It’s a well-known fact among my real-life friends and fam that I’m an extra warm-blooded person. I rarely wear a coat, and Jed constantly bemoans the fact that I’m passing that trait on to our kids. Who needs a jacket? They’re so bulky! I’d much rather run from the house to the car to the store and back, than to be suffocated by a bulky jacket. Don’t even get me started on the suffocation factor of scarves. I get it that they’re cute, a little pop of color for an otherwise bland outfit, but am I the only one that can’t handle the strangulation? Just the thought of a turtleneck makes me feel like my airway is about to close.
All that to say, warm weather and lack of airflow is a major downfall to my suitability as a missionary. If you’ve ever traveled overseas you know what I mean. Think warm bus, no windows down, stalled in traffic. I have to talk myself down from the ledge. “You actually won’t suffocate. There is air available, just breathe deeply.”
|The vent right above my head…doesn’t work.
Where am I going with this? I have no idea. I just had to talk it out because as I write this we’re on a fairly warm bus headed back to Zhitomir. I’ve been sweating for the past 12 days, and so it continues today. (I’m a Bittner. We sweat.) Anywayssssss….I just needed you to feel my pain for a sec. I feel better now. 🙂
Now, on to more pleasant topics that don’t involve sweat and strangulation.
This past weekend was loads of fun! We drove back to Kiev on Friday afternoon with our friend Oleg who happened to be heading that way. He dropped us at the metro and we headed to the church where they were having a concert to reach the unreached. We took the metro to the stop we knew was closest to the church and then hopped off. It’s like a 20 minute walk from the metro to the church, and Jed, with his bat-like sense of direction, led us straight there without a hitch. What a guy.
Jed promptly filled in on the bass and we got to see lots of people we love. It was a good time.
After the concert we went home with our friend Sergei. We had the BEST time staying with Sergei and Alyona. Seriously. Being around their kids made us miss our babies something fierce, but we managed. 🙂
Alyona cooked for us and fed us nonstop. Yum. Who am I to complain? Her love language is feeding people, and we’re eaters; a match made in heaven.
On Saturday morning we met Jim and Marianna Peipon (remember Olya and I went with Marianna to visit the baby at the hospital?) at their flat to tag along with them to a picnic. Fun, fun, fun! The picnic was for a coalition for children at risk. Basically, a group of people consisting of Ukrainians, Americans, Russians, and Mexicans, who work with children at risk in various ways around Kiev got together to fellowship and eat together. They welcomed us with open arms and we had a great time. It was so fascinating to hear about what others are doing to help kids and how God led them to Ukraine. We made some new friendships and some good connections. Who knows what God plans to do with those relationships in the future? We are open, and excited to find out. Thank you new friends for making us feel so welcome! We’ll see you again soon with kiddos in tow!
Saturday afternoon and evening we hung out with various friends and laughed a lot.
Sunday, oh I loved Sunday. It started out with Alyona feeding us some more delicious food, and ended the same. Hehe
We headed out to church by taxi after the frantic rusharound of your typical Sunday morning. It was hilarious to talk (sign/google translate) with Sergei about how Sunday mornings are the same for families all around the world. “Hurry up! Eat your breakfast! Stop hitting your brother please. Grrrrr.” Then you get to church “Hallelujah….” Yep. Sunday morning in Ukraine is just like Sunday morning in Salem. Why is that? Hilarious and true. If your Sunday morning isn’t stressful, let me in on your secret. 😉
After a great time at church we joined our friends in their typical Sunday afternoon hangout. Everyone takes the marshrutka to our fave: Puzata Hata! Puzata Hata is a cafeteria-style Ukrainian restaurant. Delish and cheap with plenty of space for hours of chattin’ it up. As our friend Andrei says “Sunday afternoon is for relationship.”
After the deliciousness of Puzata Hata we walked for a bit, talking more, till we got to the metro and parted ways. Sergei and Alyona went to go buy their kids a pet mouse (yep, that’s totally not happening at my house) and we went with our friend Elvin to chat more since we won’t see him again before we leave Ukraine.
After that it was home again home again jiggety jig. Alyona fed us some more, and Jed and Sergei drooled over guitars online- just your typical Sunday night when you live with a musician.
Anya and I did this:
I give this past weekend two thumbs way up. We are so blessed to have good friends in Kiev who love us. The feeling is so mutual.