The view from our balcony
Our daughter, Karrissa asked if our apartment was "cute" so I thought I’d describe what it is like here. First of all, there isn’t much color. It seems like all the trees have lost their leaves and are just barren, there is nothing green. The sky is quite polluted. Most of the buildings look like tenement buildings. You enter our "dome" (home) through an alley. There is a metal door outside, which you can see above. It feels like you are entering an abandoned building. Once you go through the first door you punch a code into a small box on the next metal door. Then you go up five flights of stairs. Yeah, I love this part. Each flight has 3 doors entering apartments. ( we very seldom see anyone) Each door is a completely different design, some are quite pretty. Outside each door is a box with wires coming out of it, and some burned spots around it on the wall. The walls are a very strange green color on the bottom and a white paint on the upper half that rubs off on you if you lean on it. The missionaries tract in these domes and they think it’s funny not to tell the “greenies” (new missionaries) not to lean on the wall or their coats will be covered with white powder. They were kind and warned us. When you get to our apartment you open one big door and then another door to enter. You walk right into the living room. It has nice wooden floors, and a green couch and two chairs. There is a large cabinet to store nic-nacs. The kitchen is off of that room. It is very small with a gas stove, and a dishwasher, which I am told is a luxury in Ukraine. We have a nice refrigerator too. The bathroom was recently remodeled. We have a huge bathtub which everyone is envious of but we can’t take baths in it because the water pressure is so low that it would take forever to fill the tub and we would probably run out of water before there was even enough to sit in. So when we bathe we sit in a big empty tub with a hand held shower head. We have one bedroom which is fairly big. It is big enough for a bed and large desk. It has peach shears on the windows and a red oriental carpet on the floor. The Living room had a green carpet ; both carpets were covered with dog hair. The bed is just a mattress that sits in a wooden box. I won’t mention the condition of the mattresses. The apartment wan’t very clean when we moved in so I had to spend a few days scrubbing everything. We are the first missionaries to live in this apartment so we had to go buy pots and pans and dishes.
I don’t want you to think I am complaining. It actually is quite cute and you would be surprised how easy it is to make it feel like home. We are amazed at how grateful we are for the simple things, like electricity and warm beds. I am grateful that our apartment came with the luxuries of a dishwasher, and nice new bathroom. Oh, I almost forgot, we have another luxury that the missionaries told us they have only seen in one other apartment and that is the Mission President’s, a clothes dryer. I never use it because it takes about 2 hours to dry a load of wash. Most people have to hang their clothes to dry which is a challenge when it is so cold here. Like I said, there is always something to be grateful for.
We woke up to a blanket of snow covering what looked dreary and depressing yesterday. It reminds me that we have to be patient with the Lord. Sometimes we think he isn’t aware of our pleadings to him. Usually it is after the darkest moment that the dawn comes. We have been reading a book left by the previous Humanitarian Couple (the Meline’s) and I am getting excited about our work here in Donetsk.