Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Alex And Fathers Day

First I'd like to say one thing. I have tried my damndest to find a way to get money to Alex and each time I'm sent around in circles. I wish I could do more, but I think just telling his story is as far as I'll get. 

Dear friends,

Sometimes I feel like the news from Ukraine is too much to share. The more I talk to the people, the more it looks like this war will not end this year.

But there is something positive that I want to share with you.

Last Friday I was invited to celebrate the day of Medical Personnel in the main regional hospital. The governor of Zhitomir oblast came to congratulate the doctors and the nurses. The best doctors and the nurses were given praise and medals.

The director of the hospital in his speech mentioned that not only doctors should be given praise but all the volunteers who came alongside with them . And he called my name.

I received a charter. I would like to share it with you, because of your support  your connections the hospitals in Zhitomir oblast received:

9 boxes of high quality External Fixators

Surgical Led light

Surgical generator with footswitches

25+ medical beds

10 oxygen concentrators

Fiberooptic Cholodocoscope and gastro feeding tubes

2 tons of medical supplies and drugs


On the other note. In Ukraine we are starting to celebrate Father’s day. This is something new to us.

When I think of my dad Franz and what life he had  it makes me humble. He survived famine in 1932-33. His mother was arrested and sent to Belomoro-Baltiyskiy Chanel, his father was executed by Russians in 1937. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942 and sent to concentration camp Majdanek, Poland. Out of 1,200 prisoners from Zhitomir oblast, only seven came home and he was among them. In 1950 he was arrested and sent to Omsk. He lived till 92.  

There is a lot to learn from his life.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

A Couple Of Updates From Alex In Ukraine

I'm a little slow posting these. I've been in the hospital for 4 days dealing with Gall Stones, but here we go. 

From 6/14/2022

Dear friends,

Yesterday I visited a military cemetery in Zhytomyr. I found out that one of the guys I know was recently buried there. We were not close friends, but we both shared the passion for hiking. He was my age.

The price Ukraine pays everyday is huge. President Zelensky officially confirmed huge losses: 200 dead and 500 wounded. We lose our territory in the East and the cities in the East turn into ruins, complete ruins.

This is how a town Popasnaya with 20,000 population of 20,000 looks nowadays.

Video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ns12DPHguSo21e3NA

A friend of mine, who serves from the first days of war in the artillery division, came back home for one week. He is a different man now. He lost lots of his comrades. He says that Ukrainians are losing artillery duels. When I asked him when this could be over, he said that there is no end to this invasion. The advantage of Russian artillery is 20 to 1!

Last week I brought from Lviv a van full of medical supplies. This was a donation from Amigo Relief Missions from Alberta Canada. I wish I could have a bigger van. There were all the needy medical disposal supplies. The supply chains have been broken and many hospitals in Ukraine have shortage of them and sure the doctors and nurses were happy to see me again in the hospital.

Video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/SZc1J4gBLqUQSXGx6

This time the medical aid was divided among four hospitals: Zhitomir regional, Pulin district hospitals, Korostyshev district and Baranivka district hospitals.



Then from 6/15/2022

Dear friends,

War in the Eastern and Southern parts of Ukraine gets worse. We have new waves of internally displaced people. Zhitomir regional administration officially registered 38 thousands of them, spread in different communities in Zhitomir oblast.

Couple days ago I met a family from Mariupol. This family ran for their lives and left everything behind. They escaped hell. The family of five, with three little kids, lost their house in Mariupol. As many of you know Mariupol is a complete ruin. When I talked to Andiry, this is the father of the family; he shared about his life before the war. He said that he had a wonderful life there. He was renting out SUP boards at the Azov Sea, his kids went to school and his wife was at their lovely house.

I wanted to do something for this family. My friend, Zhanna, who runs the biggest nonprofit in Zhitomir has lots of contacts and can make many things possible. When I shared with her about Andri’s family she told me that we can get together families from Donetsk and Kherson and have fun with them in the water. She organized dragon boats competitions for refugee families and volunteers who are involved in her nonprofit.




What a wonderful idea! Our guests from the war zone were able to relax, see the most beautiful places of Zhitomir, compete and make new friends.