Have you seen the movie with Bill Murray where he keeps living the same day over and over? That’s how my time here has begun to feel, we have become ritualistic in our daily activities, wake up, have breakfast, walk to the market, have a light lunch, read, cab to the orphanage, play with Lera, cab to the internet café, walk to eat dinner, walk back to the hotel, read and sleep, then the same thing all over again. I wish I could say we were exploring a new and different country, but the reality is, it’s cold and we miss our kids! So we haven’t done any exploring other than what’s close to our hotel and the outdoor market…the first couple days we thought it rocked…but now even that is old hat and we are going through the motions. Some have asked what it costs to be here, so here is a little bit of a breakdown:
The current exchange rate is about 5.10 Grivnas to a dollar, for simplicities sake, lets just say a 5 to 1 ratio.
Our hotel is 200 Grivnas a night = $40.00
We have a daily breakfast at the hotel that is 10 grivnas each, our breakfast is a ham and cheese omelet, bread, a cup of coffee for me and a cup of tea for Sheila 20 grivnas = $4.00
Lunch is usually something light, either a candy bar or a pc of fruit, so about 10 grivnas for lunch = $2.00
Dinner is usually either pizza and beverages or a place we call the cafeteria, either way, we usually spend about 35 grivnas for our meal = $7.00
We spend about an hour and half at the internet café, which usually costs us 5 grivnas = $1.00
The taxi that takes us to and from the orphanage everyday is 40 grivnas = $8.00
Lets throw in a late night snack of another 10 grivnas = $2.00
So our total daily expenses run about $64.00 dollars…not too shabby….there are nicer hotel rooms and worse rooms, we tried to pick the middle of the road, our basic requirement was our own bathroom.
Our accommodations in Kiev were more expensive, we paid $65.00 a night and the food was a bit more expensive, but not horribly. We were quoted between $65 and $75 a night, so not bad. The train ride from Kiev to Odessa was $100.00 to rent the whole cabin…you don’t want to share with strangers, so it’s worth it to pay extra. The cab ride from Odessa to Izmail was also $100.00. All in all it’s pretty cheap here, I budgeted $80.00 a day for the whole trip, so we’re doing pretty good. We will be buying some things for the orphanage, they need a blood pressure monitor, a nebulizer, some medication and they always need diapers. We are not required to get these things, but we want to.
This will be my last blog, I’m handing it back to Sheila, she does way better than I do. I made the mistake of reading a bunch of Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels, so I feel like everything I write sounds like “The Lord or the Rings”(dost thou agree???) She insisted I take over for a while since I sent our blog link to half of Target Corp. I have to admit it’s pretty stressful trying to think of things to say when your in a room full of teenagers playing first person shooters and watching You Tube while some old Americans sit in the corner Skypeing their kids and trying to blog! We’re off to court tomorrow then the late night train to Kiev and with any luck a flight home!!
Thanks for reading my ramblings…I hope you enjoyed some of them…so with that I say Adieu….Auf wiedersehn…..Geshundheit!