This was the first day of the "CITY DAYS"celebrations. It was the 1115 nth birthday of Uzhorod. Chris had gotten up and out early to play with the Maharimbas. The kids and I slept in and slowly worked our way to where I thought the band was playing. This is a town square, with a huge TV screen. Many performances were happening here but I didn't see any of the band members or anyone else we knew.
Local artizens displayed their wares for sale.
It was a cold and rainy day but we traipsed through town and over the river and finally we heard a sprinkling of marimba music! We found them!
They were playing for an enormous and very happy crowd.
Logan, Theresa, Hailey, Hanks ear, and Chris. The man way behind and to the left of Chris is Igor the bus driver.
XuMei, Lisa and Xander dancing to the music.
Lisa is trying to get XuMei away from the very drunk man who is trying to take XuMei by the hand to dance. XuMei refused and was shocked that he wouldn't listen.
After the concert Lisa asked us what we were hungry for and we said "Hamburgers!" We walked very far and tried one place--they were full so went to the second best place in town to get burgers. This is such a great picture of Chris I wanted to add it but XuMei is tanking here because she is so hungry.
Lisa and Hailey happy we succeeded in finding burgers!
Xander is thrilled!
And here they are! First thing is they didn't have anything on the menu to go with them-- no fries, chips or potatoes of any sort. Only salads and pizza's! The buns were homemade and the burger patty fried to a blackened crisp with tons of vegetables on it--like cole slaw and cucumbers. But it was DELICIOUS!!!!
Happy girl with a much anticipated burger!
In this shot you can see how overcooked my burger was.
Lisa, her sister and Hailey.
After lunch we walked through the crowds of City Days. The market was going strong. This butcher is weighing what looks like a quarter of a pig.
Inbetween the striped blue sweater and the shiney olive green coat you can glimpse a bit of an elaborately braided and decorated loaf of bread.
Bags of produce for sale.
Vegies and flowers.
Metal working was happening at the market also. Xander wanted to stay here all day but we were soaked and cold so only stayed for 1/2 and hour.
We went to the location of the next gig. The old Jewish synagogue turned music hall across town. They call it the Philarmonium. We were wet and bedraggled and had no one with us to prove our connections so they wouldn't let us in. So we watched a marching band arrive out front.
It was seriously cold and these girls were impressive.
Lisa and XuMei watching the show.
Finally other folks with the band and more translators showed up and we were abe to get in. Back stage some traditional dancers were preparing to perform.
The Maharimbas on stage at the Philharmonium.
The audience was full of swankly dressed dignitaries and city officials.
After the concert we walked across the bridge with Lisa and she showed us these locks that couples place here sometimes as part of their wedding ceremonies and sometimes just as a romantic jesture.
Then we walked down a very well known street in Uzhorod and looked at the sculptures.
Heart Moose and XuMei.
Heart Pig and Lisa.
That gorgeous church again. This church has been being built for like 10 years and is still under construction.
Then we saw a shop with belly dancing outfits hanging out front. XuMei has wanted one of these for a couple of months now. I haven't been able to find one in a little girl size and I don't sew. We went in and the proprieter of the store recognized Lisa as part of the band and showed us the cell phone video footage he took just that very morning of the Maharimbas at the City Days celebration. We laughed and he offered us a deal on this outfit:
Ira, Steve, Jolene, Peter, and Theresa winding down in the hotel.
Logan, Sara, Liesl, Jack and Hank.
I think Chris, Xander and XuMei are wrestling, but whatever they are doing they are entertaining us.
In the middle of our revery we hear loud booms and run to look out the window. Fireworks are going off and we can see them from the hall window.
OOOh, AAAAh, WOOOW......
I like this one, this one is my favorite.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Meet the two most amazing people I know:
A sweet stray dog who hung out by us as we played at the exercise equipment "park".
An apartment building:
Chris wore his Utilikilt and I would walk behind him to see all the hilarious responses. Men in skirts are very rare.
A typical church spire.
XuMei wanted to go shopping.
Chris in between gigs. I love this picture of him. He is surrounded by Cyrillic writing. Totally incomprehensible to me......a little like him. Because of him I am in another country. Because of his love of music and membership in the Maharimba band, his hours spent planning and in meetings and his hard work my family got to travel and experience this amazing country and culture. Thank you ChrisC.
This became our favorite snack food. Pork Roast flavored chips. It was like the pill in Willie Wonka's chocolate factory. The one you pop in your mouth and then you experience the whole meal from pea soup to pot roast. Delicious.
At the Children's Palace auditorium we waited with friends and translators for an enormous show to start.
There was much speachify-ing and then many wonderful acts. Dancers, musicians, singers and more from the Rehabilitation Center, the Chaslivtsi Orphanage and other schools.
Liesl celebrated her birthday in Ukraine.
She had a fabulous cake.
And a party in her room.
Did I mention the fabulous cake?