VikkiDp
VikkiDp Reader
4/21/24 1:53 p.m.

Hi everyone!!! heart

How are you doing?

I apologize for my long absence from here blush 

I've just been so busy the last coupe weeks - a lot of work i need to do, a lot of unexpected tasks blush 

and there were nervous moments when Dnipro was under attacks.

But no matter what work on the preparation of the Easter run(and not only) didn't stop wink

The monthly transfer for Moms and kids fund received - thank you all for supporting it heart

Have a good week, guys!!!

VikkiDp
VikkiDp Reader
4/21/24 2:11 p.m.

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

The only thing sure is I wont have this issue fixed before the next run.  If you got fingers I'd appreciate it if you'd cross them (maybe I should bring a handful of bearings and snaprings with me, just in case?) cheeky

you definitely should yes

I'd feel calmer if you'd have fixed that transmission. My fingers and my toes crossed!!!

VikkiDp
VikkiDp Reader
4/21/24 2:26 p.m.

Time goes by so fast and the start date is extremely close. 

This run promises to be GREAT!!! i tell you smiley

Crossed your fingers guys!!!

I'll keep you posted smiley

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/22/24 2:51 a.m.

Yes, it does!  WAY too fast.  We had a darn good collection from the GoFundMe this time, and now I have to spend it all before our drive date!

We've already got the medical device on order for the orphanage, chocolate for 130 children sitting on my table, an absolute MOUNTAIN of baby supplies, and I think I can have all our picnic supplies ordered for the orphanage in two more trips to the store.  The problem is, people keep donating money! laugh

Ok, on a serious note though, I may have over-done it on this trip.  I've got two stops on the way to pick up and drop off even MORE aid.  One is camoflauge nets to cover trenches.  The other is near the Romanian border and has me driving to Kharkiv...  I've already removed all the seats but the driver's seat from the truck.  Tomorrow I should have the top removed from the back...  It looks like there will be lots for us to write about when we get back.

Fingers crossed, guys.  Here we go!

VikkiDp
VikkiDp Reader
4/25/24 3:20 a.m.

Hi everyone!!!

The Easter run to Dnipro has started!!! yes 

Bill is on his way to the Ukraine border orrr... maybe... by the time you read this he'll already be in Ukraine!!!

Cross your fingers, guys!!! and wish him luck!!!

VikkiDp
VikkiDp Reader
4/25/24 3:41 a.m.

And a little bit of news smiley

The device for the orphanage requested has ordered. The manufacturer of these devices is located in Dnipro and we got a good discount yes  but this device is "made to order" and it takes about 1.5 months. 

So, i made a prepaid half of the total price and when the device is ready i'll personally deliver it the the orphanage smiley

Also we decided to order seeds, flowers and plants for the orphanage here - in Ukraine - to avoid any difficulties at the border smiley

So I'm sitting here crossing my fingers and toes and hoping all this stuff arrives on time smiley

Have a good day!!! and wish us luck!!!

jmabarone
jmabarone HalfDork
4/25/24 6:25 a.m.
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) said:

Yes, it does!  WAY too fast.  We had a darn good collection from the GoFundMe this time, and now I have to spend it all before our drive date!

We've already got the medical device on order for the orphanage, chocolate for 130 children sitting on my table, an absolute MOUNTAIN of baby supplies, and I think I can have all our picnic supplies ordered for the orphanage in two more trips to the store.  The problem is, people keep donating money! laugh

Ok, on a serious note though, I may have over-done it on this trip.  I've got two stops on the way to pick up and drop off even MORE aid.  One is camoflauge nets to cover trenches.  The other is near the Romanian border and has me driving to Kharkiv...  I've already removed all the seats but the driver's seat from the truck.  Tomorrow I should have the top removed from the back...  It looks like there will be lots for us to write about when we get back.

Fingers crossed, guys.  Here we go!

Any interest in newer Hilux?  Our missionary in Kharkiv may be selling one (or both) of the newer Hiluxes they got 2 years ago.  Diesels, crew cab, and camper shell, IIRC.  

Careful out there, things are heating up near Kharkiv apparently.  

VikkiDp
VikkiDp Reader
4/26/24 12:28 p.m.

Hi everyone!!!

Our Easter mission has done!!!

Bill is on his way home!!! Drive safe my brave and crazy friend!!!

Everything went AWESOME (in my humble opinion angel)!!! It was GREAT!!!

Waiting for Bill's trip stories winkblush

Thanks to all who made this possible!!! heart

 

VikkiDp
VikkiDp Reader
5/6/24 5:52 a.m.

Hi everyone!!! heart

How are you doing?

Some recent news smiley

First - all our kids got the sweet gifts and other things and all the kids got them in time for the eastern Easter(it was yesterday 5th may). Some nice photos and videos we have!!! of course!!! we'll post them a little later wink

The second one - the last of fundraiser money has transferred and received yes when the device for the orphanage is ready i'll be using this money to pay for the second part for it yes

The next one

Also we decided to order seeds, flowers and plants for the orphanage here - in Ukraine - to avoid any difficulties at the border smiley

So I'm sitting here crossing my fingers and toes and hoping all this stuff arrives on time smiley

Unfortunately, this stuff didn't arrive in time for our visit to the orphanage, but anyway all these things already delivered to recipients smiley More details and photos will be some later wink I think it's better to tell the story of the Easter trip to Dnipro in sequence wink

So, now moms and kids fund's balance looks like this smiley

Have a good week, guys!!!

 

 

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/6/24 12:38 p.m.

Good morning and Happy Orthodox Easter Vikki!

 

I'm JUST getting caught up around the house and should have some updates here shortly.  I really do wish life would pause while we were on these runs.  If there's a plus side to that, it's that the transmission parts arrived while I was gone!

Even better?  They fit!!!!

 

Also of note:  I've just started transferring our paypal money to Vikki for our "Mothers and Babies" fund.  136,000huf (over $375USD) is on its way!

Cheers everyone, and update coming here shortly.

StilettoSS
StilettoSS New Reader
5/6/24 4:58 p.m.

Thank you so much for taking the initiative and helping directly. Please stay safe! laugh

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/7/24 1:43 p.m.
StilettoSS said:

Thank you so much for taking the initiative and helping directly. Please stay safe! laugh

Thanks!  and will do!

I was thinking of you and Preach the other day and his old CJ.  No near death experiences, but Mrs. Hungary and I got engaged in front of a Toyota 4x4 out in the middle of nowhere laugh

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/7/24 1:58 p.m.

So we should call this "The Prologue", as there was a LOT happening back before we punched out of town for the run.  In an effort to make these more efficient, I've joined a plethora of logistics groups on a good handful of different apps.  It's a lot to keep track of.

One thing that was pinging on all the chats was the movement of camouflaged trench nets.  There are a lot on this side of the border that needed to get on THAT side of the border and looking at the chocolates and supplies we had purchased, I was sure we would have some room (especially if we took the roof of the truck off!).

Now, GoFundMe does NOT allow for any military assistance, and I 100% expected to hold myself accountable to that, but I figured there must be SOME WAY we can use what we've learned, and our trusty steed of a truck to make good on our GFM promise to the kids, and THEN help the troops.

I don't know if it was "fortunately" or "unfortunately" but I do know that the people I was in contact with sent all 16-tons of netting material they had gathered to the eastern front.  On Monday I got the news "transportation no longer needed.  All nets have been moved".  I immediately set about looking for more cargo on my phone.

Also in preparation was the MASSIVE amount of shopping I needed to do!  Our GoFundMe was still open at this point, and I can NOT tell you just how much picnic supplies we were able to purchase with what we had coming in.  It was getting absolutely ridiculous!  We had 40,000 Hungarian Forint left to spend from Mrs. Carries last donation, and then she sent over 95,000 more, and as if that wasn't enough I still had $100 left in our GoFundMe that had to be spent as well!!!!

Did I mention that Mrs. Carrie also took a baby food and diaper collection drive in addition to all this?  Because Mrs. Carrie took one HECK-of-a baby food and diaper collection drive in addition to all this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also included were stuffies that the children made.  Some were knitted (see kitten example) and some were stuffed, but all were amazing.  The day I was supposed to pick these up, we both ended up so busy that it nearly didn't happen!  Luckily another mom at the youngest Hungarling's soccer practice had keys to the school and we were able to get in.  The next issue was the boot of the 4-Runner was so packed with school books and musical instruments, and car parts that we had to pile some of the donated items on the laps of the kids to make room!

And his is all happening while Vikki and I are trying to work the paperwork, and I couldn't believe it when I saw it, but I 100% filled out the form and completely left off the baby food.

(note:  If this sounds confusing, it's because it was.  We were being pulled in a million directions, and only remembering what we forgot mere moments before it was too late).

woof.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/7/24 2:39 p.m.

Prologue 2

So the next day my brain wouldn't stay quiet and I ended up awake at 3:30am and immediately started packing.  There's nothing difficult at this point but I have to start sorting the items for each kiddo.  The easy part are the older children who simply get chocolates.  More difficult are the younger children (who get a stuffie added), and the most difficult are the youngest (who need specific sized diapers, and age targeted baby food).

I'm also in contact with an organization in Chernivsti, and they have what looks to be a Toyota truckload of supplies that needs to go to Kharkiv.  Vikki and I are talking about the trip, and offers translation help if we do go.  Unfortunately all the seats have been removed from my truck at this point (except the driver's seat) for added cargo space (it REALLY frees up some room) and there would be nowhere to sit.  In talking with the people, we have a lot in common.  They too are "just people" and the items are destined for a hospital in the area.

Vikki also tells me that we have an expectant mother!  Which is lucky for her because we got a LOT of newborn baby supplies (wipes, diapers, etc).

Eventually the sun is up and the day is started.  I go to work (I do manage a regular 9-5 during all this) and somehow am able to get a new inventory form sent of to Vikki to be submitted to customs.  This is a new requirement, and both of us are super nervous about being stopped at the border because of mistakes.

After work and after the Hungarling's after school activities we make another round of shopping for picnic supplies.  We're beginning to notice that we're starting to bleed the stores dry.  A lot of the bamboo eating utensils aren't being replenished.  Neither are the sizes of plates, cups, and bowls we like...  We start hitting up different stores but quickly purchase all their inventory as well (keep in mind, we live in a town of about 30,000 people.  Options tend to get limited when you try to buy in bulk).

It's embarrassing really.  Showing up with a shopping cart of paper plates and party supplies.  Most of the time we're able to pass it of with the excuse that we're having a big party.  And, as it's spring, most people buy it.  It's worth noting that we do try to keep a low profile.  The Prime Minister here is very pro-russia, and even my neighbor has stopped to inquire (politely) "why Joe Biden insists on prolonging the war by sending Ukraine weapons".  It's a difficult line to walk sometimes, especially when you're tired.

And because all the stores were now short on picnic supplies, we started to get creative.  Along with what we've already purchased, I went and bought kinder eggs for all 130 of our children.  Mrs. Hungary loaded up on reusable barbeque pans.  She even grabbed a salad bowl and a cake dish to serve things in... All in all, we thought for sure this would eat up some cash...

It didn't....  Once we were done, we somehow had $200 left over in our account (HOW????).  Unsure if we should keep buying more chocolate, we decided to reach out to Vikki and together we decided we were going to up our game a bit.  Instead of the basic Bioresonance stimulator we were going to purchase (because we felt we were tight on funds),  we were going to up our game and get the delux version!!!

 

 

 

And that's what we did.

Unfortunately all our recent purchases meant we had to edit our import form again.  I edited what I could and sent another copy to Vikki.  By the time we got home we were exhausted.  It was 9pm and we didn't even bother unloading the trunk of the car.  It was lights out for us, and tomorrow would be our last chance to make any required changes to the import form...

StilettoSS
StilettoSS New Reader
5/8/24 2:28 p.m.
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) said:
StilettoSS said:

Thank you so much for taking the initiative and helping directly. Please stay safe! laugh

Thanks!  and will do!

I was thinking of you and Preach the other day and his old CJ.  No near death experiences, but Mrs. Hungary and I got engaged in front of a Toyota 4x4 out in the middle of nowhere laugh

Preach's favorite story I swear! laugh Apparently I like guys that are nuts... wink Stay safe Bill, I'm a little worried for you, but I understand needing to help where you can.

On another note, you mentioned you have a woman who's expecting. Does she have access to prenatal care? If not, and it's a big maybe, I might be able to hook you up with a midwife or OB/GYN.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE UltraDork
5/8/24 5:02 p.m.

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

Woah, what's a "Bioresonance stimulator"?

StilettoSS
StilettoSS New Reader
5/9/24 7:11 a.m.

I'm curious too, but I think it might be part of an ultrasound machine or for listening to the heartbeat. Not sure though!

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/9/24 10:22 a.m.
StilettoSS said:
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) said:
StilettoSS said:

Thank you so much for taking the initiative and helping directly. Please stay safe! laugh

Thanks!  and will do!

I was thinking of you and Preach the other day and his old CJ.  No near death experiences, but Mrs. Hungary and I got engaged in front of a Toyota 4x4 out in the middle of nowhere laugh

Preach's favorite story I swear! laugh Apparently I like guys that are nuts... wink Stay safe Bill, I'm a little worried for you, but I understand needing to help where you can.

On another note, you mentioned you have a woman who's expecting. Does she have access to prenatal care? If not, and it's a big maybe, I might be able to hook you up with a midwife or OB/GYN.

Thank you!  I'm almost positive she does, but I bet VikkiDp could answer for certain.  Such things are pretty standard in Hungary and I bet they're not much different in Ukraine (even with the war on).  If she doesn't we'll make sure to be in touch!

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/9/24 10:27 a.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE and StilettoSS :

I'm not 100% certain I have all the facts straight on this one, but Bioresonance seems to be an emerging form of therapy for a variety of different ailments.  It has something to do with a frequency emitted by healthy cells versus unhealthy cells, but I don't have all the info on it.  However (having visited the place) I can see it fitting in with what they have on site concerning therapy options for the children in the orphanage.  I haven't looked that far ahead on my hard-drive, but I'm hoping I got some good pictures of those various therapy rooms and hopefully it will make more sense then.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/9/24 10:49 a.m.

Prologue 3

With all the additions to our supplies from our shopping yesterday, corrections to the import form went late into the night.  If you remember, I was up super early so I had to call it quits and hand the phone over to Mrs. Hungary to take over.  We were so worried about getting something wrong (and then getting turned away at the border) that we were questioning everything.  "Are you sure all these diapers only weigh 5 kilos?"  Vikki would ask.

My brain would scramble for a way to weigh them all and come up with nothing.  I mean aside from setting them all on our kitchen scale and doing the addition... but they're already packed up!  We don't want to unpack them now!!! "Um... I don't think we have a way to measure them accurately..."  I would reply (only later, after the run and when I'm recovered, would I smack my forehead when I realized I could have just looked at the weight listed on each of the diaper packs.  But that's exhaustion for you).

Waking up at 4am the next day, I can see that VikkiDp and Mrs. Hungary were discussing things until midnight our time (1am in Ukraine!!!).  It's time to get coffee and get to work.  It's raining out...

 

With the trench nets not happening, I decided to put the passenger seat back in.  No need for the extra space that having it out offers.  In my e-mail I can see that the latest and greatest copy of the import form is waiting for me.  Now I just have to pack the truck to match!

With the weather, I decide to move everything indoors and pack from there which sends the anxiety of one of my dogs through the roof.  He starts wimpering, and pacing, and even went upstairs (where all the bedrooms are) at one point.  The problem is, he's only got three legs so I have to run up and carry him down before he wakes someone up (maybe he thought we were moving again?).  Fuzzy dog tail in first picture for proof of anxious pup.

 

It's all for naught.  By 5:30 one of the Hungarlings is coming down the steps.  He's awake now and work on the packing is paused while we scroll through Instagram shorts (it's a morning ritual for us if he wakes up early.  Mostly goofy dog videos)

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/9/24 10:58 a.m.

Prologue 4

Once off to school, I get back to my list of things to do.  Packing is #1, but I also have to prep the truck.  That Optima Yellow top is still not to be trusted (I let the charger run it's desulfate feature for a couple days at this point, but its none the better) so I have to swap batteries with my Mazda.  Somehow my "to-do" list also includes making Banana bread???  (we're hippies and don't like to waste stuff.  So to keep from throwing out three rotten bananas, I'll add 100 more ingredients to turn them into bread as a treat).  It goes something like this:

 

 

 

 

The truck is surprisingly FULL!!!!  It's a darn good thing that those nets didn't work out (although you'd be surprised how much space you open up by just removing the passenger seat)

I was beginning to wonder how I was going to work those supplies I was supposed to pick up in Chernivsti when I remembered I hadn't kept up with that app (I seriously have half a dozen chat apps on my phone at this point.).  A good thing I checked too, because they wrote that they were able to find a carrier to Kharkiv.

I'll be honest.  I'm happy to help, but these chats are a lot of coordination for some things that don't seem to be working out.

Onwards and upwards we went until the battery was in, and the banana bread was done.

 

 

I wasn't taking any chances this time.  I knew the Red Top was fresh, but all the same I wanted the tender on it overnight.  There's no way I'm getting all this in the Mazda...

With that done, and still having an hour before the kids needed to be picked up from school, I packed my supplies.  Tools, spares, GPS units, snacks, paper maps, currency, import papers, passport, clothes... the whole works.

 

Tomorrow is the big day!

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/9/24 11:36 a.m.

Prologue 4 (continued)

I forgot to mention that all this packing and re-packing was going on while VikkiDp and I were coordinating the delivery of Antropine and Adrenaline to Kharkiv.  A volunteer in country had some donated and was wondering if anyone knew anyone who could use such things.

Um... yes!  Why yes we do! 

More would supplies would pop up during the drive, and we'd immediately pounce.  Lidocaine, bandages, sanitizer solutions, and literal hundreds of sutures would all be snagged and directed to a Military Hospital in Kharkiv, a mobile hospital in Kharkiv, and even to our very own Dr. Julia.

 

 

  I'd stop at fuel stations just to pirate the wifi long enough to receive and send messages. Vikki would juggle the addresses through three languages and tell me what goes where.  I'd shoot them out to the senders on my  various apps, and once sorted I'd go tearing out of the parking lots to make up the time.  It was fun.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/9/24 11:49 a.m.

Trip Report:  Day 1

I wake up at 4am and check my messages.  More out of a zombie like habit at this point.  Poltava was hit (I have a friend from there).  There's a van of donations stuck in the UK (Chertsey) looking for help.  Their clutch is gone and they need to be in Lviv by tomorrow.  It's a 16 hour drive to them from where I am, but even with all my supply cancelations I couldn't work it into my schedule.

No time to dwaddle in bed though, it's time to start the morning routine.  By 5am, I'm at the truck and ready to punch east:

 

 

The truck feels planted, and definitely heavier than I was expecting.  I suspect Vikki was right about the weight of those diapers!

The whole world around me has a thin fog clinging to the morning ground.  I cant help but enjoy the scenery as I head out.   It's like the whole world is being seen through instagram filters (note:  I don't use filters in my photos.  I'm old like that)

 

 

 

 

Unfortunatly I forgot a charger to my phone.  I'll have to pick up a spare cable at a fuel station (which I do).  It's also worth noting I can't help to feel like I'm to blame for the noise the transmission's making.  It's never been low on fluid, the people who built it have a great reputation, it has good oil in it.... buuuuut I'm a bit of a space case sometimes and don't do simple math (or realize obvious things).

One of those things I never took account of (even though I always knew) was the fact that the speed limits are much higher here.  On the highways we can cruise at 130kph (80mph) and the speed cameras won't go off until you're over 155kph (90+mph).  I've always put this in the "this is highway speed" box and never thought about it.  Well... I don't think this 90-horsepower brick of a vehicle was ever meant to do 80mph for literal days at a time...

so yeah, I think I have to say I'm the reason there's a dying bearing in my gearbox.

To help to not exasperate the issue, I'm keeping the truck much closer to 100kph-110kph (60-70mph).  I gotta say?  Bombing around at near 90mph is fun and all, but it's a whole new world down here at 60!  Fuel consumption drops way down.  Traffic is calmer...  I just hope I don't make my self late for the delivery! laugh

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/9/24 12:24 p.m.

Trip Report:  Day 1 (continued)

I hit the border before noon, which is 100% on track for this run (so I'm definitely not slowing down).  Of note is the fact that I only had to stop once for fuel (twice is considered normal) and still have plenty in the tank.  There's something to be said about this "slowing down"

There were some fun shenanigans at the border.  Most notably a Ukrainian guard sending me in the civilian line when the truck has those huge "Humanitarian Aid" decals on the side.  I was intercepted by another guard, and everything was corrected.

At the border we finally get to see the new process in work.  Even though everything is electronic now, I was advised to have a paper copy of all submitted forms.  Mrs. Hungary took the liberty of printing everything in quintuplicate (we tend to over-do things.  The logic is:  Two for the customs officials, one in our hands, and one copy for anyone else who might need to reference them).  It works perfectly as I'm ushered to the building to submit my papers.  I hand the official one, and he points to an office "copy" he says.

I immediately hand him his second copy, right out of my folder.  With that, I'm sent back outside while he does his computer stuff to have my truck inspected.  I need three different people to inspect things one-at-a-time and each one of them picks different random boxes to open.  This is where our excessive focus to our inventory becomes our super power.  No matter which box they pick, I'm able to point to exactly where it can be found on our inventory.

It makes things very short and smooth.  So short that I was cleared into country in exactly one hour (new record!!!!).  I must say, it's a headache on the front-end but this new paperwork system seems to be a breeze when it really matters (for reference, my crossing time in December was 7-hours long).

With that much of a head start, I stop at a small grocery store just in country to pick myself up some much needed items (read:  Spicy mustard and beetroot/horseradish pure.  I had some at Vikki's place last time I was here and both are TO DIE FOR).  As a bonus, I FINALLY found a sim card (I've been trying to buy a Ukrainian sim card ever since my second trip in country and haven't seen one yet!!!!).

 

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/9/24 12:31 p.m.

Trip Report:  Day 1 (continued)

In country I end up stuck behind a large truck on a narrow road.  He's doing 50kph, and loaded down my truck is hardly the "traffic passing machine" that my Mazda was on the last run.  There's nothing I can do, so I let off the gas and just enjoy the view...

 

 

 

 

 

 

I absolutely love love LOVE this part of the country.  Mrs. Hungary and I were actually pricing cabins around here last summer (online).  The idea of a Carpathian mountain home definitely has its appeals.

The roads are a little rough though.  How rough?  Well, one good set of potholes knocked my passenger window winder COMPLETELY off!  (yes, the Jesus clip was installed)

 

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