Wednesday, May 21, 2014

From L'viv

Look. I know. It feels like I've abandoned you for borsch and bobushkas.

It has been an incredibly crazy week. One of the most fascinating of my life. And there is so much I want to tell you and so many photos I want to share and so many typos I want to commit so someone can publicly shame me for being an idiot.

But it has been difficult to get to a computer and write. At this moment I am typing this on what the kids are calling a "Nook" and it is taking forever. Plus I'm 30 now and everything takes longer when you're 30 because OLD.

Brandt and I left the devastation of Kyiv and took an all-night train to L'viv in western Ukraine a few days ago. We have had the chance here to talk with people and get a sense of the fear they feel as they watch the drama of the east and wonder whether and how it can spread west.

L'viv continues to be the most charming and beautiful city I've ever known. The saintly folk who live here have welcomed us with open arms, shared their stories with us, walked out of their way to show us around, and in a couple of cases, cried with us. Life is real here in a way that gives me a perspective on what actually matters and why I have so much reason to be grateful. But even more, this view of foreign struggle serves as a much needed reminder that I have some kind of duty to give to the world I live in. I don't always know what that "giving back" is supposed to look like. But knowing that I need to is at least a start.

In the meantime, we will keep keeping it strange to make sure the stories we encounter teach us something.

It Just Gets Stranger


  1. You belong with those saintly people, Eli.

  2. I can't picture you speaking Russian. At some point, can you make a video of yourself where you issue strange commands in Russian? Here's a start: "Friend, can you kindly fill this sneaker with cheese?"

    1. Ooh, I want to hear that too (or any other phrase. Do you know how to say "up that barrel" and "down the side" in Ukranian?)

    2. We're Ukrainian speakers around here this week! And actually we just took a pretty funny video that has me speaking Ukrainian in it. Will upload it shortly.

    3. Oops, my bad. I didn't know there was a separate Ukrainian language. Learning and growing. Twice up the barrel...

    4. No worries. It's a common mistake. And I'm glad you made it because now people can call this an educational blog and hopefully get school credit for reading it.

    5. It's about time I get some kind of credit for reading this. My husband's like, "Why are you always on that strange blog?" and now I can tell him I'm LEARNING. In fact, I feel like I'm practically fluent in Ukrainian after this post. Дякую! Многая Літа!

  3. I don't think anyone could greet you without open arms!