. Though at first I found it hard studying with them because they're speaking Ukrainian or they're always telling you the same stories every time, I realized that if you just keep coming to them and study a little bit each week,...

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Nov 10, 2010 - Bread and Grapes

That's what I'm learning this month. How to bake bread and make grape juice. The first didn't go so well but the second turned out successful. Baking bread is definitely an art which I've yet to master but making grape juice, all you need is your two hands to squeeze all the juice from the grapes. The joys of Ukraine is getting back to basics. Let me tell you more about some aspects of daily life here. For one thing, heat. The first two weeks of October was cold and rainy so they and I mean by that the town decided to turn on the heat. No...

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Apr 7, 2010 - First Year Anniversary

Yes, it’s already been a year. I can’t believe it. Time has just flown by. I’ve really enjoyed it here. I’ve come a long way since my first week with no hot water, not understanding the language, tired from just walking a few hundred meters to now. I’m used to heating up the water for a bath, understanding what people are saying and even conducting studies, and walking many kilometers without getting too tired. I’ve come to know the congregation here as my own family and impressed by their zeal in the ministry. The potential here is great...

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Feb 8, 2010 - Holidays

The holidays are long over I know but the way they celebrate here is a bit different. They don’t celebrate Christmas on December 25 here. In fact I had a full day of service which is a first on this day. They celebrate Christmas on January 7 and even then I had a good day in service. Christmas is not so commercialized here as back home which is a relief. And since I don’t have a TV, I’m spared all the commercials. They also celebrate New Year’s not once but twice. The regular December 31 with fireworks and then on January 14, the old New...

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Jan 6, 2010 - Winter Hits Vatutina

Yes, no more plus 10 but minus ten and snow. A typical winter but it’s my first winter outside of Canada. I was even able to ride my bike in service in -5 degrees. But the thing I was always curious about was how do you do service in winter here, especially without a car? Many of you have asked about my calls or experiences here so let me devote this blog to the ministry. One of my favorite things to do is fresh territory. It still amazes me how people listen at the door. It’s so easy to use the Bible Teach Book on the first call that...

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Dec 4, 2009 - Home Sweet Home

Yes, I’ve moved back to Vatutine. Reason being we couldn’t live in our apartment in Katerinopil through the winter. But instead Ruth and I found a nice two-room apartment in Vatutine as the accompanying video shows. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V_JLtwb6Ug I’m just glad we have water every day. Being on the fourth floor we get a lot of exercise every day. No elevators here. And of course, in service, since there are a lot of 5-story apartment buildings, the interested ones always live on the fifth floor. The month started out a bit...

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Apr 1, 2009 - My first week in Vatutine

So what is Vatutine really like? It's hard to describe but it is a small town of 20,000 with lots of apartment buildings and a nice lake closeby and random dogs and cats running around. Let me explain our congregation in Vatutine is really a group and with another small town nearby we're under a congregation in another town over. What I really like about our group is that many of the brothers and sisters are need-greaters themselves coming from other parts of Ukraine. So there's a good pioneer spirit. We had the CO visit last week and the...

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Mar 25, 2009 - Living it down in Vatutine

Hi everyone, Yes, I've arrived in Vatutine after a four hour bus ride. I was a bit apprehensive, what with Jill worrying about me and the bus station and my other friends who just went to Ecuador and got their laptop stolen on the bus there. But thankfully I got here except I almost didn't get off at the right town. There's no signs or announcements on this little bus but my friends spoke with the bus driver about me before i left so he told me to get off at Vatutine. And this is the real Ukraine. Much different than the city. And Canada....

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Jun 28, 2007 - Rocketing Through the Heart of Ukraine

Ukraine is sometimes described as a no-man's land between Russia and the west. There's some truth to that in the modern context - 15 years of talk about whether Ukraine's going to lean left (east) or right (west) has reached mind-numbing proportions. By failing to go one way or the other Ukraine has managed to carve out its own unique identity - being wishy-washy, yes, but also being (hold your breath) independent. The centre of Ukraine is to Ukraine what Ukraine is to Europe (the inside of a Europe matryoshka doll, if you will). Does it...

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