Thursday, September 23, 2010


I'm writing this more for our family than for everyone to see, but if others are interested to read it that's okay. 

We hadn't had a break since last November, so we decided that we would take a week's vacation in September, hoping that the crowds of people in Europe would be less.  Ha! That's a big laugh.  There were not many children traveling, but everywhere was full of people, especially Prague.  It was crowded.  We decided on Prague because we had heard that it is a really great place to visit and it's full of history, which of course Frank and I really love.  So we made our reservations online in August.  I want to say something here about prices.  It was cheaper to fly from Donest'k to Prague via Vienna than it was to fly from Donest'k to Vienna only.  We had thought we might stay in Vienna and take some train trips to other places, but it cost $125 more per ticket to do that.  So we flew to Prague, changing planes in Vienna.  Crazy!  And our hotel-----I booked on Expedia at a price that was 1/3 of the price that was quoted on the hotel website.  And we got a discount because we stayed six nights. 

We left Berdyansk on the morning of Sept. 12 and took a bus to Donest'k to get our Austrian Airlines flight.  Driving by car the trip takes about 2 1/2 hours, but the bus takes almost four hours.  It stops for a half-hour in another nearby city, and it stops along the way to pick up and let down people.  We were cutting it pretty close to get to the airport, but we made it.  There was a crowd of people in the departure area, some of them on charter flights.  Anyway, we were okay and got to Vienna right on time, which was good because we only had 30 minutes to get to our connecting flight.  We fidgeted in the passport control line, but finally got through and hurried through the airport to our gate.  We were just about the last to get on the plane, but there were others from our first flight who also got the flight to Prague.  The funny thing was:  we got on the same plane that we had gotten off of a half-hour earlier.  And our suitcase got on the plane too.  We wondered if it would make the connection, but it was there in Prague when we got to the luggage area.  We were a little disappointed about one thing:  we entered the European Union in Vienna, so when we arrived in the Czech Republic we didn't get a stamp of that country in our passports. 

We got to our hotel about 8pm and crashed for the night, but were up at our regular time and got down to breakfast about 8am.  The breakfast was pretty good with a variety of selections.  But we have usually found in European hotels that the breakfast is much more than what Americans call a "continental breakfast."  We ate a really good breakfast everyday and then ate again about 2 or 3pm.  So we had two good meals a day, and maybe a snack in the evening.  We found two Indian restaurants in the historical area, so we ate at each of them once.  The food was okay, but it definitely needed more green chilis.  One day we ate traditional Czech food in an outdoor restaurant, under a sturdy cover while we watched the rain come down.  Czech food is good, but tends to avoid vegetables and is heavy on carbs.  One day we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe.  We had to try it since it was right there in front of us, and the food was good.  Besides, we wanted to give our kids a good laugh, thinking about Mom and Dad at the Hard Rock Cafe.  Are you laughing, Laura? Lori? Evan? Brent?  The music was loud but it wasn't all hard rock or heavy metal.   We sat under Jimi Hendrick's vest that he wore in a concert in Dallas.  Whoopee. 
I loved the guitar-shaped chandelier that we were almost under at our table.

There was also a Hooters close to our hotel, but we decided that was probably just a bit too risque for us, so we didn't go there.  And we saw a TGI Friday also, although we didn't eat there.

Let's get to the history part!  Prague actually has a fascinating history and a lot of church history took place there too, so of course we were interested in that.  Prague was one of the few cities in Eastern Europe which was not devastated by W. W. II.  The great majority of its buildings are authentic from the time when they were built.  In Germany for example many of the buildings are reconstructions of what had been destroyed.  Frank enjoyed going to Bethlehem Chapel which was the church of the early reformer John Hus.  The cathedrals were wonderful.  We were in four or five of them because the city has quite a few.  For the first time we were in cathedrals of three different architectural style:  Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque.  Each was totally different from the others.  Prague has the largest castle in the world according to the Guiness Book of World Records.  It is huge with several palaces, a large historic cathedral, other smaller churches, remains of a monastery, and lots of other buildings all connected to each other. It was like a good-sized town in the Middle Ages.  In the oldest palace the great hall was large enough for medieval jousts to take place inside.  And there was a ramp for the horses to come up into the hall from the outside.  In the castle cathedral we saw the tomb of "Good King Wencelas" of the Christmas carol.  Actually, there is a big square in Prague named after him with a statue of him at the top of the boulevard.
A view of the castle from the top of the medieval Town Hall.  The cathedral, towering over the castle, is the spiritual center of Czech history and this is where Wencelas is buried.

Wencelaus' tomb.
Wencelaus on horseback in front of the National Museum, which we did not visit.  There were too many other thngs to see.

The Old Town Square is the center of the historical district.  The Town Hall has an interesting astronomical clock, which I cannot explain to you.  It strikes on the hour and above it two little doors open and the twelve apostles go by.  When it is done striking, a trumpeter in medieval costume at the top of the tower, blows a nice short flourish and then waves at the crowds below.

We were both interested to visit the Jewish section of the Old Town, and we did go there but that day was rainy and somewhat miserable, so we didn't stay long.  We did visit the oldest synagogue still in use in Europe and it was quite interesting.  There were actually five synagogues in a small area, but some are now museums of the Jewish people.  There's a W.W.II. concentration camp outside of Prague where thousands of Jews either died or were transported to German camps.  We didn't visit that either.  I really wanted to visit the Czech Jewish Museum, but it was rather expensive.  The whole area seemed to cater to American and European Jews who wanted to come back to Prague to explore their heritage. 

The most annoying thing that happened was that our camera died right in the middle of picture-taking.  No matter what we did, we couldn't get anything on screen except digital lines and gray markings.  So we finally went to a good-sized department store and bought a new camera.  We had planned to buy a new one anyway when we were in the States next, so we bought a more expensive one than we had in the past.  Frank checked online when we got home and figures we probably paid $25-30 more for it than we would have at home.  It's a Panasonic Lumix, and has all kinds of features which we haven't figured out yet.  I'm going to have to work on that.  It has an 8x zoom and 14.1 megapixels, a wide-angle, and it takes movies.  Will I ever get it all figured out?  The good thing was that the card from our old camera works in the new camera.  So we didn't have to buy a new card.  But a new camera was definitely not in our budget for this trip.

The weather could have been better.  Our first day was very cloudy, but it didn't rain and the temperature was okay.  Tuesday and Wednesday it got colder and rained frequently.  Actually, I wore my leather coat everyday except Monday.  I also got a new umbrella :)  Thursday and Friday the sun came out, although it was still cool, and they were pretty nice days for sight-seeing.  I would much rather have it a little cool than to be hot and sweaty.  One negative comment I'll make about Prague is that the historical buildings and the statues really need a good cleaning.  They had turned black and gray with years and years of weather.  One huge statue of John Hus in the Old Town Square was absolutely green with oxidation.  The city needs to make their wonderful exhibits look much better than they do.

What did I buy?  Well, I didn't buy a lot because we traveled with only one suitcase, a leather backpack (thanks to Bud Hummel who gave it to us a few years ago), and my tote bag.  So there wasn't a lot of room to pack things to take home.  Bohemian crystal is beautiful and I bought a rose and a necklace.  I also bought a small painting of the castle and the Charles Bridge over the river.  I bought a scarf and a couple of other small items as gifts.  I really wanted to buy some marionettes for the grandkids.  The Czech Republic is famous for its marionettes, but there was no room to pack them and they were somewhat expensive.  Sorry about that Kirsten, Riley, Anika, Garrett, Brock and Lance.  I was thinking about you at least.

Aren't they wonderful?   I loved them.

We took one tour outside of Prague to an old medieval town called Kutna Hora.  During the Middle Ages it was a prosperous, booming town which mined silver.  It rivaled Prague in importance.  I did feel that we really didn't get our money's worth on this tour.  It was on Friday afternoon, and the traffic was horrible so we spent a total of three hours on the bus and two hours in the town.  Our guide and driver were eager to hustle everyone back into the mini-bus and get back to Prague, so we didn't have time to wander and see anything on our own.  There were some interesting things though.  We went through an old building which had been the mint centuries ago and we saw the old silver coins and how they were made.  We went through a famous old cathedral (another one!) which was dedicated to St. Barbara, who was the patron saint of miners.  And we saw an unusual ossuary---the basement of an old church where the bones of 40,000 people who had died in the Middle Ages of the plague and wars were carved into such things as a chandelier, the heraldic shield of the family who owned the place, and other "decorations."  Not exactly the high point of our visit, but somewhat interesting. 
The cathedral of St. Barbara, with flying buttresses on the sides holding up the walls.
The heraldic shield made of bones.
A view of Kutna Hora from the ramparts next to the cathedral.

We got back to Berdyansk Saturday night without any problems, but we crashed on Sunday.  We had a good time, and are really glad that we chose Prague for a week's vacation.  Everything there was right down our alley, so to speak.  I'll end this with just a selection of pictures with a few comments. 

This picture's for Brent---check out the old Ford.  Looks pretty good, doesn't it?
A modern sculpture made entirely of keys.
I took this picture so you could see how small the door was.
I'm rather proud of this picture!  The rose window at the castle cathedral.
Wencelaus Square looking down toward the National Museum.
No comment needed!
We were in a museum of education history and Frank pointed out that the little guy in the middle of the picture looks like Brock.  What do you think?  Of course Brock wouldn't be caught wearing a big bow under his chin!
How's this for a motorcycle?  The back side wheels retract.  You can stay dry riding this one.
Another trumpeter, on the Charles Bridge this time.
On the Charles Bridge with the castle in the background.

A final word for the family.  In Yukon next to the cemetery on Garth Brooks Blvd. there is a large Catholic Church called St. John Nepumok.  We had never heard of him before, but we found out lots about him in Prague.  He had been the confessor for one of the early queens of Bohemia (the early name for the Czech Republic).  Her husband did not trust her and wanted Nepumok to tell him what she had said in confession.  Nepumok refused and the king had him killed by throwing him off the Charles Bridge and drowning him.  There is a statue of him on the bridge (along with many others) and the spot where he was thrown from is marked by a memorial.  In the castle church there is a big silver tomb for him.  In another church there is a memorial to him with a painting of him with the queen in the background.  He is one of the important saints to the Czech people.  And there are a lot of Czech descendants in Yukon.

The memorial to Nepumuk on the Charles Bridge.

The picture of Nepumuk with the queen in the background.

I know there is lots and lots more that I could write about, but I'm stopping here.  Hmmmm, where shall we go next year for a week's vacation?  How about St. Petersburg, Russia?  Sounds like a winner to me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I want to continue talking about what we are actually doing here in Berdyansk.  I have written about the difficulties in getting a lay education program started and the Berdyansk Training Institute up and running effectively.  But we wanted to get to know people and become involved in their lives in a positive way, and this was also slow to develop.  Our first four months here (December thru March) were mostly spent in settling in, adjusting to weather and cultural issues, learning what was actually going on in the WGM work here, and finally moving into the bigger apartment and Frank's learning the treasurer's work.

I was determined that we needed to take the initiative in meeting people and developing relationships.  Keep in mind that we still have the language issue that is a barrier, but some folks do know English and like to talk to us with the little they know.  And Frank is growing in his ability to understand and slowly communicate, much better than me.  And since Ukrainians tend to be reserved until they get to know you, it was up to us to take the first steps.

So in April we started in a small way to invite people to our home for a meal. Our first guests were some young people who work here at the center, Igor and Vika, a young couple, and Inna, a young woman who works as a translator and part-time accountant.  Igor works in maintenance although he likes to be involved with the youth and other ministries, and Vika was working at that time in the youth ministries. 
Inna and Vika
Vika and Igor
I love Igor's smile!  It's like a little boy, and he has the ability to laugh at himself and with others.  He is a Bible school graduate, but hasn't found the right place for ministry.  Bill Brower and ourselves want to encourage him to keep working here, but also to make attempts to get him involved actively in ministries that he enjoys.  He is a wonderful woodworker and does beautiful plaques and signs.  A very talented young man who also likes to sing and play the guitar.  Vika worked with the youth center and the orphanage ministry for a while, but she has moved on to other jobs.  She was really helpful to me when I first started going to the orphanage, sometimes translating, sometimes making suggestions.  Inna has become a good friend.  She and I go to get our nails done together.  The manicurist, Larissa, works from her home and she and her husband and two boys attend Bethel Church.  Inna is the translator for our missionary friend, Don Norton.  He has ESL classes in the Ministry Center and is helpful in many ways.          

We have also had Pastor Sergei and Pastor Arkadi in our home for a meal, as well as discussions about how to develop a lay training program.  When they came for a meal a few weeks ago they brought along Sergei's mother, Lena.  She is very friendly and was really interested in my needlework and quilting.  She encouraged me to try and get the ladies together sometime to work on teaching them some of my skills.  I am working on this, trying to find the right time and the right way to go about it.  Perhaps I'll write more about this in September.

Pastor Sergei and his mother

Pastors Sergei and Arkadi  (I wonder where Arkadi's sweatshirt came from?)

But our major focus has been in continuing a small group which was started by our missionary friend, Don Norton.  He had been meeting it two or three times a month for food and fellowship.  We wanted to start something, but we didn't want to be in competition with him.  Well, the young adults were ready to have as many meetings (and free food!) as we could provide.  But we worked with Don and now we have a fluid schedule that alternates meetings at his place and ours.  So we have a small group once a month, usually on Saturday evening.  So far it's been basically for food and fun, with games.  But we want to expand it into something more meaninful and serious, keeping the games but wanting to have at least a half-hour of discussion, prayer and/or devotions. 
Mexican train dominoes
Another young couple who are in our group is Sasha and Oksana.  Sasha is the young man who was being mentored in Church history by Frank.  His wife Oksana is lovely to be with.  She has a wonderful sense of humor, and I love to hear her talking about "my Sasha."  They are both Bible school grads, but are working full-time jobs to make ends meet.  He is currently working in a factory which makes farm equipment, and she works as a hairdresser, doing senior citizens' haircuts at the centers where they meet or live.  She has also been cutting my hair and Frank's.  (It's nice to have the person come directly to your home to cut your hair.) 
Oksana and Sasha
Sasha is now in the process of beginning a church in his neighborhood.  It started as a church he attended and helped to pastor, but through various issues he is now spearheading a drive to reach more of the young families who live close to him.  And he is taking over the role of pastor.  He is a thoughtful fellow who loves the Lord and wants to be involved in ministry.  He and Igor are not so interested in the games.  Usually they sit and talk while the ladies play!  One thing Oksana told me was that young couples crave good Christian fellowship and want to have activities on the weekend to fill that need.  We want to help them find that fellowship.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Well, I've talked a lot about life here, the things we've seen and places we've visited.  But we're not here on a tourist trip, we're here to work.  So I want to spend some time talking about what we are actually doing in ministry.  It's interesting in many missionaries' lives that they often end up doing things that they hadn't thought they would do and they don't do things that they had prepared to do.  I think we can say that is the case with us in Ukraine.  Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.

We had been planning to develop a lay education program in the church.  When we visited Ukraine in 2007 that was presented as a great need.  And we had the qualifications to do that.  When we were asked to start this, we were eager to do it because it got us out of an institutionalized frame of mind and would get us into practical, everyday ministry in the church.  Well . . . . . things didn't turn out quite as we expected. 

First of all, we were extremely slow in getting to the field.  Ernie Smith, our friend and previous Field Director, rightly felt that he couldn't wait forever for us.  So he put Bill Tarr in place, here in Berdyansk, to begin the lay education program.  Bill and Betsy moved to Berdyansk from western Ukraine after the Wesley Bible School closed because of lack of funds and students.  Bill was very experienced in education and began to work on developing classes which would be taught at the Home of Hope ministry center.  A name was given to this:  the Berdyansk Training Center.  Our vision had been that we would be out in the churches teaching these classes, but since we weren't here Bill did what he thought was best at that time.  The classes were very slow to begin, the interest among the lay people was low, and the churches didn't seem to have much interest to move in this direction.  Consequently, the BTI has not been successful.  Frank began teaching one class in January with only two students.  And for various reasons, that class discontinued in March, although Frank continued to tutor one young man, Sasha, in Church History once a week.  (And I must add here, Frank has learned a lot from Sasha about the Ukrainian church and people.)  The Tarrs left the field in early March because of Bill's health problems and Frank was put in charge of the BTI.  At this time, Frank is trying to develop opportunities to meet with various pastors in Berdyansk, get to know them, and talk to them about developing BTI for the needs that the Ukrainian churches feel that they have.  It has been extremely slow, and a little frustrating.  But we don't want to rush into trying to develop something that will immediately die off when we leave the field in a year or two.

Frank's main job at this time is Field Treasure.  Betsy Tarr capably filled that position for a number of  years, but she is now gone and Frank is still on the learning curve about what is expected by WGM accounting and by the IRS, etc.  Banking, expense reports, budgets, expenditures and receipts, etc.----all these things fill much of his time.

I (Chris) had planned to teach also, but that hasn't worked out.  The BTI library is in the ministry center and needs work done on it, but we are waiting to see how things develop before I spend hours and hours working on the books, cataloguing and classifying them.  Betsy Tarr turned over her responsibilities has ministry center hostess to me, but that job is fairly easy at this time.  If work teams return to Ukraine next summer, I will be busy, busy, busy.  I am also the official mentor for Oksana Brower.  This is a WGM program that was developed to help new, young missionaries fit into the ministries of the field and the expectations of what a missionary should be.  I'm sure I learn more from her (since she is Ukrainian) than she learns from me.  My favorite day of the week is Tuesday, when I go to the orphanage in the morning and spend time with the little ones.  I love it when they run to me and give me big hugs when we walk in.  I helped with the VBS/Kid's Club in June, teaching some lessons and just being available to do whatever was needed.  My current dream is to get a women's ministry started.  Some ladies have shown interest in my knitting and crocheting, and even my quilting which I don't do hardly at all here.  I'll let you know how this develops as time goes by. 

In my next posting, I will write about our entertaining of friends and young people in our home.  We started this is April, and have continued to develop it through the spring and summer.  I'll put up pictures and tell you all about our Ukrainian friends.  And I will also share about an unexpected new ministry that is developing---that of helping Americans who are in Berdyansk in the process of adopting Ukrainian children.  More on that to follow.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


We had been hearing about the bazaar since January, and had even driven past it several times.  But we had never gone before April because it is all outdoors except for a few buildings with indoor shops, and it was usually just toooo cold to do outdoor shopping, although that didn't seem to stop a lot of people from doing it.  The sign above the old entrance says "Import Market," or something close to that.  There are several entrances.  We usually come down a long flight of stairs from the hill above and enter from the back side.  But the bazaar is spread over a large area and even crosses the street where there is another large section of it.  Along that street people set up little tables and sell everything from pirated DVDs to puppies, parakeets, and kittens. 

The little shops in the older sections are usually just wooden partitions with tables set up to display the goods.  The newer section has small metal pre-fab buildings divided into shops.  There are probably hundreds of little shops in the whole bazaar.  Each shop seems to specialize in one particular type of item.  Most of the shops are clothing shops and the majority of people in Berdyansk buy their clothes in the bazaar.  One shop may sell jeans, another ladies' shoes, another dresses and skirts, etc.  And of course there are shops for men's clothing as well.  My favorite shops (blush, blush!) are the bra shops.  I have never seen so many colorful, sexy, exotic, lacy bras in my life----all right out in public for the ladies to look at.  Some of the shops (including the bra shops) have a curtain in one corner where you can go and try the clothes on.  I watched one fairly large lady trying on bathing suits a few weeks ago.  She would change behind the curtain and then come out to get her friend's opinion.  We had been told that in the bazaar people may try on clothes right out in public, and the polite thing to do was to simply look right through it as it wasn't happening, especially if the ladies stripped to their underwear.  We have not seen that happen when we've been there, although we may have just missed it.  The selection in each shop is usually not very large, but you can go a few steps and find another shop that may have what you want. 

This young lady was selling bikinis because summer was coming and everyone wants to go to the beach.  She was very friendly and nice.  Loved having her picture taken.

I bought this filmy pink scarf from this lady.  She had a lot of scarves and other accessary items for ladies.

I've been to this lady's shop several times.  She does beautiful crochet work, she loves to see me coming because she knows I'll probably buy something.

Jeans, jeans, and more jeans.  Most of them wild and funky. 

On a warm Saturday these two men (called buskers in Europe---entertaining for cash) were playing some of my favorite old standard music.  Frank put some coins in their pot after I took the picture.

This shop is not in the bazaar, but it is just a few steps down.  It is in an indoor mall across from the meat market.  I have been in this shop often, buying yarn for knitting and crocheting.  This lady was very helpful, but I didn't linger in the shop too long.  She had been eating her lunch and the smell of garlic was overpowering.  That is only time that has ever happened to us.

I could write a lot more, but I think you get an idea of what the bazaar is like.  I have not shopped for clothes, but if I do I will probably go to the indoor malls where there are lots of clothing shops.  The quality is definitely better there.  I have bought two pairs of shoes in the bazaar---a pair of sandals and a pair of nice slip-ons for church.  Actually, I thought some of the prices in the bazaar were somewhat expensive for the quality.  But, for people-watching and having a nice day out, the bazaar is definitely a fun place.

Monday, July 5, 2010



Well, you can tell I'm really behind in my writing when I am talking about springtime!  But I'll do this and then my next posting will be to tell you about some of the important things that have been going on since May.

Spring in Berdyansk was wonderful.  From the end of March through the first week of June the weather was great, just right for walking and exploring parts of the city that we hadn't visited earlier because it was just too cold and we didn't want to get lost in that weather.  We got our outside walking routine started and walked down streets that we hadn't seen before.  Along the way I kept watching various flowers pop out of the ground and counted the days until the tulips began to bloom. 

The Ukrainians love their gardens and the flowers began to bloom in just about the same order as they do in the States.  First came the tulips and daffodils, crosuses and iris.  Red seemed to be the favorite color for the tulips, but there were other colors as well.  The city folks plant flowers outside their gates and fences and between the sidewalks and the road.  No one seems to pick the flowers, maybe there's just an unwritten rule that you leave other people's flowers alone.  The lilacs were gorgeous and their aroma filled the air.  Across the street from the ministry center the whole block was lined with lilac trees that bloomed for several weeks.  Perhaps flowers are so important to folks here because winter is so long and cold and icy, and the flowers represent the end of winter and a period of warmth and outdoor activities.  I took pictures, but they didn't turn out so great, so I'm not putting many here.

As time passed we saw lily of the valley, peonies, roses, and hollyhocks, and tiger lilies----many of the old-fashioned flowers which we don't see very much at home anymore.  I loved them.  Sometimes I would peek through the fences and see that instead of having a front yard with nice grass the houses would usually have the ground tilled and planted with vegetables.  In one yard I saw a big strawberry patch with huge bushes and lots of strawberries just turning red.  By the way, the strawberries in the market were wonderful and so were the cherries which came a few weeks later.  Soon we'll see apricots and local peaches on the shelves too. 


Downtown Berdyansk is interesting and it can be fun.  It begins at the big market with all the fresh vegetables and fruits, and I mustn't forget the dried fish---yum,yum (yeah, right).  In a building next to that market is the meat market with fish, pork, beef, and poultry.  There are lots of stalls selling things you might need in the kitchen----my favorite is the spice stall.  It has lots of spices and mixtures of spices out in the open where you can see them and decide if you want them.  Reminds us a lot of India.  My favorite mixture smells a lot like Indian masalas, but is not nearly as hot in taste.  I use it on meat, or make rice pilau and add some red pepper flakes to give it some bite. 

The market is on the main street called Lenin Boulevard.  It soon becomes a pedestrian mall with shops on either side of the street, very European in tone.  The next street over is Karl Marx Avenue, and on the other side is Workers Avenue.  This is just to remind everyone that Ukraine was once a communist country and still has strong socialist influences.  But the shops and cafes are definitely in the capitalist mode!  Lenin Blv. marches straight down to the sea front where a large statue of the man himself faces the Sea of Azov. 

We were there a day or two after the date of his death in April and someone had put a bouquet of red roses at the foot of the statue.  So some people here still revere him. 

During the winter the promenade is empty outside and not much happens in the shops either.  But with the warm weather the sidewalk cafes open and the streets and buildings are spruced up for the influx of Russian tourists who come to southern Ukraine to enjoy the beaches and sunshine.  The fountains are cleaned and started again.  Of course, the locals are ready to enjoy all this too after being indoors for at least six months.

This shop is called Cossack Cottage (or home).  The Cossacks lived just to the north of Berdyansk and roamed this area during tsarist times.  This is just basically a souvenir shop with various items to attract customers.

The sea front at the end of the promenade is not suitable for swimming.  It is rocky and close to the port which is the main employer of the people of Berdyansk.  There is a wall which separates the promenade from the rocks, but it is easy to get down there and many people do.  They fish and many sell their catch along the streets. 
The beaches for swimming are mostly along a long, skinny peninsula which is close by and dips down into the Sea of Azov.  There are hotels and restaurants all along it for the big tourist season in the summer.

This is a popular picture to take in Berdyansk.  A statue of a worker coming out of the manhole.  Someone always sticks a cigarette in his mouth.

This little girl and her mom were having fun with the cement shoes.  The little girl's name was Sasha, which could be used for a boy or a girl.  It is the pet name for someone whose full name is Alexander or Alexandra.
She was friendly and not a bit shy.  We had eaten at the same restaurant as her parents and saw them afterwards here.  Just couldn't resist the pictures.

Good stopping place for now.  Next I'll write about the bazaar.