This morning while traveling between the village and Zhitomer, I encountered a total of four horses pulling wagons. Where am I, back in Ohio, in Amish country? Managed to shoot one horse, with an Olympus sharp-shooter, of course, and here's how that handsome steed looked afterward. Just the same. (Click to enlarge photo.)
Poor horse. He had a runny nose and it's visible in the photo, the white stuff. In my family, we would say it snot funny. But that shows our sophisticated humor. Maybe there's a horse doctor in the group who would know what's wrong with that poor guy, possibly named Orlik. Lena, my hostess here, says that's a good name for a Ukrainian horse.
Oh, yesterday went to the market to find a dolly, the two-wheeled variety. Got a great dolly for less than $20 - my first dolly and am I ever happy about that. It's to help me deal with that Wal-mart suitcase of mine, the wheel of which came off the other day. I deemed it unrepairable and lobbed it - the wheel that is - into a nearby flower bed. Okay, I confess to littering. But I digress . . .
While at the market, upon impulse I loaded up on souvenir dolls, less than $1.90 each, a fraction of what they'd cost in a bigger city. Today we had a meeting and here's who all showed up. What a relief, none of them were suffering from nasal drip like poor Orlik. That would be so hard to explain back home. . .
Oh, you must meet Tammy, she's from Iowa, from Washington and now from Ukraine. She's lived in Japan six years and Hungary for several. . .
This is Miss Tammy Swailes. She's one sharp cookie and she's my friend here in Zhitomer. Tammy works as a missionary for Open Bible Church and we became friends through my blog. That's because she's good at snooping around on the internet and tracking people and information. Well Tammy is a gypsy too: she oversees the theological extension education programs for several countries in Europe and travels quite a bit, based out of Zhitomer area.
Last summer Tammy invited me to come along with her to Decebren, Hungary this weekend. It's a 2-day trip from here to there, through the Carpathian Mountains of southwest Ukraine. I'm pretty excited because for so long I've been wanting to visit dear friend Ruth and her husband who serve in the church in Miskolc, Hungary two hours northwest of Decebren. (You know I'll keep you posted on that adventure.)
This afternoon returning to the village where Tammy lives, this Orthodox church was under construction across from the bus stop.
One of these days, there will be a gold cupola installed on top. Interesting feedback from my host here, Yuri. He said this church is connected with the Orthodox church group based in Moscow which is on less-than-friendly terms with the Ukrainian Orthodox church. But interesting that such a beautiful building would be constructed out here in such a remote area.
Just today I learned the meaning of this city name. Amazing I had to ask, because it's really so obvious. Zhit (жить) means to live and mer (мир) means peace or earth. I'd translate this to live in peace.
How about you dear blog reader, ever been to Ukraine? Ever helped a horse with post-nasal drip? Ever had a wooden dolly. . . or a two-wheeled one, for that matter? Is a cathedral being constructed in your neighborhood?