A Ukrainian family and their British host celebrate Easter with traditional sweets and cycle rides in the countryside after a four-week wait for their visas.
Steve Dury, a local government worker from Langport, Somerset, picked up a family of five from Bristol Airport on Tuesday after a month-long wait for three-year-old Egor Svichkar’s visa.
Liudmyla Tarasenko and her 15-year-old daughter, Daria, Liudmyla’s 27-year-old niece and Egor’s mother, Yulia Svichkar, and 13-year-old Denys Chemodanov have a “craving to cook Ukrainian dishes” and show Mr. Dury their culture through family recipes.
“It’s really nice to be exposed to Ukrainian culture, Ukrainian cuisine and to have interesting conversations with them,” Dury, 59, told the PA news agency.
The family arrived in England on Tuesday (Liudmyla Tarasenko/PA)
“They have a traditional family recipe that was passed down from their grandparents, a Napolyeon tart, a buttery puff pastry between sweet vanilla cream.
“So this afternoon, (Liudmyla) promised to come and bake this lovely cake as an Easter treat for all of us. They are happy to be able to participate and do something to mark it.
Mr Dury was only able to house the two mothers and three children from Kharkiv when his “desperate plea” led the interior minister’s office to intervene and approve Egor’s visa.
He wrote to Priti Patel’s office on Sunday April 10 and received a response the following day: “Please pass on our apologies to the family for the delays in processing Egor’s visa application.
Mr Dury said he was “very proud” of the way the Langport community has welcomed refugees (Steve Dury/PA)PA Media – Steve Dury
“Egor’s visa was processed by social workers in Sheffield over the weekend and an instruction has now been sent to Warsaw to print the visa.”
The family were in Somerset on Tuesday evening.
Their Easter plans also include a countryside bike ride courtesy of an offer from a local bike shop.
“We ran into someone who owns a bike shop in Langport and they said, ‘Our Easter present will be free bike hire for a day at the shop,'” Mr Dury said.
“So this afternoon or tomorrow we’ll be spending a day cycling. It’s the generosity of one of the local people here in Langport.
Mr Dury said three-year-old Egor ‘loves’ the family dog, Maya (Steve Dury/PA)
Mr. Dury and other local sponsors organized a barbecue on Saturday to give refugees staying in the area a chance to meet and talk in Ukrainian.
Mr Dury added that three-year-old Egor had already made a friend in the family dog, Maya.
“He has a great sense of humor, he loves to laugh,” he said.
“We have a golden retriever. He loves the dog, the first thing he asks when he wakes up in the morning – “Can I pet Maya?”