Meanwhile, back in Odessa…

Monday morning, Marina’s mother made a breakfast of (hold your breath) cabbage rolls, cheeses and salamis, hard-boiled eggs, meat-filled potato dumplings, a glass of homemade grape juice, a glass of homemade tomato juice, orange slices, bread with homemade raspberry jam made from raspberries in the garden, peppers and cucumbers, coffee AND tea and Ukrainian chocolates.

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After stuffing myself and a delightful two-hour conversation, Marina and her parents took me to a monastery near their home, a beautiful collection of old buildings dating back one-hundred and ninety years. The grounds are open to the public, requesting only a contribution. The onion domes are coated in real gold. Several of the onion domes were painted blue with gold eight-pointed stars. Continue reading