Recycling Ukrainian Style

We have some new friends, Forrest and Darcy, Nicolas and Natasha. They have only been in Ukraine a week but took the time to have us over for dinner the other night. Now that’s hospitality. They are dear people and will be taking the DTS (Discipleship Training School) at YWAM in September. They moved here early so the kids can get started in their new school. After selling everything in America, they moved here with a commitment of at least 10 years. Five years ago, the children were adopted from an orphanage in the Eastern part of Ukraine. God has been putting it on their hearts to come and serve ever since that time. Lovely family!

Anyway, Darcy mentioned that she is so used to recycling that it is hard for her not to do so. It looks like there is no such thing here. At least, it looks like that at first glance. I was able to share our recycling secret. Her name is Baba Halya. She’s maybe a little older than I am—but that’s hard to figure out. She works outside our building early in the morning and late in the evening. She cleans around the front stoop but her main function is to sort the garbage. She has quite a system. The cardboard boxes are neatly folded and bundled—I don’t know what happens to them after that. Glass bottles are put together. Used clothing and shoes are sorted and the good ones go into a little building. I think she may sell some things out of it—I saw a lady getting a purse there one day.

She also takes a little cart and picks up junk around the building. She is always cheerful and greets us. She tells me that I must learn Russian so we can talk. One day she had picked up a bottle of beer and was drinking the little bit that was left. We “chatted” as we walked together toward our entrance. She told me how much she loves Ukrainian beer. I am including a picture of her. She was thrilled to have me take it—I just wish she had still had her bottle of beer with her. She is a kick.

So that is my recycling secret. It just goes to show that things are not always as they first appear.

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