We spent Christmas time tasting international cuisine with Chernobyl babushkas
If you've been following us for some time, you've certainly noticed that we regularly do so-called charity tours, where we go to help Chernobyl babushkas to take care of their garden, bring them warm clothes and supplies, Christmas gifts or simply just go to talk with them.
This time, the charity tour was organized by our guide Alina (btw, did you know that she's the daughter of a Chernobyl liquidator?). She had the great idea to share a taste of various foreign cuisines with the self-settlers of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as they don't have the chance to try these tasty meals anywhere in the Zone. Actually, they didn't have the opportunity to travel and try these international cuisine during the Soviet times when they were younger. It's well-known that most of the Chernobyl babushkas spent their entire lifes in their motherland.
For them the most valuable gift is a simple visit as they love to talk and love to be heard, especially during winter when there's not that many visitors. But this time, we joined forces with a professional cook and prepared different meals from around the world for the babushkas.
The menu consisted of three meals:
- Quiche with bacon & vegetables as a representative of Mediterranean cuisine
- Pâté with chicken liver, horseradish & onion marmalade as a representative cuisine of Ukraine, Odessa region.
- Sacivi with chicken as a representative of Georgian cuisine
- Tiramisu as a representative of Italian cuisine
Babushkas were very curious about the meals and enjoyed them a lot as they had never experienced such a thing. We had a great time and spent beautiful moments together. However, as we were trying to visit most of them and went house-to-house bringing this delicious food to babushkas while having a chat with them, we found out that one of our good friends - babushka Hanna - is getting older and can't look after herself any more. Since she is single and doesn't have any children who can help her, the social service helped move her to the closest nursing home, which is, unfortunately, outside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and therefore Hanna can't visit her house. We've visited Hanna and she complained to us that she's very sad and unhappy that she can not spend her last days back home. Her only dream is to pass away in her home, in her motherland.
Although it was a very lovely charity tour and we really enjoyed it, this very moment has broken our hearts, as there's nothing we can do to help her fulfill her dream. We just cried together hearing this story and have tried to support her in this difficult times.
The next charity tour will be held during Spring and if you are interested in participating and helping Chernobyl babushkas in person, please let us know by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject "I want to help Chernobyl babushkas."