Sunday, November 21, 2010

First you work, then you see museum

A few days ago, I was told that the soccer team at "The Way Home" was traveling to Kiev to play in a tournament, and I jumped at the opportunity to invite myself.  I made a quick phone call to my friend, Artyom, in Kiev to make sure I would have friends in town, and a hostel bed to sleep in and next thing I know, I am on an overnight train to Kiev.  

I arrive in Kiev bright and early on Saturday, ready to tackle the city yet again.  My plan was to hang out with the kids during the day, and enjoy the city at night; beyond that, I really had no idea what the schedule really was.  In fairness to my organization, they did give me a break down before I can, but it was in Ukrainian and I figured it wasn't like I was going to tell them, "Actually, I don't want to do that," so I figured I would just roll with the punches.  

After checking into my hostel, I met up with our team at their hotel in the suburbs, and then followed them to an unknown destination.  I was fine not asking too many questions, but there was one thing that really did confuse me.  I was told we were going on excursions/museum trips, yet some of the kids were carrying rakes.  I just had to ask why.  What I got was, "We are going to the lake to pick up trash, then going to a museum."  Fair enough.

We show up at a lake, and it turns out that one of our excursions is a tour of a local park while collecting trash.  I have to give it up for these street kids, UNICEF really makes them earn ever donation they get.  We were handed white cloth gloves, and a trash bag.  "No trash pick up tool or rubber gloves?" I thought.  Nope, our task was to successfully cleanup a lake using thin little gloves and not cut ourselves with a broken bottle of booze.  It was actually a lot of fun - our group is really energetic so we had a great time laughing, and pretending we were at a shop as we fish menu items from the water.
Collecting trash by a local lake
The girls-  Alina & Lena

Alpha Love!

Good work, team! 

After posing next to all the trash we collected, we had earned our tour of Kiev's Football Stadium.  We all drove downtown together, and had a great time walking around the stadium.    I posed as assistant photographer, and took pictures of everyone who wanted a shot.  I suppose now everyone will want to be my friend on "" which is the Russian equivalent of Facebook, so they can see their pictures.  

Our Team!

I will try to gather my thoughts enough to write about my night last night, but seeing as how I only got 2 hours of sleep, you can imagine how long my night was.  Tomorrow, I will attempt these feat - now, I must prepare myself for yet another night.


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