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What I would like to know…

May 10, 2010

Written on May 7:

I would like to know:

  • What happened to Spring? We seem to have gone from Winter straight into Summer. Not that I am complaining – I like warm weather. But just over a week ago I was wearing a turtleneck and today I was wearing a tank top and shorts (after I got home). It is just unreal, the change and just how warm it got so quickly.
  • Why I like radishes here and not in the States. They somehow taste different here – not as “spicy” as in the US. We are already getting radishes from the garden. I see cabbage and lettuce on their way, too and have already had cucumbers (likely from the greenhouse) – YUM.  How lucky am I to live with a family who grows their own stuff (and grows enough that they sell – that’s their business, so Luba is very, very busy right now. I have tried to help; she usually has me water or something fairly useless like that). In addition there are all the fruit trees in bloom, which means the fruit is coming and I hope some of it arrives before I leave. I will REALLY miss her compote.
  • What happens to the rest of the chickens I have been eating. I have had chicken a number of times since I have been here (a welcome respite from the pork!) and it is always dark meat. I like chicken legs and thighs. They are tasty. However, I have become curious as to exactly what happened to the rest of the bird – the upper half.
  • Speaking of chickens, how often do they lay eggs? And how many at a time? I have gathered eggs from the chickens a number of times and they seem to produce a lot. For example, this past week, one of the days they produced nine eggs. I quickly deduced that you always leave one egg behind in the nest, for which I am assuming is encouragement for the chickens to lay more.  But I don’t gather eggs every day so I don’t know whether that is normal. Is there anyone who knows the answer to this? “We” have fifteen chickens.
  • Whether  Ukraine was, at one time, at the bottom of the ocean. We have this very fine sand all over Kyinka. Now, on a beach in a warm climate, this would be desirable as the sand is soft and fairly white. However. It is not fun to walk around on it (even with a dirt road underneath it), and when the wind blows, a big cloud of it just rolls on through, dusting everything in its path. It gets in your shoes. It gets in your clothes. This I would have anticipated in Africa. But here? Does anyone know the answer to this one too?
  • Why I cannot seem to get well! I’m still sick. ‘Nuff said. Peace Corps Medical is getting to know me very well.

Luba and Dima went to get a new piglet last Sunday. I found out that on the day I went to Kiev and came home to find Luba making all kinds of “polish sausage” and blood sausage in the kitchen, they had killed our svinya – RIP svinya.  So four days later, last Sunday, they went and got a piglet. She is not happy. I tried scratching/petting her and she kind of snorted and moved away. She’s not much happier now than she was that day. Perhaps she already knows that her fate is sealed, and it is only a matter of time before she is also on the chopping block, so to speak. I am very glad that they decided to kill the other svinya while I was away, as I have heard the sound of a pig being slaughtered and it is not one that I will either forget or want to hear again.

Written on May 10:

Yesterday was Ukraine’s Victory Day celebration. I went to the military museum on saturday with Wyoming (who is from Washington) and was in Kyinka taking a lot of photos yesterday.  I will be adding new photos to the “Kyinka” and “Chernihiv” albums on Picasa later this week.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Olga permalink
    May 10, 2010 10:22 am

    Hallo, Karin!
    Could I already write to you in Ukrainian? How’s your language progress going?)
    One chicken lay one egg in one or two days. So you can gather no more than 15 egg at a time.

    About ocean – I don’t know, but sincerely doubt it. I reckon it was a river there, and that’s river’s sand.

    Take care!

  2. Gail permalink
    May 11, 2010 12:00 pm

    Can’t answer most of your questions, I think you’ll just have to remain perplexed but I do know that the radishes my parent’s grow in their garden here are also not as spicy as the ones we get in the stores, etc. I asked my mom why when I realized it and she said that they bought the mildest type and picked them as soon as they were ready, cleaned them immediately and kept them in water and that was why they weren’t as spicy. I agree with you – I love radishes from Dad’s gardern. I rarely buy them.

    I wish I would hear you’re feeling better. It has to be a bummer to still be sick.

    Sadie’s dance concert is this Sunday. I will post pictures for you as soon as I get them.

  3. Mom permalink
    May 12, 2010 7:37 am

    It all depends on the soil and the “strain” of the seed. As you and I have already learned, for every kind of animal and plant in one country there is a like but slightly different animal and plant in another country. Our amazing world.

    Dark meat is always cheaper. It also has different enzyme properties. Our country is always promoting the breast meat for dietary purposes and that is what you have grown up with in my house.

    Your piggie probably smells the blood from the previous one. They are very close to us and have high sensories. Perhaps it is experiencing separation anxiety as well.

    Glad to know you are continuing to see the doctor. Love you.

  4. Mom permalink
    May 12, 2010 7:49 am

    RE eggs:

    Of course you know they don’t need a rooster to lay eggs, only to fertilize them. But did you know they lay fewer eggs in the winter because they have a light sensor in their eyes that stimulates egg laying. Thus, more eggs in spring and summer, less in winter.

    The actual time it takes for a hen to make an egg and lay it is 24 to 26 hours. Then the hen rests about 30 minutes or so before starting to make another one. In addition to resting about 1/2 hour each time an egg is laid, some hens rest about every 3 to 5 days and others rest about every 10 days. Some hens hardly rest at all. The resting times increase the total time to lay an egg.

    So, it depends on how many chickens you have and what season it is. Enjoy the egg gathering. (I want to raise chickens but Mr. Grumpy doesn’t.)

  5. Eric Sandve permalink
    May 16, 2010 9:42 pm

    Hi Karin – I hope you feel better soon! It’s nice to read your updates. Take care.

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