Ukrainian refugee within the Lehigh Valley recounts household's story of fleeing the nation amid battle

Her three youngsters enjoying on the playground is the lighthearted view for 43-year-old Olga Panivynk at Saucon Valley Park. That view stands in stark distinction to a month and a half in the past.

“Nonetheless we had been collectively,” she mentioned.

She thought this in the course of the household’s seven-day journey from their dwelling in Kiev to a Polish airport and eventually to her sisters in Saucon Valley.

“I say now I understand how refugees scent. I feel you already know what I imply. You will have the desk to clean your arms as a result of for 5 days there was no water and all the pieces was sticking,” she defined.

The everyday 12-hour trip to the border took 5 days as site visitors jams stretched for miles.

“It’s extremely scary. Particularly for the children to see the missiles that did not explode in a discipline subsequent to the roads. It is scary,” she mentioned.

Gasoline and meals had been briefly provide. Panivnyk says their meals ran out on day three.

“I used to be not consuming and to place it into perspective I misplaced weight which was good hahaha. However my youngest was crying and telling me Mother I need to eat. Maria the center one would inform her you already know we do not have this,” she mentioned in regards to the roughest factors within the journey.

Nevertheless, kindness turned their sustenance as villagers cooked for these caught on the freeway.

“We had been in a difficult scenario however nonetheless in comparison with others we had been very fortunate,” she mentioned.

See also  Lehigh College professor explains how promotions tied to particular days like PI Day have an effect on folks's purchases

She described how many individuals needed to stroll in freezing chilly temperatures. Others needed to dump out garments from suitcases as they turned too heavy to hold.

The Knights of Columbus helped them as soon as they crossed into Poland. They received a flight to JFK. Panivynk’s dad and mom finally made it, too.

She’s overwhelmed by the native assist. They’ve vacationer visas by way of September and need to be productive whereas they’re right here, as she was a VP of Human Assets. Her husband Roman was an automation engineer.

They’re hoping Congress quick tracks Ukrainian work visas just like the EU.

Panivynk says her three-year-old nonetheless has nightmares however is hopeful her youngsters take power gained by way of tragedy.

“I need them to recollect every day wherever they find yourself and wherever life will take them, that they’re Ukrainian,” she mentioned.