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Friday, January 5, 2007

Animated animals and cab drivers

Happy Birthday Nana! My grandmother in Nova Scotia, and Alexandra's great grandmother, turns 94 today. Congratulations!
Here I am in the Russian part of Ukraine and the gold medal final of the world juniors between Canada and Russia is not televised. And I still can't get the broadband feed from TSN. Fortunately, I have been following along on the internet and I know the first period has ended with Canada up 3 - 0. I will come down again before I go to bed to see how it ends.
Hanging around with two girls all the time while being almost completely removed from Western media is starting to have an effect on me I think. The daily tea parties and hair and jewelry sessions are changing my least temporarily. For example, I read another period romance "Jane Eyre" and actually enjoyed it. I need to get home and read Sports Illustrated, watch some Spike TV, and have a Swanson Hungry Man frozen dinner.
I have been noticing there are lots of cars over here that we don't have back home. I am not talking about the European automakers like Puegot, Lada, and Daewoo. No, I am referring to the North American carmakers who have different models. I have seen Ford Scorpios and Mondeos as well as Chevrolet Vivants, Metros, and Nivas. Also, in the four weeks that we have been here, the only pick-up truck we have seen has been at the toy stores. I think I will kiss the first Dodge Ram that I see when we finally get home.
Our visits continue to go extremely well. It is amazing how connected the three of us are becoming. It is hard to believe how quickly she has become attached to us. It is a powerful thing to have a little girl give you a hug or kiss and ask you to pick her up and carry her around. Alexandra was still wound up a bit during the morning. After much reflection, we have identified the source of her hyperactivity. It seems that whenever Candace and I spend extended periods of time chasing her, tickling her, or agitating her she gets wound up. Given this epiphany, it will be us that take the time outs in the future. The evening visit was much calmer. Candace and I played nicely and quitely and amazingly Alexandra followed suit. Alexandra even became trilingual, saying goodbye in three languages. On the way out the door she said "Bye bye", "Paka", and "Adios". I feel like submitting her university application right now to get a head start on possible scholarships.
It was very mild out today and Candace and I walked home from the morning visit. On the way we saw a Russian dog chase a Russian cat down the slippery sidewalk. Candace had another one of her laughing fits as the whole thing unfolded around us. The little dog was quick but fortunately the cat was smarter and managed to evade capture. At one point about mid-chase the cat ducked in the open door of a flower shop and the dog followed. It was funny to see the shop owner first chase the dog out with a stick before going back in for the cat.
This evening, we took a cab home. I told the driver, who I had never seen before, "Hotel". He got extremely excited, said "My friend, my friend...Canada". I said "yes" and he shook my hand and started telling me how he remembered us from a previous trip to Kiev I think. He was confusing us with someone else but he was so glad to see us (again) that I decided not to spoil it. For the duration of our short trip, he was talking really loudly and excitedly and patting my arm and shoulder. At one point he said "" and began simulating checking me and roughing me up while going down the main street at about 60 km per hour. Candace didn't really do anything to bail me out...she was too busy laughing in the back seat. When we arrived at the hotel he refused my money and said "Free for my friend". Again, this was the first time we had ever come across him. Then he gave me some kind of handshake as if he and I were homies. Going up the steps to the hotel entrance, I told Candace that the ride was both fun and traumatic at the same time. He gave us his card, which we will use to identify and avoid his cab for our last few days here.
Well...tomorrow is Christmas Eve here. I know that Father Frost came last week so I am not sure exactly what will happen. I am guessing it will involve some kind of fireworks display.


Kayla Peech said...

Oh, what a sweet little daughter you have. She looks adorble. Merry Ukrainian Christmas!!!

Rob, trish, Michael & Christian said...

Hi Guys,

Not too many days left.

The game, as I am sure you will see on the internet, ended 4-2 Canada over Russia, 3 straight gold medals.

Actually, the 2009 Junior Tournament is in Ottawa. Me, Michael and Trish plan on getting tickets. Every game is always sold out anytime it is held in Canada.

Anyway, another day closer for the 3 of you to return to Canada.

Take care, and continue to enjoy your daily visits with Alexandra.

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys! Sounds like you had a very interesting day! haha, we can't wait until you guys get home. 8 more sleeps ! :-D! Miss You Lots
Love The Kowalchuks

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!! We just started following your blog (a little out of the loop)but we are so excited for your family. We wish you safe travels for your return to Canada.


Anonymous said...

Hello to the David trio. Wishing you a Merry Christmas in the Ukraine, whoever would have dreamed.
We are impatiently waiting to come and see this new little girl. Hope the days pass quickly for you and you may enjoy your lives back home again. Love mom and dad

Anonymous said...


It,s good to hear all is fine .
Only 6 sleep nites left.
Give Alexandria a big kiss &hugs from Nana & I.
She had a nice brithday,a little disappointed she did,nt get a little puppy she wanted , I just can,t go there.
I can,t fully focus on the com. screen from watching all the hockey ,what a game today .
Love & Prayers
Mom & Nan


PLEASE if you don,t mind I would love to get a postage stamp from the UKraine,My collection begain in 1944 ,1st one from Italy , all i lost out on, when Rob was all over Europe on duty. I was,nt thinking too much About my stamp col. then .

sandy masniuk said...

Happy New Year and Merry Christmas Candace, Stephen and Alexandra! Just got off the plane from Mexico and couldn't wait to get caught up on your blog! CONGRATULATIONS! So glad the official part of your adoption went so smoothly! Wishing you a very Merry Ukrainian Christmas and can't wait to meet your sweetpea! So happy you were able to post a picture! She is so beautiful! More tears of happiness for you here! Can't wait to start planning the shower! Love,Sandy

Anonymous said...

Have another great Christmas day! We are looking forward to your return, but will miss your daily messages.
The Keith's

Anonymous said...

The Lennox's said:
Wow What an adventure you have both had! Last night I read your blog from start to finish (with the klennex next to me!) I can only imagine the ride you've had as far as emotions go. I waited nearly 9 years for the birth of Nicole and would have never changed any of the last 6 years! When I tucked that little princess in to bed last night I thought of how great it will be for your family to be home in Canada and tuck your little princess into her bed in her new room, and my prayers are with you for a safe trip home and years of happy memories. Congratulations from Irwin, Wanda, Jodi, Allsion, Adrienne and Nicole

Anonymous said...

Merry Christ!!! And Congradulations

Jordan and Noelle

The Kretai's said...

Srozhdestvom Kristovym! Merry Christmas in Ukrainian (I think - did some checking with Lawrence and we think this is right) Will miss you at the tournament on the weekend - but just think Alexandra can attend her first basketball game on the 15th. Have fun celebrating Christmas in the Ukraine!

Perry, Darlene, Chelsey & Brittany

Raymond said...

HAPPY NEW YEARS, ya'll !! I think you have the beginnings of a made for TV movie there buddy. I'd suggest the following actors .... Dakota Fanning as "Alexandria", Erica Durance as "Candace", Sacha Noam Baron Cohen as the MAD Ukranian cab driver and Darius Danesh as you !! You already have a great plot, U just need to fluff the script out a bit. (HeeHee)