Their flight to Sacramento left on Monday April 4 at 5:40 pm. It was a quick ride to Logan International. On the ride up we talked about Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. Maryna and Timur easily switch tongues between Ukrainian and English with Timur as interpreter. After conferring in Ukrainian, they both explained the differences to me—Moldova is the poorest, then Romania, and then Bulgaria. They agreed with each other that Bulgaria was the most like Ukraine in quality of life but all of these other countries had high concentrations of gypsies. Maryna explained that Ukraine has a “middle” life. People were not rich but not poor. Ukrainians can have “good life”, a flat, food and a job making a relative 600 U.S. dollars per month is successful. Overall the standard of Living has increased every year while poverty levels have decreased. The poverty level of Russia is double that of Ukraine. Maryna explained that much of Russia is poor. I gathered what we in the U.S. think is poor and what the countries previously mentioned feel is poor is different. She also explained that Ukrainians work hard for what they have.
Seeking to change the conversation I asked, “What is your favorite country?”
“Spain,” Maryna said. “It’s beautiful there. Lots of fields. Why do you ask about other countries?”
“I’ve never to been to any of these places. I want to know what you think. Tell me about how live your week.”
Maryna explained she was at work some days at 6 am and returned home as late as 10 pm. I thought of Mitch McDeere, from John Grisham’s, “The Firm”. She would teach tennis to students in Kiev at various courts around the city, take Timur to golf clubs, and manage sports programs at a large sports facility just outside of Kiev. On weekends she tended to her antique shops! And then go to the Sports Club. She said she is happiest talking with her friends, teaching tennis, and taking Timur to his golf training and events. There is no day off, just days. She had a happy life.
“I want to be a golf professional on the PGA tour. Someday I’ll return to my country,” said Timur. Maryna listened and agreed nodding her head. A remarkable goal stated simply. Timur stated, “If I can’t do it, I’ll be back here walking Mandy (my Coon Hound Rescue). We all laughed hard. They walked her several times per day and to the beach.
“Like ocean. Like people,” Maryna said, referring to Falmouth. Timur and Maryna have found people here kind. Many have sent cards for food and clothes. They thank you all.
Now they are in California. Timur and Maryna are chasing his golf dream. Maryna is making contacts where she may find work teaching tennis soon.
I’ve started a go fund me account that’s doing well. They had their life in Kiev taken from them. They have only the clothes on their backs.
They’d really appreciate it if you would share or donate to their GoFundMe. gofund.me/fa78deb0