“Hot coffee calmed my soul.“

Kira, 22.04.2022

“Hot coffee calmed my soul.“

Good afternoon, or good evening and I hope it is good. My name is Kira, and I turn 16 years old today. I want to tell you a little bit about my amazing life during the war. From the beginning of the war, 24th of February, I was waking up with the smell of my mom’s fried eggs and imagined what there will be at school today. My attention was driven to a message, that Kyiv was bombed at 4 am this morning. I turned the tv on with my trembling hands and couldn’t believe the news. Day was passing much longer than usual, but I was watching the news from morning till late night, trying not to miss even one word.

I just wanted to hear that everything will be over, that people will be saved from blockages and shelling, and children will never see such cruelty. Every day passed reading the Telegram and TV news. We immediately packed all documents and medicine, closed windows with blankets and pillows, and threw blankets to the bathroom. Every whistle of a rocket and with every terrible news, we were more and more terrified. At some point my father told us that we should leave, but he will stay, he will stay with our grandmas and grandpas and our pets. I understood, he just wanted to protect us, but leaving him was the scariest thing. Our family was just torn apart across a thousand kilometers from each other, and who knows when we would come back.

We packed and went to Dnipro railway station early in the morning. Everyone who left – me, my mom, my sister and our friends. We were shocked to see so many people, standing in a queue with children, waiting for a train. After a while we stopped to care, because it was freezing. We waited in a queue ONLY 4 hours, but it seemed like all day passed. When I was approaching the train, people started crying saying good-bye to their husbands and to their fathers. Only women and children were fleeing. Till the last moment they were holding their men tightly, not knowing what would happen next. [they were thinking:] Will they come back home again? Will my home still be there or will I ever see my husband again? After a while, we all were pushed tighter together, so more people would fit in, some even slept while standing on their feet. I slept with my sister on the upper shelf, but it was horrible and I couldn’t sleep. Night was terrible as well; we happily left the train in Lviv. Very peaceful place at that time. We found a place to stay quickly and stayed just for one day, but that one day was one of the most pleasant so far.

Hot tasty coffee calmed my soul and let me rest. Next day some volunteers took us to the border. We didn’t have passports, but we were let in. Queue was small, so in 20 minutes we approached the Polish border, where Polish people met us with a wide smile. They offered hot tea and many sweets or sandwiches. After that we approached the huge hangar, where everyone could stay for a bit, but we left immediately to the city, hoping to find a place to stay there. We took a bus to Krakow and after 2 hours we arrived. Sitting in a comfortable chair, I enjoyed the view of nice Polish landscapes. Everything seemed so amazing and new, but not strange, even if it was my first trip abroad. From Krakow we went to Katowice, where late at night, some volunteers told us they have a free place at one of the vacation houses and we were sent there immediately.

It seemed unreal, that only in one day we drove from one border of the country till almost its end. We arrived to a nice small city, surrounded by the woods. Instead of looking around, I immediately went to sleep, totally exhausted.

Poles seemed to be the kindest people on Earth, from every beginning of my journey here. So now I live in a magical place, I attend my classes online. The only one thing which bothers me – what is going on back home, we call our relatives every day. I feel ashamed, that many Ukrainians are under heavy fire, someone doesn’t have enough food or water, and I am just sitting in another country. I really hope and I really want this war to stop. I am so angry, always nervous, I don’t want to do anything. Tomorrow scares me, hoping not to see anything horrifying in the news, just the death of Russian soldiers and their machinery. The fact that I get more and more hostile to the Russians scares me as well, because I understand that to some extent they are not to blame for the war. Some part of me hates their silence, hates that they have access to the whole world, but they only believe what they want to believe. They make me sick. So, this is about all that I wanted to tell you about my journey.

All will be Ukraine!