A Ukrainian refugee family who finally has a moment to breathe after a weeks-long escape mission said they can't help but think about all the people they left behind in the warzone.
Anastasia and Vursichenko Pavlo spent the last three weeks traveling from Ukraine to Poland, then to Cancun, Mexico, and Tijuana, and finally to San Diego all with their five kids in tow. Their oldest child is 13 and the youngest is only 1.
“It’s been emotionally exhausting, all the traveling and moving and uncertainty,” said Vursichenko Pavlo.
In just three weeks the family's lives have completely changed.
"One evening we came home just like any normal family comes home from work,” said Pavlo. “We had dinner and then went to bed.”
The next morning a war started.
“We woke up at 5 a.m. because the home was shaking,” said Pavlo.
The family was forced to pack what they could, jump in the car and get out.
“We could see the fear in the kids,” said Pavlo. “We saw freight trucks burned out, driver cars burned out, and some horrible things on the way.”
Now, while they sit in the safety of extended family's home in Carlsbad, the Pavlo family worries about those they left behind.
"Even when you think you are safe here, you think of your relatives in Ukraine, and the danger and it layers on top of your relief,” said Pavlo.
From thousands of miles away, all they can do is pray.
“We just want peace, we want peaceful skies,” said Pavlo.
The Pavlo family does not speak English. Their responses were translated by a family friend.