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It's a town ...

Published January 21st, 2012

It's a city.

To me 200,000 people make a city. But here it is a village, simply because of village mentality. Bila Tserkov is like most central California cities, like Modesto or Merced, along a major highway surrounded by flat farmlands. So coming to Bila Tserkov (White Church) was a little like coming home ... well, except the languages were different, no Mexicans (hence no Mexican food; this is a hard thing for me), actually no minorities at all, this is white bread land. I have seen 5 black people in 2 years. FIVE.

The Civil Service and Municipal Utilities are different from what I am used to, public transportation is abundant, though not set up for someone 6'5" tall. And most of all, no quick access to the Ocean.

But there is something here that I have missed for a very long time and that is "a quiet life". Situated about 80km south of Kiev, we are a small island. What makes us an island is the lack of mobility for most people heading outside of the city on anything other than a small bus. We are, almost, isolated, almost. The town rolls up the sidewalks early, though there are many places to drink and party, it is effectively "quiet", I almost never hear a police siren and a friend of mine is the Fire Chief and I think I have heard them ring the bells one or twice in two years.

The weather is pleasant in the summer, small amounts of humidity, blue skies, maybe an occasional thunderstorm, great spring and fall seasons and a harsh, by MY standards, winter. After all it did give the Germans hell during WW2. "Don't invade Russia in the winter." and this was for all intents the birthplace of the Russian peoples. This was the breadbasket of the Soviet Union, this was a paradise until the Soviets effectively raped and plundered Ukraine's wealth and shipped it north. This is the home of Chernobyl, the world's worst nebular disaster.

Bila Tserkov is almost 1000 years old, founded in 1032. You may read a little about it here:

I just wonder ... where to begin. How at the age of 57, did I end up half way across the world in the land of my former idealogical enemies, a place where at now nearly 60 years old I must learn 2 languages; Ukrainian and Russian. But first take a look at the map (hit the location button in the upper right hand of the page, zoom in or out, but zooming in you will soon see at the 11 o'clock position just south of Kiev, my location), Ukraine is in a great location for travel, and yet it is in the middle of nowhere as far as Europe is concerned. So where to begin ...

Site of the old fort of Bila Tserkov along River Ros

I will stop here, simply to see how this blog system works and how it allows me to insert photos and where. More later!

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Sundra Tanakoh  over 6 years ago

Bring LOTS of peanut butter lol

Belinda Rasmussen  over 6 years ago

Dan and I are both amazed by this photo, it's breathtaking..... Have to rethink a vacation!