The past month has been eventful to say the least and my blogging has suffered terribly.
After a few weeks of teacher changes and loads of overtime, I found myself stuck in German hospital for four days. And just when I thought I was in the clear I found myself spending a weekend in bed, followed by a Monday visit to the doctor, a prescription that should finally do the trick, and a doctor's note forbidding me from working for the next week.
So as I lay cuddled up in bed, wrapped in blankets and drinking hot tea, I finally want to share the beautiful 24 hours I spent in Kiev on Christmas Eve.
Having not slept the night before leaving Baku, I was out cold the entire plane ride to Kiev. Truth is, I can sleep anywhere! As we were landing I was bouncing up and down in my seat like an over-excited child. It was an amazing feeling to be landing in Ukraine again after more than a year away. After a bit of an airport mix-up, we ended up meeting my best Ukrainian friend, Nastia, in the city near our hostel.
|First views of Maidan|
Our first stop after checking in at the hostel was Puzata Hata. Oh how I missed Ukrainian food! We all loaded up our plates. For Thomas and Markus it was their first time in Ukraine, but as they loaded their plates with soups, salad, meat, and dessert, it was clear that at least the food in Ukraine wouldn't disappoint.
As we walked Kreschatik we saw a kiosk advertising excursions to the former president's home. Nastia described what her friends who had taken the excursion had seen - from garages full of fancy cars to a personal zoo - I somehow wish that we could have made the trip out there. Also dotting the street were Ukrainian flags, tshirts, hair ribbens, wrist bans, bumper stickers and just about everything patriotic you can think of. Markus and Thomas bought toilet paper with Putin's face on it from this woman on Kreshatik.
|Our ''welcome to Ukraine'' feast|
Maidan felt like a somber place. A place which my memory associates with a fun, lively atmosphere, festivals and concerts, and carefree days with friends has become a memorial to Ukraine's current struggle and those who have lost their lives fighting for freedom. As we walked past candles and flowers Nastia pointed out to us where she had seen dead bodies laying during her time helping provide food to the protestors on Maidan. The hill going up from Maidan was lined with pictures of those killed and it seems as if it will never come to an end. All of the stones on the sidewalk are new, as the old ones were dug up and used as weapons during the fighting on Maidan. One very beautiful thing we saw was the results of a candlelight vigil which Nastia herself had taken part in.