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June 17, 2005

Thursday in Kiev - Wow!

If it is Thursday, it must be Kiev...the Belmont team and the Tullahoma team traveled to Kiev for a day of shopping and sightseeing. Two hours of un-airconditioned bus called for some unusual cooling off and the example of other Ukranians pulled our group, barefooted, into one of the fountains on the square. The million+ Ukrainians who camped out and demonstrated on this same square six months ago as part of the Orange Revolution are gone, replaced by numerous yellow and blue national flags prominently displayed around the area. This is a place of national pride for this country and a rallying point for freedom.

The story and the memorial at Babiy-Yar is equally powerful. In 1941-42 over 100,000 local Jews were led to the edge of an open trench an were shot...for days afterward, witnesses claim that the ground was still moving after the dead, wounded, and dying were covered in dirt. The magnitude of the deep, grassy trenches that stand as part of the memorial speak to the depth of the pain this country experienced during World War Two.

In our travels along highways in Ukraine, we had noticed signs that looked much like city limit signs except for the black background and a diagonal red stripe across the village name. There are 150 such villages surrounding Chernobyl (in what is called "the exclusion zone") where it may be several hundred (or thousand) years before it is safe to live. The Chernobyl National Museum documents the people, places, and tragedy from the explosion...much to process following that stop.

The day was not completely somber...shopping along the streets, a stop at an underground mall, a change from our Ukrainian diet to McDonalds and Baskin Robbins, a visit to the monastery and St. Michael's Orthodox Church, a colection of 'potty adventure stories' and a return trip to Zhitomir finished the day. By the by, have you ever seen a roadside stork's nest?? Wayyy kewl!

Posted by Paul Chenoweth at June 17, 2005 07:01 AM


Great post today!!! There is so much history there, thanks for sharing the first hand information on that area.

Posted by: Randall at June 17, 2005 02:19 PM

Kimb and Team:

It's been awesome to be able to keep up with your travels, each day, and know that you are all safe, well, and having a terrific time. It's great to have the technology to be able do it and we, here at home, thank you for taking the time to utilize it! We love all of the stories and pictures...knowing there will be tons more to hear upon your return home. But, it's wonderful to be able to share in your thoughts and experiences, in "real time" too...as if we were actually there with you. (a special thanks to Paul.)

Also, glad to hear you got a break from the native diet with a trip to Mickey D's....AND Baskin Robbins!! It's nice that you could get "a little love from home". Now...if it had been a "double/double" from In & Out...a totally different story! We'd be worried that you might decide to stay and wouldn't get on the plane to come home!

Love you and miss you....Anita & Daddy

Posted by: Anita and Dad at June 17, 2005 07:01 PM

Hey guys!! I was so excited to read about the awesome time y'all are having in the Ukraine!! We've missed having you in Brasil this year but I'm pumped to see how God is using you across the ocean!! May God bless you guys as you continue seeking Him and using your talents to further His kingdom!! ~ Amy from Rio

Posted by: Amy Elrod at June 18, 2005 02:48 AM

Happy, Happy Birthday to daughter Jenny. Hope you had a great 22nd. Wish we could spend the day with you, but we'll see ya soon. Have fun,

Love ya lots, mom and dad....

Posted by: Don And Linda Conkle at June 18, 2005 06:10 PM