We spent our first full day in Kiev getting everything unpacked and walking around the area we are staying to get acclimated a bit. Maiden Square (also known as Independence Square) was quite busy today due to Victory Day. We spent a little time down there as we meet up with a couple of other families for ice cream. They also showed us where the underground mall is and the entrance to the Metro (subway) that we will ride to take us part of the way to the orphanage (we'll have to then catch a bus to get to the town where the orphanage is located). Tonight we are going to the fireworks for Victory day with one of the families and a couple of kids from two other families whose dads will be working at that time. It has already been so helpful knowing other families who here adopting from the same orphanage as we are. They have been able to show us around, tell us where to shop and which food to buy or not buy (e.g. which color lid on the bottled water means it has gas (carbonation) or no gas). We are happy to learn from their experiences!
Our Boundary Waters camping experiences were good practice for life in Kiev. We have to use bottled water to brush our teeth (Max and I forgot the first time we brushed), boil hot water to do dishes and string a clothes line to dry our clothes. I've heard the locals don't even drink the water out of the tap here. We do have a washing machine but all the dials are labeled in Ukrainian. Paul and I used google translator today to try and figure out what they mean. Not all the words translated to an English word and others translated to things like strip & squeezing and pump. We figured strip & squeezing means rinsing and spinning. Not sure about pump when it comes to a washing machine. Oh well, the first load of laundry likes fine so hopefully we'll be as lucky next time.
In the next blog, I'll try to include some pictures of things we have seen in Kiev. No time to try and figure out how to do that now as we need to leave for the fireworks very soon.