Son-in-law Kolya’s brother Alosha is getting married tomorrow, and so today his mother and sister were passing through Kyiv on their way to the wedding. We were surprised and pleased to be invited to the wedding ceremonies, but we’re unable to make the trip tomorrow.
BUT we really wanted to be able to say hello to Kolya’s mom. So we made arrangements with his sister who lives in Kyiv to give us a call whenever the marshrutka (mini-bus) was close to the city. Family reunion of sorts.
So Galya called to say that the marshrutka had arrived! I told her that we would quickly get to the station (20 minutes or so from our flat). We exited the metro station and there they all were! Galya (7 months pregnant and looking GREAT) and her husband (guarding the bags!), Valya and her two daughters, and Olga (Kolya’s mom).
We did our best to communicate — me in Ukrainian and Jim in Russian. We gave our gift for the bride and groom to them and then also gave them a dozen oatmeal scotchies for the rest of their trip.
I grabbed the camera to get pictures for Jeanne and Kolya. No words could have EVER described how thrilled Kolya’s nieces were to see us:
Not even with some coaxing from Mama Valya. Surely they wondered who the crazy foreigners were! We hadn’t seen them since the wedding, 18 months ago!
We did get one group shot, but even after handing over the cookies, the nieces were….well, it just was what it was.