Gifts was my biggest question and my best advice is wait until your second trip to see what your people will like. If you are going over and not returning for the wait period may I suggest creamy peanut butter. They don't have peanut butter there and love it!! I also made these yummy rice krispy peanut butter bites that are super yummy and easy to make. I put them in a box and then in my suitcase. When I got there we put them in clear candy bags from target and tied on a ribbon.
They were a big hit.

The other gift that went over well was Crown Royal. It seems a popular drink there is whiskey and apple juice but they can't get crown royal. Just ideas.

 If any one is going to Kharkov please take a jar of Peanut butter to our  friend Marina at the coffee house. I can give you directions, plus it is the nicest most english speaking place there!! :o)

hair conditioner (i think)

Antiseptic (from pharmacy)

Bathroom cleaner not like 409.

Non carbonated water in small bottle






left: It is not ketcup or spaghetti sauce, but that is all i can tell you cuz i don't know
right: ketcup, sort of
this page is under construction:

What I wish I would have brought:
extra salt
movies (can't access netflix here, actually can't access any videos online here)
more diapers for the orphanage, they are expensive here
more spices
larger band aids
Extra cash ( you never know how much you will need to leave country)

What I wish I wouldn't have brought:
Hot chocolate
3 pairs of jeans only two
clothes for the orphanage, they have a ton
so many rolls of travel toilette paper
3 pairs of shoes ( I only need my boots and my dress shoes)
books to read to my boys, they aren't there yet.
travel soap
travel laundry detergent
travel clothes line
Toys for the orphanage

Things easy to buy here:
vegetables: they don't wash their veggies prior to sell.
We traveled in the winter this is what was available: mushrooms, potatoes, garlic, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, onions.
At most places you need to have the veggie clerk weigh your veggies and give you a sticker to take to cashier. The same is sometimes true at bakeries inside the grocery stores.
bread: feel them for softness. they don't last too long so only buy what you will use that day
Water: look for a light blue cap, those are generally the ones with no gas
most gallon jugs are non carbonated
Cheese: don't buy at the deli, look for pre-packed. You can usually find cheddar or colby jack blocks wrapped in the dairy section.
Milk: look for Monoko. there will be a percentage on the label. I like whole milk and the 3.2% was too thick for me so we went down to the 2.
Paper towels
toilet paper
feminine products
bathe products
cleaning products
chicken breasts
hamburger meat
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
sweets of all kinds- oh my!

Things I have had trouble finding
crackers- never found them
bandaids- found only one size sold individually at a pharmacy, last day there I saw a package of them at the grocery check out line. ?
spaghetti sauce- there is a bunch but haven't found any good ones
chips- only found a few stores that carry them
Stroller: take your own, no one will question you at the airports and it helps to carry your carry-on luggage.


Vee GaVAritee Pa Engliski "Do you speak english?"
Spaseeba "Thank you"
Hadasho "Good"
Das va danya "See you later"
Paka "bye bye " (children)

Things I wish I knew before
You pay the visas and the I600 separate from the medicals.
So if you have envelopes with money set aside make sure the medicals are in a separate envelope.
Putting on your seatbelt there is an insult to their driving
You can always spot Americans because they smile at you when you pass by.