Humanitarian Trip #6 Begins
We flew out of Logan on November 28, eventually connecting to a flight to Krakow, Poland. Kraokow is the closest airport to the Ukrainian border. From the airport, it's a short train ride to Krakow Glowny, the main trains station. From there, a 3.5 hour train ride to Przemysl, about a 10 minute ride to the Ukranian border.
There, we met our contacts from UAid Direct, a London-based nonprofit, at the Hope Foundation refugee center to go over our game plan and pick up a van they generously lend us while here. After grabbing a few hours sleep, we got up at 2:30 AM to attempt to cross the border, only to find that the emergency brake on the van was frozen due to the cold temps! After an hour of trying to get it moving we went back to sleep for a few hours, then gave it another try around 6:30 AM. Every trip has its 'challenges', but it's usually not for at least a few days!
We were concerned about the border crossing time, due to the ongoing Polish truckers strike. We've heard nightmares about 24-36 hour border crossings, but we hit the jackpot when we drove past the long lines of trucks and cars and pleaded our case to the Polish border guard, who waved us right in. Ironically, we ended up setting a personal all-time record for crossing both the Polish and Ukrainian sides, with a total time of just 36 minutes!