Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog, including strong statements in support of weinerdog-riding monkeys, are our own, and not those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Marla comes a callin'

Apropos of what we do with all our Jewish visitors, we took Marla to Babi Yar.

While we did do this, it is not all we did with her. Katherine and Marla spent a few days in Yalta while Jack and I hung at home. Marla and I spent quality time drinking in Shevchenko Park while Katherine wrote the Embassy Newsletter. Katherine, Marla and I overate at a Georgian restaurant while Jack stayed home with Nina. And other stuff.

But since these are the only pictures we have downloaded, thus far, of her visit, it will indeed look like the only thing we do for our visitors who also happen to be Jewish is take them to Holocaust memorials.

But we learned something. Turns out the memorial I visited in 1992* (shown below) was not the on the exact site where 30K+ Jewish residents of Kyiv were killed by the Germans in 2 days in 1941, and where a total of 100K+ people were killed between 1943 and 1945.

But it is a big, Soviet-type memorial. So it's got that going for it.

A smaller, less ostentatious memorial was put in the actual place sometime in the 1990s. A menorah (missing two branches, though).

Not certain if Jack was actually desecrating the memorial. He was going after the stones that Jewish visitors place on the memorial in memory of those who perished*.

Either way, I was on the way to get him down as this shot was taken, so we did our best to not offend.

The next day, we walked across a pedestrian bridge to Turkhanov Island and hung out along the river at a restaurant. Shashlik, beer, river.

Jack hung out with his friends Addie and Cee Cee.

*Everything I ever knew about Judaism I learned from Marty Kagan.


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