|We went exploring!|
Today we ventured out to explore some of the city and get our bearings. It was a blast! The pictures above are of Independence Square. Beautiful, right? We were there super early since we woke up so early this morning. We were a bit surprised when we were looking around, there was no one else nearby, then all of a sudden…BAM! There was a man in a gorilla costume. Where the heck did he come from? He insisted on taking our pictures, then asked for $10. Ha! Scammed on our first morning out. Oh well, it’s all part of the experience. We ended up only giving him $5 since he really wanted USD and that’s all we had on us. Darn. 🙂 Well, at least we got a picture of the two of us together out of the deal.
|Check out those gorilla camera skills!|
|Our photographer and me. I thought the kids would like it 🙂|
After getting scammed we moved on to explore more of the city. First order of business was getting a cheap phone. This next picture shows our great joy after making contact! We felt human again after talking with a couple of people who were expecting to hear from us. Yay!
I have to say, it feels really strange being in a foreign country without 15 or so teenagers tagging along. I mean I feel weird enough being without my babies, but I’m not used to traveling abroad without a bunch of other people waiting for me to make a decision. I keep feeling like we’re forgetting someone, but nope, it’s just the two of us. It’s so weird!
|Back in business.|
|This one’s for you Julia Nalle! 🙂|
We saw some beautiful cathedrals that I had seen in so many other people’s pictures. It felt surreal to actually be standing in those places myself!
Next we were off to meet with Vitaly, our friend from a Vineyard Church in North Carolina. V is originally from here, but has lived in the US for the past 12 years. Jed’s been talking with him on the phone for months now, but we’d never actually met. He flew in today to get ready for the National Vineyard Conference and agreed to meet us at the train station to help us buy train tickets. God bless him! When we got up to the ticket counter we ended up short on money. Little did V know he’d not only be translating, but paying as well! 🙂
V and a pastor friend Eugene made a ton of phone calls right there on the street and hooked us up with friends from all the different towns we’ll be in. We found out when we’re in Odessa next week the Odessa Vineyard church will be doing a few outreaches to the orphanages they work with, and we get to come along! We are so excited about that!!!
It was great to meet V and Eugene face to face. They made us feel very welcome and at home. They’re on their way to Kremenchug, so we only had a few minutes together. We look forward to spending more time with them later on this trip. As we were leaving them one of the guys from the Kiev Vineyard called us and asked if we wanted to meet for coffee tonight. He told us Eugene asked him to call. 🙂 What a guy!
|Heading underground to the subway. These escalators are freakishly long!!!|
|This is the elevator in our building. Speaking of freakish…it is freakishly tiny. The door is all the way open in this picture! Ha!!! I prefer the stairs.|
Thanks everyone for praying for us. We are healthy and just taking it all in. Tonight we will meet a guy for coffee, tomorrow we will meet with some Kiev Vineyard folk, and then Wednesday we are off to Zhitomir to visit Mission to Ukraine!