Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One Year Ago Today: We Saw WHO in Kiev?!


Credit: Naum Furman, News 4
After all the excitement of losing Liza, learning about Sasha, and then winning Liza back we had a few days to just hang out in Kiev. During that time we had to move out of the first apartment we were in to an area of the city a little closer to Kreschatik Street. At one point we got stuck in a traffic jam and our driver, Yuri, said that it was because former US President, Bill Clinton, was giving a speech on AIDS/HIV prevention at a rally being held on Kreschatik. We thought that was pretty neat but that was about it.... at the time.

The next morning, knowing it was our last day in Kiev until we came back with Liza, we went out to walk around a bit more. We found a nice Coffee House, I think it was one actually called "Coffee House", and went in to sit and have - what else? Coffee!!

We sat at a table by a window, ordered our coffee, and talked about what else we wanted to see before we left for Krivoy Rog that night. I stopped after a bit and looked out the window and saw this pretty large entourage of people heading our way at the corner across from my window. In the middle of this entourage was a tall gentleman with a handsome head of grey hair. My eyes grew big and I said, "Is that President Clinton heading this way?!" Rick looked and said something like "no way." then "Yeah, I think it is..." and then he said, "Wouldn't it be something if he came in here to get coffee?"

And then that's exactly what happened! I remember Rick and I just looking at each other in disbelief. I mean, really! We LIVE an hour from DC and go there all the time and have never run into any famous Government folks or famous folks period. Then we fly half-way round the World and end up sitting at a table less than 10 feet from a former President and the husband of our current Secretary of State. Crazy, right?

Of course, we have NO proof of this because that was the ONE time I forgot to bring the camera and we were too nervous to actually go up to him and try and talk to him. Besides that one of his security folks came and stood right behind me! Talk about feeling nervous! I was like, "I'm probably the smallest, quietest person in this place but apparently this guy thinks I'm the biggest threat?!" There was no way I was making any moves to even try to approach Mr. President with Big Scary Security Guy at my back. Of course, he could've just chosen the spot behind my chair because it was in front of a pretty large window. Eh, who knows?

In hind sight I wish that I had plucked up the courage to go and try to speak with him. He seemed very friendly and approachable, quite a few young Ukrainians did go and speak with him. I wonder if we might have mentioned that we were there adopting, and that we had chosen to adopt a child with special needs. Maybe even mentioned Reece's Rainbow. Maybe a door might have even been opened to talk about the adoption of children with HIV and Project Hopeful, especially since President Clinton was in Kiev specifically to talk about HIV/AIDS.

Despite the fact that Rick and I both chickened out on our chance to talk to President Clinton I still think it was one of the coolest things to happen on our trip. Who knows? Maybe on one of our trips to DC we'll run into him again.

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