The ministry is a little bit slow this time of year. All the students have exams in January, and so they disappear until they are completely finished. Then the spring semester begins the second week of February. We are gearing up for a busy spring, which we are super excited about, but I thought I would share something more personal and dear to my heart this week: cold weather and broken pipes.
I’m writing this on Wednesday, January 26, 2010. We are in our seventh day of single degree temperatures. For all you Minnesota readers, you’re probably thinking, stop whining. But please remember, first, I don’t have a car. I walk to work, to the grocery store and stand outside on Saturdays to buy clean drinking water. Secondly, I don’t have central heating, or terribly effective heating for when it’s this cold. I am actually writing this from a table I moved to be near our big ceramic peachka (heater) because if you’re not within five feet of our heaters, they are not doing much good.
Luckily, with it being so cold, everything is frozen which makes walking a little cleaner, but also a little bit more dangerous. Last week, David had a most magnificent fall when crossing the street. That’s right, no shoveling snow off sidewalks or clearing ice off the streets here. You just kinda go with it. You also wait to ensure all cars are able to stop at red lights before you step off the curb. I’ve seen plenty that haven’t, but the drivers have been nice enough to honk their horns as they slide through the light.
And as you might have guessed, bitter cold for extended time brings broken pipes, even in Ukraine. We lost water on Sunday. It is now Wednesday evening. We didn’t realize we had no water until we emptied our storage tank on Monday. We thought maybe the city forgot to turn on the water Monday morning. But when the water did not come on Monday evening, we knew there was a problem. (If you have forgotten, our city only has water from 6am-9am and from 6pm-9pm. That is why we have a tank, so we have access during the day.)
We called the city people on Tuesday at 9am. They said they would be here after 2:30pm. They came at 3:30pm – not bad, you might say. Except, they didn’t fix the problem. They said they did. They said we should have water at 6pm, like everyone else, except we didn’t. So today we started calling at 8am. It is now 5:30pm, and we are still waiting. However, we have been promised they will be here by 9pm. We’ll see.