One Week of War

Originally written on March 3rd, 2022. Pictures are from the first 2 weeks.

I have not brushed my hair in a week. For some reason in the early morning chaos of last Thursday, I looked at my hairbrush for a split second and thought: “that’s not really necessary, I can get another one wherever we’re going.” Spoiler: I should have grabbed the hairbrush. I think about our apartment. Will we ever go back? If we do, will it still be standing? Or is everything lost forever? Our fridge is going to be a biochemical hazard by that point. I had just bought chicken to make food for the youth group on Saturday. We still had a giant pot of borscht. It’s all gone bad at this point.

Refugees pile into a van. As many as can fit. It is hard to find transport. Nobody cares about seats. They ride like this for hours.

I got a sinus infection from hiding in the moldy, half flooded basement for so long. If that is the worst thing that happened to me I’ll take it.

The cafe in our village is now gone.

The thing that makes us all pause and hold our breath? Car alarms. Because last time we heard them was when the bombing started. The shock waves set off all the car alarms and for some of us, that’s really what woke us up. There is a lot of construction around us too. Whatever they do cause loud noises that send vibrations through the ground. We pause for a second, listening. It doesn’t take long to figure out what it is. We know what a real bomb sounds like now.

Sleeping arrangements at one of the shelters we stayed at.

We are trying to settle into a new routine. Even in war, life marches on. Among our team had a birthday (10 yr old) and an anniversary (3 years) this week. We got the 10 year old a cake. Otherwise it wasn’t much like a typical celebration. Overall we are in relatively good spirits.

An emotional goodbye.

Yesterday we went to a medical training. We learned how to carry wounded people out of danger and how to take care of different kinds of wounds. I never thought I would ever need to know this.

The little ones don’t really understand what’s happening. They’re not even scared most of the times. They don’t associate the loud booming outside with the destruction of war. They haven’t seen war films. They have nothing to compare it to. But they are frustrated. They are frustrated that they aren’t getting as much attention. They are frustrated and don’t understand why we moved. They are also struggling; they just don’t understand why. We are all tired. We are safe for now, but there are still a lot of unknowns in the future. We all just want this war to end.

This quote from MASH hits hard.

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