Ukraine evening

13 of us met on Zoom with 4 Ukranian women who have recently come to our area as guests. 
One was a real estate agent in Ukraine, another a school psychologist, a third a student. 3 have children with them, settling into local schools. They were all keen to explain their backgrounds and how they have felt. One phrase that struck me was “the scare in which we live”. It all changed on that one day in February. Their normal happy lives changed. They sought out basements and summer houses and lived with alarms at all times. One said she didn’t sleep in Ukraine since the war started, war was always in her dreams. That doesn’t occur here. Another said her hair had started to fall out with the stress.
All of them have been met with kindness and warmth here, one said from the moment she arrived at the airport. Their hosts are all focused on their Ukranians. They are met with patience, politeness, interest and given lots of opportunities. They are so thankful and pleased they are in Britain. (One came via Poland and felt they were weary of refugees there.)
One said everything here is different for them. After a month or so they began to adjust.
All of them have family connections within Russia which is tough. They were aware war was approaching but none of them believed it would actually happen.
One lighter topic was food. They are all surprised at the lack of fresh fruit and vegetable markets here. Everything tastes different – even the potatoes and carrots!
We also heard from the leader of Congleton Area Ukraine Support Network who is doing an amazing job and is grateful for all the help he receives from local people.
One member summarised it well – such brave ladies, clearly deeply affected by their experiences, but so focused on their families’ well-being.