Wednesday July 31, 2013

After a late night I somehow got up early, grabbed a bite to eat and met Ivan down in the lobby by 8am. Had I been thinking clearly, I wouldn't have eaten anything as Lucy (Ivan's wife) had a huge spread waiting for me!

Slavko and his daughters Katya and Halya stopped by for a brief bit; they're heading on a vacation to Italy tomorrow to visit Slavko's sister. It was very nice of them to come see me, even though they weren't able to come to the concert.  Slavka and Tolic also stopped in.

Shortly after noon, I met up with the choir at a Freemason's Lodge restaurant downtown Lviv. Quite a neat place, and great food! After lunch it was back to the hotel, and off to tech rehearsal at the Maria Zankovets'ka theatre. The theatre is one of the oldest, most ornate theatres I have ever set foot in (built in 1842) and the sound (even before we were mic'd ) was perfect. 

The performance tonight was probably the most emotional I have ever had; I felt that Gido was looking down on me, and I had ~20 family members in the audience. In addition to this, the older audience members had tears in their eyes during some of our songs!

After the concert, I went for a walk with my cousin Olya through the centre and then back to the hotel for a Zabava. 

Thursday August 1, 2013

Once again, I got up early and met Ivan in the hotel lobby. I spent time playing with Yuri and Maria's daughter, Olena. She was born last time I was in Ukraine, so it was fun to see her again.

I went down to the market with Ivan, Lucy, Slavka and Tolic because they wanted to spend time with me, and get gifts for everyone back home! So they wouldn't spend too much money on souvenirs, and because I needed a good coffee, I convinced them to go to Svit Kavy (World of Coffee) for a drink and snack. 

As we made our way back to the hotel, we stopped for one last beer at a restaurant on the main strip. It was the perfect weather to spend the day outside exploring the streets. 

After my adventure with Ivan, Lucy, Slavka and Tolic, I met up with Olya. She speaks great English so we were able to have a great conversation. I had intended on meeting up with the choir for dinner at Kryjivka, but they were finishing up by the time I got there, so Olya and I went for pizza. 

Back at the hotel, the tour group had another late night as we don't have a performance tomorrow.