Anastasiia Piddubska and her family fled Ukraine amid the explosions

Aken / MZ – It was the morning of February 24th. 11:00 when the first explosions were heard in Odessa. “Our house was shaking,” reports Anastasiia Piddubska. The 33-year-old is from Ukraine and at the time she lived with her husband and three children in a single-family house in the city of Odessa. The explosions came out of nowhere. Her six-year-old daughter was shaking all over and asked, “Mom, what’s going on here?”

The tears kept falling as this strong young woman told me her story almost a month later. She speaks German and English. For now, she and her family are safe. An elderly lady from Aken hosted a family of five with her. She lives alone however, there is a lot of space in the house, the upper floor is empty and uninhabited.

He was afraid for his children

It is almost unimaginable that she is now sitting on the sofa in a family home in Aken and telling her story. After the explosions escalated, the family just wanted to escape. They were scared. fear for their children. “We had to get out of town. I wanted my kids to be safe,” she says.

So they prepared the essentials and got into the car. The first way led the family to Moldova. The family always slept in the car – for 36 hours they only had themselves and the car. “I am so grateful that our old car brought us safely to Aken,” the young woman points out. In the end, she was a Ukrainian doctor from Köthen, with whom Piddubska is in good contact because she herself is a doctor, who attracted the family to the city on the Elbe.

“The first two weeks after we arrived here I was petrified. I’ve read a lot of news, cried a lot, ate little, “she says. But she’s starting to feel more comfortable here.” I’m just grateful and happy to be here, “says the 33-year-old. Most of all, she’s grateful to those who have it. welcomed so warmly. “We have so much food, toys for the children and a good apartment. We have been inundated with donations,” explains the Ukrainian with pure gratitude.

“I don’t care where I am, as long as my family is with me”

She has been to Germany several times because of her work as a doctor and church. She then she didn’t have a big “culture shock”. Berlin, Hamburg, Munich – but she had never heard of Aken before. “I don’t care where I am, the important thing is that my family is with me”, emphasizes the young woman. In order for her children to still have the feeling of being at home, she prepares their famous food. “I spend a lot of time in the kitchen,” she says. It’s a lot of fun for her. Your children have noticed that they speak a different language, but they see it more like a vacation. “They are very open and they all call ‘Babushka’,” she says with a smile on her face.

Yet every day they have a request to their parents: they want to return to their homeland. “They ask all the time. When will they be able to go back or will they live here forever?” she reports. Questions she currently has no answers to herself. “When the war is over, we will go back to Ukraine. But this is somewhere in the future,” she adds.

His only wish is for the war to end soon. He feels hate, anger and sadness right now. “This is not just a war against Ukraine. We are probably just the first, “she suspects. The children have died, the cities have been destroyed. Even if the war ends in the near future, the wounds remain: physical and psychological.

“When it is all over, I would like to invite all the helpers to my house for dinner”

And despite everything, Anastasiia Piddubska remains confident. “When everything is over, I would like to invite everyone I met along the way to my home country to eat, listen to the sound of the waves on the sea and tell stories of love and joy,” says the Ukrainian.

Until then, he will remain in Aken with his family. You already have a job in mind. He will work as a doctor at the Helios clinic in Köthen. In the meantime she acts as interpreter for all the refugees in Aken, because she is the only one who speaks German.

“For many it is still very difficult to find their way around here,” he knows. Much is different. Separate collection is not known in Ukraine. Data protection regulations would also confuse some and you first need to find out “how many people are allowed in a car”. But these are just small things.

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