Wednesday, March 20, 2013


We survived Snowmageddon!  In early March, we had the most perfect weather imaginable.  It was in the low 50s and sunny for three or four days.

When a team from Duke university arrived, apparently Lviv wanted them to have the full experience.  It snowed the day they arrived.  Because most of them were from the south, there was a lot of joking and laughter about the joys of snow.

On the final day the team was here, Lviv was pelted with 24 inches of snow.

It was an intense experience.  

Some snowdrifts were over my head, but most were between my knees and waist. 

Early in the morning, a tram went off the tracks and the people were trapped inside for some time.  Basically all public transportation was shut down after 11 am and all taxi services stopped running by mid-afternoon.  By the evening, buses were back up and running - but many bus stops had literally hundreds of people waiting for a coveted seat on a bus.  All the available young men stood in the streets and pushed cars and buses along as they got stuck in snowdrifts and lost traction on icy intersections.  

I was faced with the task of gathering ever more documents - and had to walk more then ten miles throughout the day.  It was exhausting.  By the evening, I was free to help push buses and cars along the road.  When I finally got home, the outdoor stairwell behind my house had still not been shoveled.  I made it up the first three flights, but on the fourth I had to make three running attempts before jumping up to the next ledge.  On the fifth, I had to crawl on my hands and feet over the snow wall.  

It was pretty intense.  

Today there is a general sense of dread, as the weather improves, all of this snow will melt - and it will have to go somewhere.  Basically, we are bracing ourselves for our city to look a bit like Venice for the next few days.  Yesterday we had a few hours of melt, and there was a lot of standing water and backed up sewage! There is still so much snow left to melt!

It will be pretty intense! 

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