Thursday, December 25, 2008


We were planning to go up to Andreyevo to see Valya. But our facilitator called in the morning and told us that the roads were still not passable due to ice and trees that had fallen across the road.

So, we decided to go shopping again. On Monday, we went to Privoz, but we were really looking for touristy things, so we went to downtown Odessa where there are sidewalk vendors.

Mark has a head cold so we are letting him sleep alot the last few days.

Here are some pictures from the day.

Here is someone rummaging through the dumpster in front of our apartment. It is sad to see. Often it is old ladies who do that. This fellow had a beer in his hand. Sadly, that too, is not unusual. Open container laws in America restrict public consumption of alcohol, but it is not uncommon to see here, even with teenagers.

Catching the bus to go downtown. You can see how large the apartment buildings are. Yesterday, an apartment building blew up from a natural gas explosion in Crimea Ukraine, which is east and south of Odessa. There is an interesting street sign to the right of Nancy. It looks like people dashing across the road. Not sure really what it is saying, because they do have a pedestrian crossing sign which does not look like this one. A couple of weeks ago, we were coming home from Andreyevo after seeing Valya and we passed a dead man lying in the street. He had been hit by a car and his belongings were scattered all over the road. The authorities hadn't arrived yet. There are new laws in Ukraine now regarding jaywalking, and for cars to yield right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks.

At a square at a Russian Orthodox church in downtown Odessa.

There were some musicians playing. It was cold enough with gloves on. I don't know how that guitar player could stand to play. They were out there the whole time we were there.

Men gather here to play chess and dominoes. One of them motioned for me, the Amerikansky, to play chess. I declined. I imagine I would get creamed.

There are many sidewalk vendors here. There are many paintings for sale and other kinds of vendors.

We bought a doll for Valya to remember her Ukrainian heritage. We picked a dark-haired one that reminds us of her.

At the Aphena mall downtown. It is 6 levels with very nice stores.

At another little mall downtown. The architecture is beautiful.

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