Today has been emotional as our trip comes to an end. After another amazing breakfast, we set out to tour the Ukrainian monument for World War 2. Definitely a different spin on things. I appreciated the way that the monument honored everyone who participated in the war efforts. Very neat to see the sculptures and military history.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped and looked at souvenir shops. I really wanted to get the big fur hat, but I found something that I think Amy will like instead. I didn't realize that this would be our final activity with two of my new friends: Sensei Yuriy and Sensei Tanya. Saying goodbye was hard and for those may have been tears in my eyes as I walked away. Those two are amazing people.
Dinner was quite the experience today...the Kyiv interpretation of an Irish pub is...interesting.
After dinner we we had to say goodbye to our host, Shihan Natalie, and there may have been a few more tears. She has in one week, single handedly helped me to understand the way of gratitude and hospitality. I want to be more like her in the years to come. We would all be better people, and our world would be a better place, if we each had a Natalie in our lives.
There's a ton going through my mind right now. I'll need time to really process this entire Kyiv Experience before I can share clearly. Learned a lot for sure. Very thankful for all who played a part in organizing this trip; especially Kancho Soller, Shihan Melanson, and Shihan Codispoti. Most thankful right now to Amy, who I miss dearly, for supporting me going on this adventure and caring for our small army of children back home.
So...more to come in the days and weeks ahead. For now though...I'm ready to go home.