Monday, June 15, 2015

Blog 1, A Quiet City

I arrived on Sunday afternoon, June 14, after a 24 hour delay in Toronto. Apparently the delay was caused by technical problems on the plane that was to fly to Vienna. We overnighted in Toronto and carried on the following day. Fortunately, the delay connected me with some interesting contacts. One was a businessman who is involved in selling plastic compounds for the construction industry. He had recently been in Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye selling the plastics that are used in energy efficient windows. Friends of the Mennonite Centre in Ukraine have been involved in funding the installation of these windows in schools which are still found in former Mennonite villages. In addition I had the opportunity In Vienna to meet a senior executive of JDC, an American Jewish humanitarian organization that cares for displaced Jews. They are very involved in Ukraine.
The drive from the airport to Zaporozhye seemed normal enough. Outside the presence of more police at key points on the road and a military presence on the curved dam entering Zaporozhye, everything seemed low key and quiet. The restaurant provided a fabulous meal with a beautifully presented salad and and chicken breast baked with apricot jam and oranges and presented on kiwi slices. Excellent. Together with juice this meal cost under $8.00 U.S.
My initial impression is "all is quiet here. Hopefully it will remain so.
Ben Stobbe


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