About two years ago one of my closest friends moved to Russia. I promised when she left that I’d come visit her but the truth is I didn’t have a Passport and I’ve never flown out of the country so even though I wanted to I was afraid it wouldn’t happen. Thankfully God had other plans and through lots of support and an invitation to teach preschool at a retreat my friend would be attending Kaitlyn and I were heading to Moscow!
Not without some bumps on the way, of course. Like I said I didn’t have a Passport so I had to apply for one which should be a simple and straightforward process except that after all of my papers for my Passport and Visa had been processed the Post Office lost my Passport! Well, there is some debate – it’s possible the travel agency didn’t actually adhere my label to my package because somehow the label on my passport found its way on to someone else’s package! So instead of receiving 2 Passports I received a suit jacket. For well over a week no one had any idea where my Passport was. By God’s grace and nothing short of a miracle my blank package was located in Atlanta and overnighted to me. Just five days before our plane was to take off I knew I would be able to go. Talk about cutting it close!
Getting ready for our first flight overseas (obviously BEFORE the 9 1/2 hours in the air):
Oh yes, it was a long flight:
But no rest for the weary. Due to the time change it may have been time for bed in Virginia but it was early morning in Moscow and we had a FULL day ahead of us and sleeping wasn’t on the agenda.
Our first day in Moscow meant we were full-on tourists with my good friend, Kristy as our tour guide and translator.
Kaitlyn and Kristy in the center of Moscow:
And Kaitlyn in front of Saint Basil’s in Red Square:
And all of us in front of Saint Basil’s.
After a day of sightseeing we
died er, crashed but then it was up early again for a little more touring and a three-hour Metro/Train/Walking/Taxi ride to the retreat center where our team would be working. Kaitlyn and I were there to teach preschool.
The train station. All the train stations were beautiful.
On the train ride there:
Our retreat center:
Looked about that dreary every day but we never got any real snow which was great for our walking but would’ve been beautiful to see.
Where we ate:
Some of our Russian food. The chicken soup was really good as was the noodles and beef but the Kasha was hit or miss for me as was the dinner. The drink is compote – a mix of fruit and sugar – mostly tasted like super sweet prune juice.
Sadly, I don’t like fish at all so this was one of those “miss” dinners where we ate Russian dessert and Coca Cola because it’s the one thing I could order at the Russian store – water is usually sold as carbonated unless you know how to ask. Since I don’t speak Russian we drank lots of Coca Cola for 50 rubles ($1.00) since we could all say that!
For Thanksgiving all the Workers put together a more traditional American dinner and they all did a fabulous job!
Kaitlyn and Julia at the youth table.
Kaitlyn in our room for the few nights we were at the retreat. At least I had a great roommate 🙂
After the retreat it was back to the train and back to Moscow and time for some PIZZA! Yes! We got Papa John’s Pizza in Russia! After lots of Russian food it was so good to have something American 🙂
On our last day we got to go souvenir shopping! It was outdoors in 10 degree weather and boy did we layer up. It wasn’t so bad when you dressed right but when we stood still too long we felt the cold! And this was November. I can’t say I’m ready to be in Moscow in January 🙂
After a bunch of shopping and a little bit of bargaining I ended up with quite a few treasures that I was excited to bring home including a few sets of Russian Nesting dolls, a Russian hat for Caleb and a cuter, girly one for Kaitlyn.
One thing we did a lot of while we were there was ride the Metro but the cool thing is that each one was so different. Whether it was architecture or statues or just interesting marble on the walls – they were a site to see, that is if we could actually stop to see them! We were always moving so fast, getting on and off trains and trying our best not to stand out. But every once in a while we stopped to take pictures on the Metro. Yea, that screamed tourist 🙂
The Russians believe it’s good luck to rub some of the statues – or at least parts of them – as you can see the dog’s nose is much shinier than the rest of the statue. Even while we stood there trying to take a photo people would stop by and rub the dog’s nose.
And occasionally we would stop to take a picture in the Metro whether we attracted attention or not!
There’s certainly quite a few other local pictures I could bore you with but I’ll stop there. Kaitlyn and I had a wonderful time even with the exhaustion and jet lag. I loved seeing Moscow and spending time with my friend, Kristy. We pray the Lord uses our time there for His glory and we appreciate the effort, support and prayers from so many to get us to Moscow and back!