Lance & Megan's Blog

Adventure on the road


Traveling is not complete without some kind of adventure. Although I have to say, I don’t necessarily go looking for it all the time, but it is fun once you’re in the midst of it!

The scene

While in Cahul, Moldova visiting Lance, we made a “short” trip to pick up his leader in Odessa, Ukraine. It was supposed to be short but the fog and ice slowed us down. We arrived to a sunny Odessa picked up Kyle, dropped off someone else and were on our way. Despite being pulled over by police our trip home was uneventful… except for one stop.

The GPS had led us to Odessa on one road, but for whatever reason, decided to take us back by a different road. It was a bad road, we thought about marking it in the GPS as the Never-Go-Down-This-Road road, but I think we forgot. It was like we had entered onto Mars without a landrover. Or maybe it was a remnant of a mine field littered with holes, potholes to be exact. I know roads can be bad in Ukraine, but this was hardly even a road. We kept thinking it would get better at every turn, but it never did. The fact that we saw less and less cars should have told us something but we were busy chatting until Lance finally said “we got to get off this road!”

We looked at the GPS and saw that we were basically traveling next to the road we took in the morning. There were no roads apparently connecting them. Lance just decided to take the first left that he came to, we had come to desperation out of concern for the car. So we took a left.

It was a slightly better road, a little more deserted, but was a degree better than the previous road from Mars. It led us into a little village where it seemed the road ended. Great. We looked around, asked some villagers who directed us a different way. This led us to the outskirts of a different village. We were traveling on what reminded me of a dike between two fields. We were just driving between some fields in the middle of no where. No. Where. This is where it got a little too adventurous.

We saw another road closer to the field that looked better so we thought we would just go down off this crazy dike road and continue to the road ahead… what? what’s wrong? Why aren’t we moving? Ack! It’s mud… no it’s worse, it’s clay!

Yep, we turned off a perfectly good road for a deceptively muddy road and got stuck. We tried for a good 20-30 min to get out, spraying the car with mud/clay all over. We were quite the sight. As I noted the fuel gauge bordering empty and the sun nearing the horizon I began to determine which house looked the friendliest and might allow some strangers to stay the night with them. Lance and Kyle decided to go ask a villager if someone had a tractor they could use to pull us out.

Lance trying to get the clay out of his wheel well.

Don’t be fooled by the road’s smooth appearance…

Praise the Lord they found one! The tractor was slipping all around as well but eventually managed to tow us out. The man who had towed us out was a pig farmer, with him was his brother, dad, neighbor, son, and neighbor kid. We were a spectacle. They enjoyed the spectacle so much they invited us over for homemade wine made with red and black pepper. Typical Ukrainians, always ready for guests and hospitality.

We muddled through the mud to their farm. As we rounded the corner, I saw them defuzzing a pig they had just roasted. The man brought out a pitcher of wine and one cup. His brother (or neighbor I kept getting confused) downed a glass in one gulp. He filled the glass again and gave it to Kyle. Kyle finished his glass, the man poured another glass and handed it to me. I weigh like half the weight of these guys and I had not eaten much that day, I cautiously took the glass and took tiny sips until I had finally finished the glass. I was proud of my accomplishment.

At this point, they brought out some  food. Since they were pig farmers they brought out pig skin, just a big ole flap of pig skin. It had been roasted, but was not crunchy or hard, just sort of a grey rubbery consistency. Luckily, it did not have much of a flavor ,just chewy, really chewy. Then there were some nice little meat patties, I like meat patties, can’t go wrong with those. Then there was this sort of triangular shaped jellyish-looking meat thing. Not sure what to call it. It was made with pork meat and ground up pig skin. It had a slimy jelly texture, reminded me of a JELLO jiggler with meat and pig skin. This also did not taste that bad, I just kept thinking “JELLO jiggler” and swallowed it.

I was offered another glass of wine which I took but drank even slower than before. I managed to finish it, but when they offered me another glass I had to decline, after accepting two glasses I was sure they would not be offended if I refuse the third glass. We chatted for a while longer about the farm, they gave us a tour, we talked about what we were doing here, and Christmas. They were happy to help and refused our monetary offering. We drove off in our clay covered car just as the sun was about to set. It was a fun adventure indeed but I will think twice before turning on seemingly smooth dirt roads!

posted under cultural, Megan, travel, Ukraine
5 Comments to

“Adventure on the road”

  1. On January 10th, 2013 at 11:16 am mom Says:

    Wow, that was quite the adventerous trip! I am glad that all of you made it back safely. I love the story about the pig farmers….they sound like very hospitable people 😀

  2. On January 20th, 2013 at 8:37 am Aunt Nancy Says:

    Hilarious story about the trip and the dinner. They are very kind and generous
    , aren’t they?

  3. On January 20th, 2013 at 8:39 am Aunt Nancy Says:

    Hilarious story about the trip. I kind of got a sick feeling at your description of the gray, Jello, pig skin. About then, I’d become a Vegan.

  4. On February 9th, 2013 at 12:10 pm Rick Says:

    Megan, thanks for keeping up your blog posts. You are SUCH a great writer and it makes us feel like we’re right there experiencing it with you. What an adventure. Like Aunt Nancy, your description of the jello pig stuff made me a little woozy 🙁

  5. On February 9th, 2013 at 1:45 pm Sybille Weaver Says:

    Hi Megan! I love your blog. I finally got back to it today. Your “adventure” was hilarious. I can just see it. Oh my. And the pics of wintery Ukraine are awesome! I, too, love snow and am just a wee bit green at the postcard landscape in which you’re living. We’ve had no snow as yet here in Auburn. Lots of frost for awhile, but now we’re back to spring-like temps. Well, we just thank God for whatever He sends!
    You and the school are in my prayers. I will be praying that God will direct more students your way. God bless you and stay warm and dry!