After 10 days in Kiev, we took the overnight train to Lugansk exactly one year ago, on Christmas Eve. Ukrainians celebrate Orthodox Christmas, so nothing was special about this day. In fact, we lost track of time, and I don’t think were even aware that it was actually Christmas Eve. We booked a private bunk and spent the first few hours playing with Karen and getting excited about spending our first night ever on a train. I took a romantic approach, and after going to the samovar lady for tea, sat back and thought of Anna Karenina.

Things started off well enough, but the overheated cabin soon had me go from giggly, to uncomfortable, to raging headache. We finally figured out how to open the window sometime after midnight. I managed a few hours of sleep. Photos are from the first 1-2 hours, when it still seemed like a good idea.

On Christmas Day, we arrived in Lugansk, and went directly to the baby home to meet Matan. Here are his first photos. I originally posted this last year Rakevet Laila L’Lugansk.


Yes, Karen photographed the one of DH and I. She went on to photograph each detail of both apartments we stayed in during our 45 day incarceration.