War Journal: Day 3, Leaving Kyiv


Day 3. Nobody can agree what to do. What is safest. What is best for all. We cannot get ahold of one man who has a big bus and said he would take us. We do not know if he still alive, still in the country, or had to leave his phone behind. Our other 2 options now cannot get to us because the bridges have been blown out. I want to leave. I feel trapped here. Others are more afraid of the unknowns of the road. Vova from the school connected me to a teacher group chat. They are helping us look for a bus. 

2pm. The moms of the youth group told us to go to Ternopil and find a bus from there. People argued in Russian for an hour. (It was quiet, no shelling and a sunny, fairly warm day so we all went and stood in the yard as we talked. I played with the kids or just sat on the steps and listened. I couldn’t understand most of it, and only parts were translated for us.) Finally Max, Dasha, Sara, Vladimir and I got in their car and left. Galya was too scared to leave with the kids. We were too scared to stay. I am torn because I wanted to stay with Galya so I could help her with the kids but we needed to fill all the seats in the car so it would be worth it.

We let Sara out of the car seat when we were stopped for hours in snails pace traffic overnight. We were all exhausted as you can see.

Driving through Kyiv was the worst part. We could still hear occasional shelling as we left Pusha. It seems very bad there right now. We had to show our passports at multiple checkpoints throughout the city. At every major intersection we saw volunteers, police, and soldiers digging trenches and fortifying them with sandbags. At one point we drove right past where one of the first residential buildings that got bombed was located. There was debris all across the road, only one lane was open in both directions. I didn’t get a chance to look at the building that closely because a police car pulled out in front of us and pointed their rifle at the car just in front in the right hand lane. Max quickly drove us around the scene. We did not stop for 3 hours. We also learned as we were leaving that the mayor was putting a strict curfew on Kyiv from 5pm that night (Saturday) until Monday morning. We were able to get far away in time and are very glad we left when we did instead of waiting.

Photo comparison showing the completed repairs.

Most of the drive was ok. We found some food and some gas at 2 different locations. At 1am we ran into traffic outside of Khmelnytskyi. Probably about 4km outside of the big highway that goes around it. Traffic is moving at a snail’s pace. People are driving the wrong way and racing ahead of everyone to get around it. It is now 8am on Sunday morning and we still have not turned onto the highway. This is not good. There are several gas stations on the corner so that is slowing stuff down. And it might be a checkpoint as well.

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