(That's not pineapple juice but it was fresh squeezed)
The other evening I was sitting out on the bench outside of our building eating sunflower seeds with Joshua and some of the other kids when I noticed a lady I didn't recognize. She came out of our building and then went into the adjoining building carrying a large bag. Later, she came out and asked Anya, one of our neighbor girls, when her parents would be home. After she left I asked Anya who she was. (It's OK to be nosy in Ukraine. I think it's actually encouraged.) Anya told me that the woman comes from the village across the river to sell milk from her cows.
The next evening I saw the same lady as I looked out our kitchen window. I decided I'd see if the milk she was selling was any good. I ran downstairs, but she had already left. I enlisted the help of Anya and our neighbor Oksana to try and track her down. We ran off through the dark and were able to find the lady at the next building. For a small price, she parted with a 1.5 liter plastic bottle filled with fresh milk. Not knowing what else to say, I asked in Ukrainian if the milk was indeed fresh. She assured me that it was and was in fact still warm as it had just come straight from the cow less than thirty minutes ago. That's pretty fresh.
After chilling the milk I was pleasantly surprised by the somewhat sweet creamy flavor. We've had some bad experiences with milk and the usually less than tasty flavor of store bought milk. You can see one of my previous posts to read about that by clicking HERE.
Now Reesa, the milk lady, delivers milk to our door on what ever days we need it for a lot less than it would cost us in the store. She comes in the evenings around 10:00PM after she milks the cows and always assures us that the milk is still warm from the cow. Edna and I think we've actually seen her grazing her cows down by the river. Edna wants to ask her if she can pet one of her cows.
Today we were sitting down on the playground eating sunflower seeds and watching the kids play when our neighbor Olya came and sat by us. She had a bag with her so she put it by our feet before she sat down. We started talking about the normal things like who was doing what and who had a job where, when Olya's bag suddenly sprung up off the ground. This caused Edna to suddenly spring up off of the bench. Olya started laughing as Edna looked at the bag that seemed to be twitching. She said, "Жива риба!" (live fish). She opened the bag to show us and Joshua, who had decided to check out what was making the bag jump around, what was inside. Several sets of eyes peered out at us. Olya promised that she would smack them on the head and then fry them up for us later.
Olya, Joshua, Alyona, and Marianna on the far left
True to her word, Olya called us over to have some late night fish and snacks with her after Reesa made her milk delivery to both of us. After downing a glass of the warm bovine juice, Joshua played with Olya's granddaughters, Marianna and Alyona, while we ate the now fried, but still very fresh, fish. He decided to pass on the fish. Just a little to fresh for him. Joshua does his best to help Olya out when she has her granddaughters over. The two cousins can be a hand full. Joshua is spending the night next door with them so that he can help keep them in line for Babusya Olya. We are thankful that he has a Ukrainian grandmother so far away from his real grandmothers in the U.S. We feel that God has truly blessed us here in Ukraine.
All this to say that I now know how fresh, fresh can be. We wouldn't have it any other way.
"Those things were just looking at me about an hour ago."