Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Days

Our first full day in Kiev was Friday. Alfie went to the SEND office to meet with the area director, Steve and go over some of the events of the last year, make some preliminary plans for the next year and talk about various issues. Julie and the kids enjoyed some reunion time with friends in the afternoon. Friday evening we took the metro to the other side of Kiev and met with our old friend pastor Pavel. We had dinner with him and his family. We talked about America, Ukraine, ministry, Greek, history, language, cars, economy and many other topics. It was an enjoyable evening. We were very tired on the ride home on the metro and probably fit right in with those who were tired from too much drinking.

Saturday afternoon was a time of reunion with more missionary friends.

Sunday was a time of special reunion. We went to our church in Kiev, Ascension church in Bortnichi.

Monday we rested and that evening took the train to Odessa.

Tuesday, we cleaned, organized and visited with guests all day. That evening, Julie and the girls slept while Alfie and Joseph had dinner with friends from IMB and SEND. We enjoyed bbq’d fish, chicken and all the trimmings. Thank you Mliakoff family! After dinner we had a small impromptu concert in the yard and then Alfie and Joseph went home.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Travel to Ukraine

Well we are now here in Ukraine. Our travel was long but went well. Our plane out of Utah was leaving at 7:00am. Since it was an international flight, we decided to arrive at the airport by 4:30am. That meant that we would need to leave by 4:00am. Our day started by getting up late – 3:45am. We were on the road by 4:30am and after several calls from relatives informing us that they were waiting at the airport, we arrived at about 5:00am. Check in was smooth, good-byes were emotional, security was tolerable and we arrived at the gate with about 40 minutes to spare.
Salt Lake City to Chicago went fast. We had a six hour layover but no-worries; we met with Inga and Brittany, our future team-mates. Alfie wanted to go to the Sears Tower and check out the glass balconies, but we opted for a leisurely lunch. We found a food court in the international terminal and had a great time of connection and fellowship.
We said good-by to Brittany and Inga and hello to more security. “Yes that is my computer, yes it has been with me since I left home, yes those are my shoes, that is a lovely wand and no I have nothing hidden in my clothes but I guess you need to check. If this wasn’t an airport security point, I think you could be arrested for that. Huh, I guess humor isn’t part of your training.” OK, so we made it.
The Chicago to London flight was long but uneventful. We had our personal movie screens and too many movies to watch. Joseph and Micah got the most sleep; the rest of us kept watch movies and paid for it later. Anya especially had a rough time in London. Her ears hurt during the descent and she was too tired to do anything but cry.
We had a two hour layover in London. After more security we went to get something to eat. We found a little bagel shop and paid exorbitant amounts of money for humble but tasty bagels, fruit and caffeinated libations. After eating, as we walked to our gate, I heard someone call my name. I turned and it was Michael Kuvshinikov, our team-mate from Kiev. He was returning to Kiev on the same flight. We enjoyed some catch up time then got on the plane. The flight from London to Kiev was filled mostly with sleep.In Kiev, passport control, baggage claim then customs all went smoothly. Steve was waiting when we walked out the double doors and we were back in Ukraine.