Ukraine 2013

The Birthday Weekend

This weekend has been full of birthdays! Igor’s birthday was Saturday and we were invited to come eat dinner at their house and play games. His wife, made a delicious pizza! I loved getting to play with their two year old daughter, Jessica and spending time with everyone. We played dutch blitz and I lost my final score was 6…. ha. But I had fun being with everyone.

I was blessed to be able to also be invited to Tania’s husband’s birthday party. (Not just me, Shushan and Josh as well..really us through Shushan..ha.) Not only were we invited, they changed the day so we could come! The party was at their dacha (their summer home closer to the sea: more info) so we made our way. This is where they have a small home built by Tania’s father many years before and every bit of land space is a garden! It was truly incredible! When we arrived, Dima (their 13 year old son) gave us a tour of the garden telling what all is planted where and picking different berries for us to delicious. Fruit is so much better here – everything is organic and well, simply tastier. I wish I had taken proper notes on what all they had there, but I did attempt to take some pictures..


Dima picking berries for us





some kind of berry..ha. 
the back of their dacha


heading up the stairs to the top of the dacha


view of the pavilion thing from the top
Shushan, Dima, and Josh


their car
Dima’s room up top
showing off his scooby doo comic/activity books
so awesome!! I’m looking for one in the market for sure..


awesome old radio


I seriously LOVE this rug.. I wish I could find an identical one more than life!! 


Sasha chopping wood for the fire


After our tour we found our seats at the table under the pavilion dealio and enjoyed chatting with new and newer friends. The first course was some delicious fruits and vegetables and salad.






Then Dima, being the fantastic host of the party led us all in multiple games.


explaining the rules


This particular game Josh had to stuff his mouth full of bread and then read a poem out loud while I wrote down what I thought he said.. This is how it turned out:

the original poem
what I wrote..


Then it was time for the main course.. it was a delicious chicken. So after we played some games, they got the chicken out to add salt to the marinade that had already been soaking since around noon..


the pot of chicken
Sasha (the birthday boy) fixing up the chicken for us


We played another game and talked while that soaked for another half hour or so and then it was time to put the chicken on the kabobs and roast them over the fire they had been faithfully attending to this entire time


the fire prep
all on and happily cooking
Sasha fanning them to keep the fire going (I’m pretty sure that was the purpose anyways..)
Shushan with our cooks
I cannot even begin to tell you how delicious these pieces of chicken were.. I’m pretty sure I ate 3-4 of them (I might have lost count)
After they added even more to the plate, this is what remained when we had finished (and actually the guys finished this off about an hour later..ha)


Seriously, it was a delicious meal and a very cultural experience overall learning how they celebrate a birthday. There were about 12ish toasts (I lost count) to things like health and their children and their new American friends and that was neat. After more games, some banana bread and tea our fun ended along with the daylight!

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