Birthdays are a big deal here that usually means an occasion for friends and family to gather to celebrate. One of my good friends, Pasha, celebrated his 25th birthday on Monday and his family had planned a big picnic in the woods near his home.
So, with Diet Coke in hand, I traveled to the location. I had never been to this particular forest located within the city of Kiev. Fortunately, a fellow missionary warned me to take my mosquito repellant, because there were lots of them and they were hungry!
Almost 25 people showed up for the cookout/picnic. Pasha’s mother had prepared lots of food. Boiled potatoes with meat cubes, sausage, pizza, sliced veggies, and shashlik. Shashlik is a type of kebab cooked on an open fire and it is made with beef, pork or chicken. Everything was delicious!
After eating, some of us played frisbee or volleyball and some played guitars and sang. Pasha opened his gifts and we had a great time of congratulating him. I enjoy special times like this to gain further insight into the culture and how important are family and friends. It was a great afternoon.