‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Maybe its the 36 hours without sleep, or maybe it's the sardine-can flight over, or maybe it's the fact that I've already been yelled at by no less than six people for unknown infractions, or maybe its the indoor cigarette smoking...whatever it is, I really don't care to censor myself right now. I would love to say this trip started out well and we are all happy and excited and all that, but we're not. So far, the last 24 hours have been a baptism by fire.

It is as if all the dark forces that exist in the world have joined  together to beat us down.  I'm sure alot of this is lack of sleep on both our parts. I'm sure that after even TWO hours of sleep I will have a clear head, but it is only 6pm Wednesday night at the Moscow airport and already Nastia is begging to go home, and I don't blame her. It's been really rough. If she's not crying, I am.

At least I can have a sense of humor about the senselessness of some of the bureaucracy is. Case in point: It took me no less than 40 minutes to secure an hour on the internet. Why? Well, buying wireless access involves filling out three identical request forms, passing in my passport for review, going to another counter to get the request forms stamped with a big official looking stamp, calling a number from a cellphone I don't have  (which really pissed off the agent selling the minutes) and then I had to bring the laptop TO them, and they had to out a code in and then KEPT my passport until I return at the end of my hour to sign another form that I have finished. NOT KIDDING.

Well, Nastia wants to try to skype my mom so I have to go. We get on the flight to Siberia at later tonight and arrive tomorrow very early. We've spent 9 hours here at the airport...no place to sleep so we are drinking endless cups of coffee!

Please send us good thoughts and prayers for running into some nicer people. If I told you how we have been treated thus far, you honestly might not believe me. God never said it would be easy, right?


  1. Keep pushing momma you are an inspiration. Never been to the far side of the world like you have but I can only imagine what you are going through (though I am sure the experience is out of my mental reach). We are praying for you and your girls here stateside.

    ..."But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

    You have the courage and have taken the steps to make it happen. Safe travels!!

  2. I really wish you werent being treated badly...your are there doing such a good selfless thing. I hope things get better. Get some sleep!

  3. OMG, I've been to Sheremetevo. You poor things, spending so much time there is something no one should have to endure. First time my son came home to visit, he got bumped and had to sit out 24 hours there. Yuck! God bless you.

  4. hugs!!! I was so tired when we went to Ukraine that I kept falling asleep on the airtrain at JFK. I ended up finding a curved concrete planter bench seat 3 terminals over where I could put myself in a horizontal position. I used my carry-on as a pillow. I only intended to sleep for about 10 minutes, but woke up 1.5 hours later.

  5. Oh my. I guess the fact that I didn't sleep last night really doesn't matter much when compared with you and Nastia's day and night.

    You are so brave. I hope you can keep us posted and that all things work out the way you want them to.

  6. Well; start by putting on your "Russia-colored glasses" meaning that everyone will yell at you and be very authoritative for no reason you can perceive. But, I think if it as their having much better self-esteem than Americans in the same sorts of jobs who just look beleaguered and depressed.

    And, all that paperwork is providing people with much-needed jobs.

    Get some rest!

  7. OUCH. I have found the dear people in Moscow to be either hot or cold. There are a few golden gems in my memories there . . .and many NOT so golden. The smoky atmosphere there is VERY ROUGH. I sympathise! I wish I would have known you'd have a 9 hour plus lay-over. I would have suggested you contact Peace Travel for a trip OUT to a quiet apartment.
    Hugs to both of you . . .

  8. Hang in there! Y'all will both feel so much better after you sleep. And you're probably wired from that coffee too! Some days you have to take it an hour at a time, or even a minute at a time.

  9. Hard to have a good time spending multiple hours in the Moscow airport on no sleep. I would say I hope you sleep on the flight to Kemerovo, but having flown to Ekat on a plane that seemed to have no heat..well, I hope your plane has heat. Things will bet better...

  10. Prayers for all you need to get through this and as you get settled into your new for-a-while home. Thinking of how meaningful it will be to the one waiting there when she gets to see you and her sister once again.

  11. Sending good thoughts your way! Keep your chin up - you can do this!

  12. For a return trip layover, shower, great meal, try the Atlanta Hotel, free internet and some English TV. They will pick you up and get you back to the airport and have hourly rates for partial days. Book 1 of the most expensive rooms and you get a jetted tub! The owner grew up in Atlanta hence the name. The font desk staff speaks English. They can also exchange money for you. Top notch place. We used web cams and spoke to our son for free everyday.


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