1 September 2010

Farewell Ukraine

Our last few days here, the house is mostly packed, we probably have more than 20kg in our bags, and the fridges & cupboards are looking rather bare!
The last 3 weeks have been mainly really enjoyable.  We have spent time with different people over for dinner, enjoying the view off our deck, made the last few pieces of furniture for our lounge, had our big farewell Hangi party, a emotional send-off from church, and now the last few days of packing etc.

The Hangi was a great success -- started with our friends from Kaitaia, New Zealand (Matt & Andy Dow) making it here as a stop on their Europe bike tour.  It was a special twist, and cool to catch up.  They helped us get stuff ready, and as the weekend wore on we had more people arrive, turn up and help us to peel, prepare food and get the fire going.  I think it would have been the biggest Hanig ever in Ukraine, and the first one I was ever in charge of.  We put 10kg of pork & 10 chickens in, heaps of spuds, some sweet potatoes (expensive, but we found some here) carrots & a special pumpkin that one of my students had grown with seeds from Australia!  I made about 4 batches of Maori bread, 20 litres of ginger beer.

We had the band stuff set up on our deck, the Christmas lights out, tables, gazebos and chairs & the backyard looked awesome!  With about 70 people here, the Hangi was ready to pull up.. It was done to perfection!  I had taken the liberty to give it a spice twist, and put garlic, onion & other spices at the bottom of the baskets to aroma the whole meal.  Everyone loved it, and most of it was eaten!  Matt, Andy Jon & Jono performed the Haka, (watch it here on youtube) and some other Maori songs, including teaching everyone the stick game.
We also had other live music, and as the night wore on, lit the fire and chilled out.  It was such a special night...and a cool way to say goodbye to all our good friends over here.

Last leg now through Dubai & India, then landing in the land of the long white cloud September 14th. The next part of our journey awaits us... :-)

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