|Napoli Central Station|
I found my way to the Ukrainian Airlines and was soon greeted by a Ukrainian man who was trying locate his check-in line. Although I told him I spoke English, he didn't seem to understand me. He kept asking me questions. Finally he held up fingers for options. One: Italian, Two: German, Three: English - Oh yes, English! The then stopped for a moment, trying to remember his English. He then said, German, and proceeded to count. I replied by repeating the English numbers back. "Ah yes," he exclaimed. This must have jarred his memory. He then proceeded to count to fourteen, but couldn't remember fifteen. He then clarified with numbers that he was in the right line. We then attempted a half decent conversation. Throughout the course of the conversation I discovered that his name was Sergei. He was from Ukraine and had spent his vacation in Italy for fishing and the sun. Whereupon he proceeded to show me his tan line on his upper leg ... little more skin than I was wanting to see! He lives just outside Kiev and has two children in their twenties. Upon discovering that I was a Christian and was going to Ukraine to visit a missionary friend, he proceeded to tell me that he too was a Christian. "Ten and five years ago - together," he had attended a Bible college in Kiev run by Campus Crusades for Christ International. He attended to learn how to plant churches and has now been involved in five church plantings. He currently attends a couple churches, and plays piano for a Pentecostal Church. At one point both to express his knowledge of English and to affirm that he was a Christian. He proceeded to sing "He made something beautiful out of me" and "This is the Day" as well as quote John 1:1. Amen! He was unfamiliar with World Gospel Mission, but kept asking that it was not the One Mission Society. Neither did he recognize Berdyansk, Ukraine - where my missionary friend, Shushan Richardson is currently serving (though I can't vouch for pronouncing it correctly).
At the check-in desk, I was told that my flight had been delayed an hour and may be delayed additionally. After finding my gate, it wasn't long before my departure was changed 15:20 (instead of 12:55). However, boarding did not begin until 15:40. Once ready for departure, an announcement was made in Russian, I presumed from the people's reaction it was a delay (later to discover it was twenty minutes). A bit later another announcement was made which seemed to upset the cabin crew followed by another. I thought I heard someone say, "Another night in Rome!" Oh no! Had they cancelled our flight? What was going on? I heard an Italian from Sicily mention a few words of English to his wife. Yes! Someone who speaks English!! I inquired as to what was going on. Where now delayed at least another hour. What a refielf! At least we the flight wasn't cancelled, but since we were on the plain I had no way to contact anyone to get a hold of Shushan that I was going to be late. Hopefully information would be passed along to the Ukrainian airport. Now the captain came out and was making phone calls ... something was certainly wrong.
|Boarding the Plane to Ukraine!|
Once in the air, the flight attendants again served us sandwiches and drinks. Upon arriving and finding my luggage, I was finally able to meet my good friend Shushan Richardson around 11:30 PM. How good it was to see her! It makes arriving so much more enjoyable to have someone waiting for you. :) Come to find out, the airline would tell her nothing as to the reason for our delay or when we might be in. Left in state of suspense, she changed the plans for the evening and booked rooms at a local hotel. Upon arriving at the hotel I met Josh and Lauren, two interns who were staying with Shushan for the summer. We spent the remainder of the evening and well into early morning, 4:30 to be pricise, talking and sharing stories and updates over a cup of cherry juice. I was so blessed and encouraged to hear what God is doing, and trust she was as well.
In Ukraine. This is the bus we took from the Airport to the Train Station
on Sunday Morning.
Monument to Berehynia
|Cathedral of the Dormition|
On our way back, we picked up some ice cream - something frowned upon by Ukrainians. They believe the extremities of the temperatures (hot and cold) will make one sick. Once back around the guesthouse, we jumped on a bus to find some dinner and internet to check on my flight status. Where does one find free internet? McDonalds of course! Although McDonalds would not be considered a "nice" restaurant in the US, here it is - often with the main order station and a second Coffee/Bakery station. Unlike much of Europe, Ukraine is not on the Euro. One USD roughly corresponds to eight Ukrainian hryvnia. For supper however, Shushan took us to a traditional Ukrainian restaurant in a mall. One proceeded through the line and added the desired dish to one's tray. The food was very good! After dinner we headed back to McDonalds to jump online once more before heading back to the guesthouse - this time using a city trolley. We arrived back close to ten, and as I had only slept few hours the night before, I came back and crashed until morning.
|Central Italy Countryside|
|Train to Rome|
|More Country Side - the pictures just can't do the mountains justice|
|Train to Rome|
|yes! I made it on the train :)|
|Sample of Graffiti everywhere. This isn't as colorful as most.|
|Seven minutes until departure for airport!|
|Train is arriving in the Roman Station|
|Woah! Look at that line! (on the left ... it wraps around all the way to the line |
on the right and down the hall.
|Most buildings in Ukraine have that "block/square" style.|
|Crossing the River :)|
|With Shushan on the Bus to the Train Station|
|Train Station - where we would be storing our luggage.|
|Inside the Train Station. Very Nice!|
|Next door is the Metro Station|
|Church at ICA - very similar to an American contemporary service.|
Didn't know any of the songs though, but everything was in English.
|The church is renting a small building shown above. (in the distance)|
|Hey, that's me riding the Metro!|
|Metro in Kiev|
|Shushan with Lauren on the Metro in Kiev|
|And Yes, McDonalds is everywhere :) ... stopped here for lunch|
|Fountain on Independence Square|
|Josh taking pictures on Independence Square|
|Notice the Giant Clock in the Background|
|Me in the middle of Independence Square|
|Okay, one of these was New York or Chicago, but I don't remember ...|
Shushan, which one was to US? the km is the distance from there to the
major cities of the world.
|View of the Globe|
|There's chairs growing on that tree! I always wondered|
were they came from :)
|Mall under Independence Square|
|Man playing accordion to traditional Ukrainian Music|
|Large flower shop, but there were many people selling flowers on the |
streets as well.
|Down, Down, Down to the Metro!|
|Lauren is figuring out how to get our luggage out the|
lockers ... they seem to be stuck
|View from our window in the guesthouse|
Stature of the Mother of the Motherland in the distance
|Campus Church building being rebuilt - view from guesthouse window|
|View opposite Mother of the Motherland, overlooking Kiev|
|Mother of the Motherland|
|Lauren, Josh, and myself - climbing on the Tanks|
|Reliefs reflecting the sorrow and devastation of from WWII|
|Look at the baby Tanks!|
|Tanks from WWII|
|This and the image below revolutionized the war. Whereas previously they|
could only fire one missile at time, now they could compete with Germans
by firing a bunch at a time.
|It's cool to see the progression in the technology of the tanks throughout|
the course of the war.
Here is a gentleman singing on the streets :)
|Entering the Kiev Perchersk Lavra Monestary|
|Secondary Entrance - we would end up leaving out of the main entrance|
|Cathedral of the Dormition - note the detail!|
|View of the Great Lavra Belltower|
|Can's see it well on here, but one of the things that broke my heart was the|
beggars. Most were either elderly or disabled. This gentleman can barely
sit up. Another woman I saw early in the day had frequent spasms
and could not sit up and all. :(
|Inside Large Green Dome - see earlier picture and next outdoor image|
|Cathedral of the Dormition|
|Cathedral of the Dormition|
|Looking up the Great Lavra Belltower|
|Cathedral of the Dormition - Close up on left side.|
Service going on Inside the Cathedral of the Dormition - 45 seconds in they begin to sing. Very Cool!
|With Shushan at the the Lavra Monastery|
|Just inside the Main Entrance to Lavra Monastery|
|Old Painting just outside the Main Entrance|
|Another Chapel Outside the Complex|
|Ice Cream in Ukraine! Yumm|
|This was cool - similar to the ladies I had seen in Naples, these are two |
people posing as statues. When someone would drop money in they would
move to a new position. I personally thought the gentleman on the
left did a fantastic job!
|Lunch at a Mall in Kiev - Traditional Ukrainian Food|
Borsch Soup with Salad.
|More Ukrainian Food - You'll have to help me with the names Shushan! ;)|
|Restaurant that we ate at in Kiev|
|yeah, that's what it's called ;)|
|Mall we had been in (above)|
|Christian Guesthouse we stayed at in Kiev|
Will be making another post later this evening about today :)