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Came to Gdansk with daughters,Vera and Masha. Her husband, relatives and cat Keksik stayed at home.

What did you do before the 24th of February ?

I worked as a master of manicure in one of the elite areas of Dnipro and completed a course on SMM. I planned to change my sphere of work.


What about your work now?

Everything is standing still and I don't even want to touch it. The reason is that I studied marketing with a teacher from Russia. So now these courses are not even worth it. I worked as a manicurist here in salons that employ Ukrainian women, but the salary was very small and they did not want to formalize it. So now I'm thinking about where I will work next.  


Tell me how did 24th of February go for you?

We woke up because of explosions and the sound of aircrafts. We quickly took everything that was necessary, took my favorite cat to my mother-in-law and left. The whole day passed on the road, and we even got lost. We saw that Uman was being shelled, even photos of ruined houses.  We have a low car, and the roads have been blocked or broken already, so we drove on impassable country roads, half breaking the chassis.


How was the beginning of the war?

We wanted to go to Transcarpathia and go to my mother in Gdansk. While we were leaving, martial law was officially imposed and my husband could not leave. We thought, like everyone, that after a few days or a week it will all be over. We found a hotel and lived there for 5 days. Then we lived in Lviv with friends for a few more days.


What did you say to your childrens?

I told them that we were going to travel. Vera is small, you can't explain anything to her. And Masha understood, she heard some of our conversations.  And no one hid anything.


When and why did you decide to leave Ukraine?

When we were already on the 2nd day in Lviv. Although no one took money for the rent, it was somehow uncomfortable to occupy the apartment of unknown people. Everyone understood perfectly well that it was also necessary to live on something, to make money somehow.  Something had to be decided. Either return to Dnipro and work, or live there. I started looking for a job there, but it wasn't there at that time. On the 4th of March we left at 6 am. The Poles took me from the border and on March 5th I was already in Gdansk.


What did you feel when you crossed the border?

It was extremely difficult.  Especially when there were women with babies. Before my eyes is still a picture: you come back, and there is a lattice, men are crying, children are crying.  This is very difficult.


How is your life in Gdansk?

Already normal, I’m used to it. I called the psychological help line and my personal therapist. I work because it's hard for me. I have lived with my husband for 15 years and did not know how to live without him. All the decisions were divided in half, and now I have to decide everything by myself. Although, I'm adapting pretty quickly. And I go to language courses. So now it is somehow more or less normal. The first months I couldn’t think clearly. The Poles helped a lot, they brought packages with humanitarian help. No one has ever helped me so much, not even my relatives.  I still have everything I needed from the start.


What were your plans for this spring?

I had a  birthday on 9th of March and I couldn't celebrate it the way I planned.  We were going to go on a vacation by the sea. We  had to start building a foundation for the house. We were planning to buy me a car.  Everything had to be completely different. But here is this thing - be afraid of your desires. I wanted to change jobs, my team, and the field of activity. I wanted to change the school for children, my lifestyle. My husband and I also quarreled and at some point thought of getting divorced, but then everything was fine. But all these wishes came true: I am here without my husband, the children have changed schools, I am going to another job in another country and other things. It all worked out, but I forgot to specify how I wanted it, so I received it in this format.


Are you making any new plans for the future?

I’m thinking about a school here and soon I will go to work in the hospital. I want to open my own business here, there are ideas, but for this you need to know the language well. I do not make false promises now.


What has changed for you since the beginning of the war?

All of my priorities. I reconsidered my whole life, all of my values.


What makes you happy?  What fulfills you and gives you power?

I go to the sea every day. I need  10 minutes to get there. I really like coniferous forests and there is just one nearby.


What would you recommend to yourself in the past?

Probably appreciate myself more, rest more. But without what I did then, I would not have what I have now.


Can you say something to the Poles?

I am very grateful to them for what they did and are doing.  And I'm sure they will.

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