The next day Megan and I were going to the Russian art museum so I had to leave early. I had been reading a book with Styopa while I ate my fish and potatoes for breakfast (not my breakfast of choice) and when I went to leave he cried and said, "Наналининанана, идий суууууда!" (nanannaananilininana (that's my name in Styopian) Come heeeeere!) I gave him a hug and said "Я буду игать с вами вечером" (I will play with you tonight). I didn't think he would understand me. Then I snuck out the door. The art museum was closed so we went to the Ukrainian Natural history museum and saw lots of rocks. We also went to the archeological wing and saw lots of cool ancient Ukrainian stuff. They had a cool map of Kiev through the reign of the 4 major kings of Kievian Rus. We also saw a demonstration (like the political kind) across the street. I wanted to go over and see what it was about but we decided to play it safe and stay away. The banners said something about Ulia Timoshenko but I don't know if they were for her or against. I taught then walked home through the snowy darkness. As soon as I got home Styopa met me at the door and dragged me into his room. We read and ate 'кашу' (Styopian for каша, porridge what he eats all the time. It's actually the right word just it's always in the accusative case for Styopa because his mom says he's eating kashoo and doesn't understand cases). At one point I was really tired and I lay down for a minute. Styopa thought I was dead and poked me. When I opened my eyes he pulled me up and gave me a big hug and a kiss. We had dinner with the whole family which was way fun.
The next morning, I left early to meet Megan and I got there early so I hid in the entry way to her house behind the door and when she came down I followed her being really quiet. When I knew I wasn't going to be able to hold back the giggles much longer I reached out and put my arm around her right as her phone rang. She thought it was me on the phone so she really really freaked out that some Russian guy was grabbing her. It was awesome. We went to Andrivsky Uzviz (St. Andrew's Desent also known as Souvenir Street). We met this one guy (Eugene) who spoke really good English and asked where we were from. When Megan said Utah, he said, "You are Mormon's maybe?" When we said, "Yes", he said "You Mormons always like these" and went and got the Nativity dolls. They were beautiful and was really right they were exactly what we like all day we found ourselves looking at different Nativity dolls. He showed them all to us and told us "I met some of your young men (missionaries) and they said they liked them but they would like them better without halos so I tell my artist." So he had Mormon dolls with scenes from the life of Christ in them. He also told us about the history of laquer box styles, Kiev, football, the weather, Virginia, and Russian artists. We left without buying anything but we told him we'd be back the next day at 4. We continued down the street. I bought a lacquer box with the firebird on it. The guy who sold it to me painted his own dolls and I had a fun time talking to him. When I was trying to decide which box to get I would point at them and he would tell me how much. I kept choosing the really expensive ones and he kept trying to show me the less expensive ones because he could tell I didn't want to spend that much. Finally, he said, "You know lacquer boxes. You choose always master painters. They are more expensive." So then he got out the small ones and I got one of those. It's small and round (which is traditional of Kiev) and painted by an old Soviet master painter. The guy gave me a good price because I opened his table. Here it is good luck to give your first customer a really good deal and I got there right as he was starting to set out his stuff so he said with a customer so early it would be an especially good omen. By the time we got to the bottom, it was freezing cold. We went to Pazata Hata for blini, kapoosta and kartopla.
The next day was awesome. We went to a ward breakfast where we ate blini. Then we went to Saint Sofia's and took a tour. I was really proud that I could follow all the history of Ukraine that is immortalized in that cathedral. The frescos are original from the 11th century. I learned several interesting things. Like marble used to be worth it's weight in gold so Yaroslav's tomb cost 6 tons of gold. The church was left unattended for almost 5 hundred years under the Tartar Mongols and the Poles and trees grew up inside the church. I also learned that when you walk from Zoloti Vorota to Adrivsky Uzviz you are crossing the whole of Kiev during the Kievian Rus period. We got to climb the bell tower and the weather was nice so you could actually see everything. After that we went to Souvenir Street. We got there right at 4 and Eugene ran up to us saying, "You're right on time!" Then I went home and made Navajo Tacos for my host family. It was really really fun. Natasha told me how to get to the Goodbye Winter Festival. An ancient Ukrainian festival where they burn winter in effigy and eat blini in the woods. Megan and I went and I got a блин с икрой (blini with caviar) and Шашлик (a Tartar kaboob). On the way home we walked by Roshen Фабрика имени Карла Маркса (The Roshen Candy Factory in the name of Karl Marcs) it smelled way good.