How was the trip? I guess we would say “fantastic”.

We saw everything we wanted to see–the synagogues, Jewish cemetaries, Jewish day schools. We spoke at length with the Rabbi at the progressive shul in Kiev, Jewish leader at a Chabad shul in Odessa, had an interesting time in Uman. We saw Babi Yar and the Holocaust memorial. The churches and monasteries.The art museum in Odessa.And more and more.Irena and Gilana and the drivers were knowledgeable, considerate of our condition, and very pleasant. They were all great.

It was disturbing and striking to see the lack of the appreciation of life in the Ukrainel It seems that beyond the richest 4 or 5 %, the remainder of the population was just about able to get along. No health insurance; no facilities for disabled, too much smoking. No wonder no one was smiling.It is a difficult place to live. The very hot weather was a surprise. I didn’t have enough short sleeve shirts and tee-shirts. We of course are not used to non air conditioned restaurants, museums, or low-air c conditioned hotels like in Uman and Kiev.I had to drink a lot of water. Luckily, our cars had a/c.

But, aside from the weather the trip was just as we wanted. We believe we saw it all, thanks to good scheduling and great guides.

Thank you, Sophia. You made it happen.


By W. & J. G from MD

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