Monday 8/24


Today was an extremely long morning! I woke up Sunday morning at 7 am to leave Zlatibor, Serbia then took a 4 hour bus ride to Belgrade to fly to Frankfurt, Germany which was a quick 1:45 flight. We arrived at 4:30pm and were not leaving for Ukraine until 11:30, so we had plenty of time to fill with no internet and no cell phones. Kevin, Jerel, and I kicked it at McDonald’s for about 4 hours. McDonald’s is so different in Germany and actually good. We played all kind of different trivia games and told stories and were cracking up all throughout the day, it was a super long wait, but time went bye fairly quickly. Finally we jumped on a plane for 2 hours to Kiev, Ukraine. We jumped an hour ahead so now I am officially 10 hours ahead of California, which put me at 2:45 am. After getting through customs I was glad to see that this time I had all my bags, Thank God. We jumped onto our team bus and drove another 5 hours from Kiev to my new home Kryvyy Rhi, Ukraine. The roads in Ukraine are terrible so while I was trying to get some sleep, I felt like I was on an off roading excursion in Jakes old beater truck. There are potholes all throughout the streets and it was the worst 5 hours of sleep I have ever had. All my tiredness and crankiness suddenly disappeared, and the biggest adrenaline rush of excitement and anticipation for my new apartment took over as I looked up at my apartment complex and it looked super sketch when I walked up to my apartment which looked terrible from the outside. I remember thinking, please God let this be halfway decent. Then after 2 security pass codes to get into the apartment complex, a wet and damp smelling stairwell and to the fifth floor where there is another locked gate just to get to my apartment I crack open the double locked door…to a penthouse sweet which is totally pimped out for me. Full kitchen, master bedroom, big living room, a guest room, bathroom, and washing room along with a nice hallway. I immediately dropped my bags and jumped all around the apartment like a crazy man. So much better than I could ever imagine or even picture, especially when you see what the outside looks like. It comes fully furnished as well which makes it an unbelievable set up, I am living like a boss. A MTV cribs video of my place will be uploaded once Jake and I get everything situated.
I then was taking to get my international phone which is a cool little LG flip phone, so holla at me! Having a phone is so nice because I don’t feel so naked when I am walking around. I am able to call my teammates for free on this phone and its way cheaper for me to call home to the states. It’s unbelievable how cheap it is over here. The dollar bill is 1 to 8.45 Hryvnia. After I got my phone I was off to go shopping for some groceries. The food looks different and Russian is different letters so you can’t even read things so I am fortunate enough to have a translator Sasha Babenko, who is a young woman, very nice, and she speaks very good English and helps us with everything such as setting up our phones, shopping, and showing us around. I have a personal driver Krihl, who looks like he is a hitman, but is an awesome dude and takes us everywhere and says if anyone messes with us to call him and he will handle it. I am getting taken care of so well and it’s only the first day!
For an idea of how far the dollar goes here are some examples:
Loaf of Sourdough Bread 25 cents
40 Oz Beer 1 dollar
Liter Water Bottle 50 cents
12 Eggs 2 dollars
Taxi ride for 10 minutes 3 dollars
I love it because we get paid in American dollars; therefore it’s like making 8 times more money out here!

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