Love can be found even in perishing exclusion zone
When we planned our regular charity tour, we did not even know what we would find out on that day. It all started with planning to visit and help the self-settlers in the exclusion zone. Our primary goal is still the same, as for years. We come and help the people who chose to live in their motherland after the biggest nuclear disaster of 20th century and are cut from the country and social life.
On 28th of December 2018 we came with the Xmas gifts. We thought what could please the self-settlers and somebody came with and idea to bring back the times when they lived happily before the disaster. During Soviet times a New Year celebration was much more important than Christmas itself. Soviet people usually celebrated with a family, having late dinner and feast activities all night. Traditional table setting consisted of Soviet champagne, red caviar and salad with olives. Nowadays self-settlers have no opportunities to buy this type of products as they receive once a month only simple and most important groceries. So we tried to arrange the typical New Year groceries, giving them a chance to remind the good old times. Altogether, we came and wished all the best to 27 families.
Visiting all the (leftovers of) villages, house by house, we found some surprising facts. Interesting ones mostly. During our 8th charity tour, we visited the Teremci village. Life in this village is full of intrigues and gossips. One of the men told us about his neighbor who does witchcraft, so everybody is trying to prevent any conflict with him, because they are scared of the witch. Moreover, they are all pretty sure that her husband died from unknown disease as a punishment from Heaven. People have seen this lady making weird rituals on the hill during sunset. Unfortunately, we couldn't help to get rid of the witch, but sometimes also a understandable hearing can help.
We also visited Vasyl from Teremci who unfortunately lost his wife in January 2018. When we met him we saw his sparkling eyes and it was pretty big difference comparing to our last visit. After few minutes, Vasyl started to speak about news in his life. He met an amazing woman and now, they are in relationship. Love can, for sure, bloom everywhere. Vasyl's brand new love, Tatyana, is a woman he know for years. Her parents bought the summer house in Teremci one year before the disaster. Some years after she started to come with her husband each year to spend the summer holidays there. Both families knew each other and have been in a nice relationship. Three years ago, Tatyana's husband past away. She became a widow and didn't expect to be happy again. In summer 2018 she made a decision to visit her cousin in Teremci and have some rest from city life. All the life she lived in Kyiv and worked as a cook. This time when they met with Vasyl something changed and they fell in love. They are both 63 years old, have a common interest, the same hobbies. She made the decision to move to Teremci to her parent's house and start a new happy life.
Unfortunately, not all stories are happy as this one. The self-settlers also informed us that during last year, 20 of them died of advanced age. Sadly, the zone is slowly perishing and now there is still more than hundred people living. We hope that next winter, we would be able to visit majority of them and make their Christmas again somehow special.