Dear acquaintances of Vasylivka decided to return. Although they could not go to their occupied hometown, they wanted to go to Zaporizhia, the center of the administrative region. O. says they are homesick, want to be closer to home, and she is also allergic to cat fur. Can she keep the dishes she got from me? Because they still don’t know where to stay, they embark on a journey into the unknown. I assure her that I would be glad if they took some supplies and asked if there was anything else they needed. O. says bed linen will be fine, they only got some on loan in the apartment. So my colleague and I got two sets during our lunch break. I also pack a small box of medicine, O. can easily distribute in Zaporizhia, there are hundreds of thousands of refugees from southern Ukraine in the city. The three come to say goodbye, hug, take pictures outside, there is also a lot in the big bag of R. – from me, but also from the “baby package” of the donor LB, who opens a lot of cute little things sent the trip to Chernivtsi with the last aid transfer. Shaggy, as his personal fairy, I also get a gift from him – a stuffed hedgehog to remind me of him. “I am sure we will see each other again,” says O., “I warmly invite you to visit us. Our house will be a stop when you travel to our Crimea” https: //www.sueddeutsche. de / kultur /. “I’ll take your word for it, dear. Expect me as soon as you get home,” I answer. O. promises to communicate with him on the way, and in the evening the message actually appears that they are staying in a kindergarten in Haysyn, in the Vinnytsia region.
By no means are they alone in leaving their temporary home in Chernovich; Many districts of Kyiv and Chernihiv go back in time. The young spouses who used to live with my sister are now in their apartment in Kyiv, and their child was born – a boy they called Dmytro. The family also left from Chernihiv, who lived in the apartment of my younger niece. Although my niece now wants to go back to her apartment, she has decided to stay at her parents’ house for a while longer. A family from Kharkiv is now moving into their apartment.
It was mediated by my older niece, who has upped a bit in her bookstore and now works in the bookkeeping department. Most of the employees there are ex-salaries, and many are looking for a place to stay that they don’t have to share with others. A lucky family of four. She lived for several weeks with five other people in a small house in the village of Ostrezga near Chernivtsi, the guys slept on the floor, the old water heater often beat. Now they can be alone in a small three-room apartment. Soon we agreed on the rent, the family had a guaranteed income and was ready to pay more.
Guests in half of our house are no longer “complete”. t went. From Mariupol first to Budapest on the recommendation of her organization “Terre des hommes”. She has a mission there, but she doesn’t seem particularly happy about it. At least that’s what her mother who is still with us says. The mother is also looking for an apartment but as expected the search is not easy. One was invaluable, the other rented only to “locals”. This type of discrimination is not new – as early as 2014 there were advertisements for apartments with the notation that “they will not be rented to people from Luhansk or Donetsk regions.”
I don’t have my own room anymore, but I can live with it for a while
At that time, Chernivtsi was not much affected by this distinction, because refugee streams remained mostly in the major cities of central and southeastern Ukraine, as well as in Lviv. But now the situation is different. The region is one of the safest par excellence. The stories about the rambunctious, loud, chaotic, and even hostile attitude towards IDPs in the newly adopted countries would not be baseless, only: Does Natives status automatically imply a quality stamp?
It might be a good idea to talk to me. Me and our second guest M, who also like to stay with us, are very dear guests who help with housekeeping and do a lot of things that I can’t do anymore. Our emergency community works great, I don’t have my own room anymore, but I can live with that for a while. I have a feeling the war takes away a lot from our needs anyway.
I am in the fortunate position of not having to take, but to be able to give. Perhaps also a form of selfishness. Anyway, I can live with that knowledge. Tomorrow we will return to Vatra Dornei with our colleagues, where the next aid transfer from Munich awaits us, from the Institute for German Culture and History of Southeast Europe (IKGS) at Ludwig Maximilian University.
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