This month marks three years since I first came to Ukraine, 10 months into the craziest thing I had done at that point in my life – The World Race. I say at that point because I am now convinced moving abroad is the craziest thing I have done. So I’ve been reminiscing a bit and came across this blog about how it all began…
The air was thick, stifling and laced with the smell of body odor. Sweat ran down my neck and the corridor seemed to narrow as the weight of my pack gave in to gravity and let itself hang from my tired shoulders.
After much confusion over numbering, my space for the evening was procured – a curtainless, few feet of “bed” that looked like nothing more than a precarious shelf from which I fully expected to fall from in the middle of the night.
As luck would have it my placement was right next to the door for the restroom, a door much in need of WD-40 as it whined then slammed with every usage.
To top it all off, my throat protested every swallow, my head pounded like a stampede of wild horses and my sinuses refused the passage of air.
The rocking motion of the train finally lulled me to sleep, a lulling that would happen a dozen or more times throughout the night as restroom goers, coughing fits and border guards disturbed my not so peaceful slumber.
By the time we arrived, I wanted nothing more than to die, or at least to just go home. We were entering month ten and frankly I decided I’d had enough.
After more miserable travel to the place we would be staying for a few days, an old sanitorium on the outskirts of the city, I reached a bed and crashed. Despite layers of clothing and bedding I awoke hours later chilled, feverish and jumping up to quickly locate a trash can.
The first few days were nothing but a blur as I tried to fight whatever had claimed my body, rising from bed only to use the restroom, which is a rather miserable affair when you have no energy and are forced to use a squatty.
I managed to miss the orientation for Ukraine. Regardless I would have had no idea what I was getting into even if I had made it.
The original posting is here in case you want to read further, but finding this again just made me smile. It is true that I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was getting into!!!!
If I had known I would have turned and started running for sure (and somedays still consider that option), but the truth is that God has just given me a love for this country that I cannot explain.