Category Archives: Larisa

Bill and Larisa first met ten years ago…

Bill and Larisa First Met Ten Years Ago…

Ten days, ten years ago, April 2007. It was an indescribable time for both of us. Sharing every day together was better than a three day pass at Disneyland. Larisa showed me around town and introduced me to her friends. I knew things were getting serious when she agreed to introduce me to her son and parents. Here is a story I wrote a few years ago. It gives an open perspective of our first few days together in Nikolaev. Lots of food and fun.

 

Peters Red Wine,
Ukraine and a Trip
Through The Countryside…
by Billgreen54

April, 2007, my first journey to Ukraine. A fun and interesting time. Great weather and a firsthand account of Ukrainian culture, complete with smiling faces and many warm, first, hello’s. During my ten day visit, while we made our way around Nikolaev, I was reminded of my hometown. The city where I grew up; just 40 minutes or so, east of San Francisco, California. As I remember it, Richmond, was full of places to shop and live. Houses, old and new, lined the countless quiet streets while thriving businesses took care of customers along the main thoroughfares. That was somewhere between 1953 and 1958.

Larisa is from Ukraine…

Fast Forward 50 Years…

Village Home Ukraine
Ukraine Village Home

Fast-forward about 50 years to 2012 in Nikolaev and the similarities are striking. That first visit to Ukraine, took me back a few years and then some. Maybe, that’s why I felt right at home. During that first visit, Larisa and I, traveled to a small village just on the other side of Kherson. It was her village; the village she had grown up in. The wide variety of crops that filled the countryside reminded me of my home just before deciding to travel around the world. That was my first peek at the real Ukraine.

Bill is From California..

Ukraine Oceans of Yellow…

Sunflower Field Ukraine
Larisa and Sunflower Field

Living near Fresno California from 1996 to 2007 was interesting to say the least. Raising the kids, running a business, taking care of mom and dad were all unforgettable life experiences. The Fresno valley is very similar to much of Ukraine. Endless fields growing everything from grapes to wheat can be seen while traveling the highways. Ukraine is famous for it’s agriculture along with many other industries. It’s a top producer of sunflower and corn oil in this part of the world. The countryside is often filled with oceans of yellow. It’s quite a site to see at the peak of the sunflower growing season.

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Meet The Parents…

Village Street Ukraine
Wagon in Village

Our journey from Nikolaev to Larisa’s village took just over two hours. The highways here can be an adventure, but for the most part, they were drivable at reasonable speeds. As we slowed down coming off the highway, we entered Vinogradova. The streets quickly became smaller and unpaved, all in pretty good shape. As we drove past home after home, I was eager to finally meet Larisa’s parents and son. We were bearing gifts for Vlad; all for football. As we pulled up to her parents home, I was struck by the humble surroundings. I couldn’t wait to meet everyone while I could see that Larisa was more than a little nervous. We had just met face to face for the first time just three days before…

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Red Wine and Tasty Dishes…

Meet The Parents
Meet The Parents

Vlad’s new football and shoes came in handy providing a reason to get to know each other. Kicking the ball up and down the dirt street lasted just long enough for things to settle down in the kitchen. Once the table was set and filled with everything from fish to borscht, Vlad and I made our way to the table. It was filled with all kinds of tasty looking dishes. Some recognizable and a few plates filled with adventure. What to eat? Well, not to worry, there was time to enjoy it all. There was just one little tradition to begin the celebration with first. The toast! No, not bread in a toaster. To toast with a little of Peter’s red wine. Peter was famous for his red wine. He was also known for sharing it with others. He had been producing his infamous red wine for years for all to enjoy. It was quite tasty and Peter was more than generous even though we forgot to share with the others. It was more like, the others needed to control the situation rather than join the contest before taking the first bite.

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Peters Smile and The Last Drop…

Can you imagine what Peter was thinking? Here was his little girl who brought this guy home from the other side of the planet. What was she thinking? More importantly, what was going through Peters mind? There wasn’t time to ask too many questions. Just a few seconds to pour the first glasses of wine. One for Luda, a little for Vlad, some for Larisa and no room to spare for Peter and I. Glasses sitting on the table and forks in hand, Peter slowly raised his glass, said a few words and gave me a stare with a smile. Not sure what he said but, it was as warm as can be. And with that, Peter continued his stare and smile with glass at the starting line. The next few seconds went by in the blink of an eye. As Peter began to down the wine, so did I. Both staring at each other while savoring the last drop.

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Down to The Last Drop…

Glasses on the table with speechless company to my left and right, Peter brought our glasses to the brim with his tasty home brew. Without a second to lose, We went for our glasses. Once they neared their final approach, down they went. No words. No toast. Just “Over the lips, past the gums, look out stomach, here it comes! Frantically and cautiously together, I grabbed for the nearest something to eat. I hadn’t eaten for some hours. Fish, bread, borscht. everything close enough to grab went down the hatch. With no time to lose, Peter poured another. Thank heavens my prayers were answered, Peter emptied every last drop from that bottle. While the onlookers weren’t amused, they weren’t surprised either. Although I was a guest in their house, they understood Peter explicitly. I understood the power of a Ukrainian woman’s eyes when Peter grabbed the bottle for a refill. One look from Luda and it was clear, we had had enough fun. Welcome to Ukraine!

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Just One of The Boys…

Here I am, in the home of a woman I was just getting to really know and all I could think about was competing at the dinner table. Thankfully, Larisa saved the tongue lashing for the trip back home. The only person amused besides me was the driver. I suppose it was our first relationship test. Of course, I apologized for wanting to be one of the boys. We both agreed that future celebrations would be kept to a quiet roar and alcohol consumption would be strictly monitored. Was it a good idea to have too much fun at the home of my sweethearts parents? Lets just say that I am lucky to have an understanding wife and extremely fortunate to be understood…

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Want to know more? We would like to help you. Remember that each person is different. Every situation requires a unique perspective. No two people share the identical circumstances. If you are planning to be successful and find your angel, create a plan that works.

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Larisa is from Ukraine

Larisa is From Ukraine…

Born and raised in Ukraine in a village in the Kherson region, Larisa is an only child but, never alone. Her mother and father raised her to be strong and independent. Her grandparents gave her family and wisdom. Growing up in Ukraine has never been easy but, for many before 1989, life was considered good. Job security, a place to live, land to farm. Life wasn’t so bad. The 90’s was a much different time. More about Larisa in our book to be published in 2017.

Larisa…

Larisa Green Kiev
Larisa Green Kiev

Larisa started her search by signing up on a dating website in early December 2006 just weeks before we met on the Internet. Thankfully, she agreed to chat with me after my first “Hello”. That was mid December just after my return from Russia. Over the next few months, Larisa and I communicated on a paid dating site daily with few exceptions. We discussed many parts of our lives. The more we wrote to each other, the more we understood there was something special between us. Impossible to explain even today. I just know that whatever force allowed us to find each other was like magic. Looking back at that time, there were many elements that fell into place. To fully understand what we were doing with our long distance friendship wasn’t easy. We just let life guide us knowing everything would be okay.

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The First Phone Hello…

It was mid March 2007 when we decided it might be a good time to speak with each other by phone. Just one small problem; we didn’t speak the same language. The good thing was that, language difference didn’t matter. Just listening to the others voice would be a great start to a future relationship. We spoke to each other for the first time by phone with the help of a lady that spoke a little English. It was just enough to help us say hello to each other. Actually, saying hello was the easy part. My “How are you?” and her “Giggle” was enough to seal the deal. I knew I needed to get on a plane and meet Larisa in person.

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The First Handshake…

Just weeks later, I made my way to Odessa Ukraine. Larisa was standing in the lobby with a look I will never forget. Can you imagine a Ukrainian woman with the look of fear written all over her face? Ukrainian women are taught from birth to be strong and serious with a twist or two and a special smile… They need to be strong and focused. It’s what Ukrainian society is all about. Well, more about that in our book. I can just tell you that after a quick handshake and a peck on the cheek, Larisa smiled and I followed. We found our way to the taxi parked just outside the entrance. The taxi driver was polite and accommodating.

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The First Trip Together…

Larisa and I jumped into the back seat of Vadim’s black sedan and off we went. Interpreter in the front seat and Vadim navigating through traffic. The two hour drive felt about as long as a heartbeat. Larisa and I passed the electronic translator back and forth the entire trip to Nikolaev. The interpreter riding shotgun, hardly spoke two words. She spent most of the trip on her phone. Larisa and I were able to understand each other even though we didn’t speak the same language. In fact, except for that two hour ride, we have never used the services of an interpreter. We just knew that there was something special about our ability to understand each other without language.

Those Beautiful Sad Eyes…

As we drove through Nikolaev, I felt right at home. It was an odd feeling but comfortable. Vadim pulled up to the apartment building where I had rented a one bedroom flat for the next ten days. As we entered the flat, Larisa seemed a little nervous. I paid the interpreter and off she went. I told her that we wouldn’t be needing her services any longer. Larisa sat on the sofa and I made my way to the bathroom. After a quick shave and a splash of cologne, I stepped into the front room to find Larisa looking up at me with beautiful sad eyes. As I walked up to her, she handed over the translator. I sat down beside her and read her translated words.

I Don’t Speak English…

I will never forget those words. It was to be the beginning of something special. While reading Larisa’s message, I realized there was no looking back. Just look into the future and understand that everything will be okay. Her message read “I don’t think this is a good idea, I don’t speak English”. Having just traveled around the globe to meet this special woman, I had just one thought for her. “Life is an adventure, let’s go”. She smiled and we went for a long walk. It has been ten years since we first met. We couldn’t be happier. Our book will be out in 2017. We will share the last ten years of our life. Our hope is to inspire others and to share our life with you.

We hope you find our articles and stories interesting and useful. Our goal is to help others understand that there is a way to improve your odds of finding that special someone.

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Larisa English Ukraine is well known for helping students speak fast. Special programs created just for you. Larisa English in Nikolaev Ukraine offers free English Club every Saturday at 10 am. It is always free.

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