Introduction
Day 1 - San Francisco to Prague
Day 2 - Kyiv from the air
Day 2 - Boryspil International Airport
Day 2 - First Views Of Kyiv
Day 3 - Guided Tour of Kyiv
Day 3 - Kyiv - On our own
Day 3 - Night train from Kyiv to L'viv
Day 4 - L'viv with Father Ken
Day 5 - Radekhiv
Day 5 - Vytkiv
Day 6 - Trip to Kolomyia
Day 6 - Halych
Day 6 - Ivano-Frankivs'k
Day 7 - Bazaar at Kosiv
Day 7 - Between Kosiv and Kolomyia
Day 7 - Kolomyia
Day 8 - Zvenyhorod
Day 8 - Back in L'viv
Day 9 - L'viv with Orest and Vitali
Day 10 - L'viv - Morning walk with Dad
Day 10 - L'viv on my own
Day 11 - L'viv with Dad
Day 11 - Night train to Budapest
Day 12 - Budapest
Day 13 - Budapest
Day 13 - Szentendre
Day 14 - Homeward bound

TRIP TO UKRAINE
September 19 - October 2, 1999

DAY 5 - RADEKHIV - Радехів
Visiting relatives in Radekhiv

Thursday, September 23, 1999

The next morning we met our driver Ivan (who looked and sounded remarkably like Bill Clinton!), collected Vladik from his home, and drove north-east about 50 miles to Radekhiv, near the village where Dad's father was born, to visit relatives. We visited first in the flat of Vladik's sister Lyuba, her husband Peter, and their son Russlan. Lyuba is my second cousin.

We were served an elaborate meal, of course.

That's a Ukrainian tradition I remember from childhood. If you visit someone's home, however briefly, thay serve a meal. It's a wonderful way to spend time with family, and only a problem if you have a lot of stops to make. I have friends of Italian ancestry who say the same is true in Italy, so perhaps it's true of all European cultures.

In the photo, right to left: Peter (back to camera), Russlan, Ivan, Vladik, Dad (hidden), Lyuba

Standard décor in Ukrainian homes - an oriental rug on the wall over the couch. I remember this in homes of my Ukrainian relatives in Canada, when I was a boy.

Lyuba and Peter - he teaches literature in the local High School.

I had carried along some family and personal photos, which were a hit.

After the meal, we piled into our car and Russlan's (I rode with Russlan), and drove a short distance to the home of Vladik's other sister Maria (Lyuba's twin), her husband Ivan, and their son Lyubomir (it means love of peace). They have a detached house with a yard and some small outbuildings. Ivan is chief forester for the local district, and loves to hunt. We had to have another meal of course. The caviar was a welcome treat.

Top Photo: Lyuba and Ivan.
Bottom photo: (r-l) Lyuba, Ivan (driver), Ivan (our host, back to camera), Vladik, Dad, I

The tradition at meals like this is frequent toasts with shots of vodka or other spirits. Dad had explained that I do not drink, but felt he had to join in, as otherwise our hosts would not be able to drink themselves. Fortunately the shots were small, and the food plentiful, so no one got drunk. Our driver also abstained, as the local penalty for drunk driving is quite severe - confiscation of one's vehicle!

Dad explains some of my photos to Ivan and Lyubomir. Ivan is now dressed for work.

Ivan, ready to leave for work. It was early afternoon, but I didn't think to ask about the odd hours. Perhaps he had been waiting to visit with us.

Lyubomir insisted on taking a picture of me with his dad's old Russian jeep, and I enjoyed the humor.

I didn't find out whose motorcycle it was - probably Ivan's.

Dad found a kitten, and displayed surprising affection for it, insisting I take this picture. I think he would have carried home about ten of them, had circumstances permitted.

Ivan was proud of his pigs, and insisted I visit them. I slipped on the treacherous floor, but recovered before a disaster, and got this so-so picture as a reminder of the scare.

The usual suspects. From the right - Vladik, Lyuba, Maria; Maria's husband Ivan; I; Dad; Lyubomir (son of Maria and Ivan).

Maria and Lyuba are twins.

Russlan prepares to drive his mother and himself to our next engagement. Our company grew as the day progressed. Russlan was proud of his car, and its sound system - he had played a Beach Boys tape for me on our way to Maria and Ivan's. (He was 29 at the time, and out of work, but found employment soon after our visit.)

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Created -- 03/22/2007 Revised -- 03/22/2007