Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Longest Day of our Lives

After our short nap, we got up around 1 am on October 4, 2007 and prepared to meet the taxi outside at 2 am. BTW, our apartment was on the 10th floor. With tears all around, we hugged Carrie good-bye, and Jon, Johanna and I went down and loaded our luggage in a nice taxi/van. The ride to the airport took about 30 minutes or so. It is always good to arrive early at the airport, but we were surprised that the customs area was not even open yet. We had to wait over an hour, standing, because all the seats were being used, many as beds. When they finally opened the door, we were right there, competing to keep our place in the line. We started through the security area so quickly, we didn't get to hug Jon good-bye, so had to wave and yell our thanks and good-byes. That was sad for me.
We did not have to wait long to get our boarding passes and check our luggage. Then, we stopped at Passport Control where we turned in our migration cards and had our passports stamped, officially leaving Russia. Being the first to arrive at our gate, we found it was closed, too. Then, we waited some more. Around 5 am we finally were able to board our plane going to Munich.
Basically, it was an uneventful flight. Johanna slept most of the way, and I ate a delicious omelet and fruit. I requested pancakes for Johanna. She ate hers later while I dozed.
After the 3-hour flight, we arrived in Munich, on the 5th level, and had a 4-hour layover. We bought some water, German chocolates and postcards at a shop. I was determined to get down to the 4th level of the airport and get some breakfast at the bistro I had tried to find when we came through in September. If you remember, I had located the elevators then, but we had thought it was too late to go down. This time I tried to get on one of the the lifts, I was told they were for employees only. So, I decided to ask a Lufthansa employee, and she gave me detailed directions. (Johanna decided to stay with our carry-on bags and rest.) It WAS necessary to go through Passport Control, but she told me some signs to follow to insure I could get to the 4th level. Then, I had to go through security, and I was in the area which had all the shops. I found the bistro and ordered a wonderful breakfast of fried eggs and croissants for Johanna and I to share. Then, it was back through Passport Control, and with my hands quite full, I struggled to get my passport out of my bag. But, I did it, and it was easy and didn't take too long. I still don't understand why they don't just have stairs between the floors.
Around 11 am Munich time we boarded our plane. Again, I slept/rested on the schedule recommended to me by the http://www.stopjetlag.com/ people. (I had no jet lag after this trip either.) Most of the 9 hour flight I played Sudoku, drank plenty of water, and ate some pretty good food. Because we were traveling from east to west, we left on the 4th AND arrived on the afternoon of the same day. Let's see. From 1 am in Moscow, it was about 22 hours later that we arrived home after 3 pm on the 4th. There were still 9 hours left in the day, but we retired around 9 pm.
The flight home from Munich seemed so long compared to our flight over in September. Johanna said it seemed shorter to her. For me, I guess, it was due to the fact that we were not
on the way to our most excellent adventure in Russia.

Village Ministry Trip IV

Village Ministry Trip III

Garry

Village Ministry Trip II

Jon and I (Johanna)

Galya with villagers

Jon and Pasha

Village Ministry Trip I

September 22nd Kids Club

Me (Johanna) teaching a lesson at Kids Club, with translator, Erin

playing a game with newspaper

snowflake craft

everyone at kids club

From the YWAM Perm website: "We started this ministry in the fall of 2004 and are committed to serving the children in one of the poorest neighborhoods here in Perm, by providing for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. We want to show these kids God's love through our words and actions. Every Saturday afternoon we start our meeting with sandwiches for every one. Through games, songs, puppet shows, creative lessons, crafts and just spending time with the children, we share with them God's love and His saving plan for us. Most of these children come from broken families and hear for the first time that they are wanted, created, and loved by God. This is a knowledge that can change their lives!"

Sunday, October 28, 2007

In Alexandrovsky Park

More Red Square Photos

Johanna and Carrie with GUM Department Store in background

Lenin Mausoleum and Kremlin wall

Saviour Gate Tower

At Saint Basil's

Beautiful Fountain in Alexandrovsky Park

More Red Square

The Saviour Gate Tower

What a great place to run!

View of Red Square from St. Basil's