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Merry Christmas to our Ukrainian friends

Did you know that it is Christmas today in Ukraine? When the first star was seen yesterday evening, the Orthodox Christmas starts according to the Julian calendar.

We wish our Ukrainian friends a Merry Christmas. Christ is born! Let us adore Him!

Christ is born – let us adore Him!

Christ is born – let us adore Him!

Christ is born – let us adore Him! With these words, we greet each other on Christmas Day.

Christmas is one of the most important holidays for me. But I realized its meaning only when I grew up.

When I was a child, I waited for this holiday just because it meant a lot of candy. In the morning after the Holy Evening, we ran around the village singing traditional “Kolyadky” Christmas songs. We were rewarded with sweets.

Chocolate is the best thing I know. If you have visited Friend’s House, you know this. If you have not visited us, I invite you to sing Christmas carols with me. We can then divide the “loot” 50 / 50. 😉

Growing up, I started to go to church. And I understood. Christmas is not a day of free sweets 😋 only; it is a day of great joy and spiritual exaltation.

“I bring you good news of a great joy… To you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11

Many of our friends are interested in Ukraine and Orthodox culture. Although I live in Ukraine, I visited the Monastery of the Caves in Kyiv for the first time with our Finnish friends Oili & Hannu and Kirsti & Markku. I am sincerely grateful to them for this.

My family celebrates Christmas according to the Julian calendar on January 7th. We all gather to the Holy Evening meal composed of 12 lean dishes:
“Kutya” – a mixture of grains and fruits

Borscht soup
Mushroom soup
“Varenniky” – stuffed dumplings
Stuffed cabbage rolls
Marinated fish
Marinated mushrooms
Fish aspic
Steamed cabbage
“Uzvar” – smoky fruit drink
“Pampushky” – wheat rolls

Without meat, milk, eggs. This is the last day of fasting.
We cannot cook all twelve dishes every time. But Kutya is always on the table. It is the most important dish. We start our holy meal when the first star appears in the sky.
A Merry Christmas to you all! May the Lord bless you and your good deeds!

Julia Vakulenko

Bookkeeper/ Secretary at. the Children’s Embassy

Double joy for kids

A week without school, and now the long-awaited snow!
/ Tanya V.

Schools in quarantine in Ukraine

The kids rejoice, the parents have a headache. How to keept the kids busy and do your work? The quarantine is due to the influenza virus and it lasts for at least one week.
/ Tanya V.

Briefly about the Main Thing 🔔 🍂

The Ukrainian school bells rang for the first time today. The new school year started.
We wish the children every success at school and a cheerful mind!

/ Katerina, coordinator of the relief programme

Reign and Thunder

A hefty thunderstorm raged over Pisky village and cut out our power. It was a restless night. The kids were so afraid they could not sleep. Our kitten was terrified, too. She hid under a chair and meowed loud. The kids tried to find her in the darkness. It was morning before everyone slept.

We had no electricity, no phone lines and no internet. We had to make our morning tea and coffee outdoors on an open fire. The kettle is black now, but the coffee is warm 🙂

Tanya, Social media for Children’s Embassy

No water from the tap…

We get water from the tap, but now that the pump stopped working, things are a bit difficult. My son said at supper: “This lack of water has brought us closer each other – we eat from the same plate now.”
/ Tanya
P.S. We have no water to wash up for three days now.

Weekly greetings from the Team

It’s high summer and the children are looking forward to the camp. We are busy preparing.
/ Viktor Pavlovich

Children’s Embassy Post Office is running hot. The children have drawn pictures and written letters to their sponsors and to the friends of Friend’s House. Watch your mailbox!
/ Tanya V.

The children have not forgotten Friend’s House, but return for a swim and a game of football. Share their summer joy.
/ Natalia and Nadia

The financial reports are due before the holidays. We join our forces.
/ Sveta, Katerina and Julia

Time to wash the carpets and to do the general clean-up when the weather is good.
/ Tanya B.

Now it’s a great holiday – Easter in Ukraine!

Everyone greets each other like this:
– Christ is risen
And the answer is:
-Yes, he has indeed risen.

Happy Pasha from Ukraine

Pasha, the Easter pastry, smells in every house.
Ukraine is preparing for Easter.

Have a good weekend!

News from the Ukrainian Team

Thank you all who donated for the spring action! Next Saturday, we are going with the families to the market foor seeds. Plants, chickens etc will be bought later, near May.
Friend’s House celebrates two birthdays this week: Alyosha is 14 today, and Alyona is 13 on Thursday.
We welcome a new member in our Team: Tanya B. You will see her photo soon.
Boas & Mirjam arrived, and Bertil & Kristina are soon coming from Sweden.
/ Children’s Embassy Team in Ukraine

Birch sap recipe

Birch sap is healthy and cleansing. It does you good after the winter. Sap is good as such, or canned, or as part of home brew.
This is how you can preserve birch sap:
Boil up 3 litres of sap, add sugar to taste, several slices of lemon or orange. Close the lids, and the drink is ready.

/ Katerina