What is remont you ask? It’s one of those Ukrainian words that Americans have put into their English vocabulary because there is not an English equivalent. Right now we are remonting the heat and electricity in the student center. Now you’re thinking, Shannon…the word is remodel or update or even modernize. Maybe, but in Ukraine you can also remont shoes, books, umbrellas, jewelry, electronics, or pretty much anything that needs to be repaired or updated. It’s a great word.
In one of our first posts we talked about the old heating system in Ukraine, peaches – ceramic heaters that stand in the corner of every room in the apartment or house and were first fueled by fire and now converted to gas. However, they are expensive, inefficient, hard to regulate, and not terribly safe. Before David and I even arrived in Ukraine some money had been raised to remont the heating the system at the student center. Our predecessors (Fred and Stacy) had to leave before the bureaucratic mess of paperwork was complete in order to begin.
Needless to say, after six months of being here, the paperwork was finally completed (you have to obtain government permission and pay different fees to do any type of substantial updating in your home or business or church). Since multiple outlets had lost electricity since we arrived in addition to a couple of overhead lights not working, and due to the student center already being ‘out of service’ for a week we decided to have all the electricity rewired as well (including telephone lines).
The student center is currently a total mess that cannot be used but it is exciting to know a new heating system and useable outlets will be waiting for us at the completion of the project (as well as a huge mess). We began the remont last Monday, and were told that it would be completed by Friday. It is now the following Monday and we have been told it will be completed by Wednesday…we’ll see. Due to the inaccessible student center, we have been hosting all student center events at our home. We feel like Grand Central Station and love it!
The crew working on the student center is lead by the pastor of a United Methodist Church in a city south of here. They have been wonderful, reliable and pleasant. We hope to begin redoing the walls and floor of the student center next. We’re not sure exactly when this might be, but hopefully sooner than later.