365 Days in Belarus


Day 1: Goodbye America hello Belarus and my wife.  Landed in Minsk stopped at sign that says you have nothing to report go this way, you have something to report go that way.  As I looked at the sign I had a choice to make take my chances of going in without reporting my medications which it clearly is marked you must do or go report my medications with the knowledge that some of the drugs I was caring  were not allowed in Belarus and especially since I was caring a years supply which I was granted to have by my insurance company but I had no prof as to explaining the quantity I was caring.  I of course chose to go report what I was caring but as suspected it caused quite a commotion.  I had to unpack my bags and they did their research on the drugs I was caring again as I thought I was caring 1 drug that was not allowed into the country, as the alarm in my head was going off the inspectors were making phone calls and having other inspectors come look at what I was caring.  Luckily and politely I was informed that the drug was not allowed, but I could take it with me however when I returned to the United States it had to be disposed of before I left Belarus and no more could be brought back when I returned.  A sigh of relief set over me since it had been an hour since I had landed and had not seen Irina as of yet, the big glass frosted doors swung open and at last I saw my wife (жена).

Day 2: Came In With A Bang, I had left the United States after going to the hospital right before I left, the doctors could not determine if I had a kidney stone or not but gave me medication to relieve the pain for the long flight over.  Well as day 2 started my right flank started hurting which I know is an active stone, as it brought me to tears and to my knees all I could think about was day 2 is going to land me in a Belarusian hospital which scared the hell out of me.  I took my medications and took a 2 hour train ride to the town of Klechiv, so we could start the paperwork for the extension of my visa since I only had 7 days to do so.  It was an excruciating day not only because of the pain I was in, but my mothers wake was in the process of starting which added to my sadness.  We arrived in Bobbrosk at 8:00 am, the paperwork was not completed until 6 pm so as I sat in offices, police stations and car rides my day was overwhelming but it was finished for that day.

Day 3: Didn’t fare any better, the pain at this point had me writhing to the point I could not get out of bed as Irina took great care of me, her brother and she had to finish the work we had started yesterday so they left me taking my medications and headed off to the town, they made several trips back and forth to see how I was doing and completed everything they could until it was my turn to take the trip to the police department to sign the paperwork.  On our way Irina was so concerned about my health we stopped in a local office she purchased a 10,000 health policy for me so we could go immediately to the doctor after the paperwork was completed.  As usual for me nothing seems to be completed in a timely matter this police visit took about 4 hours as I sat in a chair listening to the exchange of conversations between Irina and a woman police officer.  Yet as I sat the stone seemed to settle down so I was reluctant to move, everything was signed and we could leave so we were off.  Pain had subsided to the point it was tolerable so Irina and I again boarded the train for our 2 hour trip back to Minsk where we live, we arrived safely and I went to bed.

Day 4: Was spent sleeping, on a great note we were granted a month extension to fill out the paperwork and have an interview with the police to see if we will qualify for a year extension.  I’d ask for prayers but I am not sure where or what to ask for, so if you have any prayers to say please send them my way.

Day 5: Again spent in bed sleeping, my mothers funeral mass was today so it was a very sad day for me.

One thought on “365 Days in Belarus

  1. Amy Leventhal

    Thinking of you, and Grandma Mac today. Sophie said it was a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman. She will be in your heart always. And will live on in all who had the pleasure to know her. xoxo


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