I have finally returned to Ukraine, to the orphanages to continue the work I felt called to do over 7 years ago when I met a tiny little boy names Volusha in a Baby House in Vorzel. I had not returned in 4 years due to the was occurring in Eastern Ukraine and my grief over my son Lee's death.
After much pray and support from my parishioners at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, I was determined to return and pick up where I had left off. This meant that I would be traveling to 5 different orphanages: Zaluchchia, a level 3 orphanage in Western Ukraine, Nivranda, a Baby House in the Ivano-Frankovic region, Znamenka, Vorzel, and another level 3 orphanage in Kyiv where some of the babies from Vorzel had been transferred.
So I packed one very large suitcase with over 200 toys sorted into large ziplock bags each label for a different orphanage. The toys were donated from caring parishioners, family and friends and were mainly rattle and crib toys so that I would have plenty to stimulate the children.
Luckily I packed my clothes and personal supplies in a carry on, since my luggage got lost somewhere between New York and Lyiv. If I understand correctly, it never made it to Munich in time to be transferred to Lyiv. The important thing is that I made it one time, although they DID have to page me in Munich as I was late for boarding. If you know me, being late is just one of my annoying habits!
But I am here in Ukraine waiting to meet my driver to take me to Nivranda. SO FAR, all my connections have worked out just fine. At the airport, I was met by Vera and we then traveled by foot, bus, and trolley around Lyiv which is a beautiful little city in Western Ukraine and the port way to Europe, before boarding our train for a five hour ride to Synatyn where we were met by Helena and her husband and driven to Zuluchchia. SO in one very long day I traveled on a plane, a train, a trolley, a bus and a car!! And you better believe it, I fell asleep with no problem once settled into my room at the orphanage!