Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mama had a baby and his legs fell off

It is 11 o'clock Wednesday evening, July 5th, and all is well in Moscow, Russia.

Yesterday was the fourth of July here in Moscow. To celebrate the ocassion we did the one thing any clear thinking American patriot would do. We, took a stroll through the Kremlin, of course. It was not planned in anyway. We had merely planned to meet with Andrea's old friend Sylvia, but as a surprise she meet us and took us straight to the Kremlin gate, and started giving us tons of tour guide information almost instantly, as we passed over the old draw bridge and under the great red walls of the center of Russian power. We were dazzled by all the history that surrounded us inside, walking under the window where Lenin had his private office, passing down walkways once occupied by Stalin, the Romanovs, Ivan the Terrible, Rasputin. Just being an American allowed into the Kremlin is a huge privilage, and a great repesentation of the peace and trust between our countries. We even were allowed into "guided tour only" Armory Palace, where all the oldest and grandest historical items are stored and displayed. There were amazing robes and crowns and carriages and magifacent vases and dishes. Also there was a lot of orthodox history in the Kremlin walls, cathedrals and the temple were the czars were coranated, and then later burried. It was a lot of fun. Andrea really enjoyed visiting with her old friend again and was happy to find that she was very well and energetic. It was a very good day.

The rest of the day was spent getting lost looking for a restraunt that no longer existed, and walking about eight more miles before the sun set. This was a big deal for us because our legs already hurt so much from walking that we nearly didn't make it through the Kremlin without collapsing. When we got home at around midnight we felt like toast. We slept till about 9:30 when we woke up feeling like more toast, this time covered in marmalade, and dipped in cocoa.

Regardless of how we felt today went great. First on our adgenda was to go make sure that Lenin was still dead. I just don't think I could sleep at night if I wasn't sure. I guess it's important for a lot of people because Russia has conveniently placed his body on display in the main town center and large lines of people wait daily for a chance to go see him everyday. But for some reason Red Square (named after it's distinctive color and shape) was closed off this morning, and they were not letting anyone go visit his masoleum anymore. Maybe Lenin had decided to take the day off and go to McDonalds with his family or something. We plan to go tomorrow morning if everthing goes well. I don't think I will be able to take a picture, but I'll be sure to tell you how he is doing.

After being denied entry into Red Square we went up to the university of Moscow were we could look over the city and attempt some pictures. Sadly there were a lot of trees and olympic ski jumps blocking most of the good views, but we had a good time experiencing a different part of the city.

We meet with Yuri this afternoon. Yuri is a good friend of Andrea's and is a very devoted evangelist here in the city. He is now living in a suburb of Moscow and took us to see his wonderful family, and see the house that he is building for them. He has a wonderful attitude and his wife Katya was pregnant with their third child, full of smiles and joy, and made us a very tasty meal, in that order. Their two children Mila and David were adorable. Mila is about five and became a good friend after she got over her intial shyness, which had her climbing behind her dad's back when we first arrived. I think the Piglet pezz dispenser helped break the ice. It's always fun listening to little Russian kids, who are that age, talk in Russian. However, it's frustrating to not understand them and know that we have been studying Russian for a lot longer than they have.

Mainly the only highlight of the trip home from Yuri and Katya's was went I nearly got arrested, or shot, or fined, or deported, or launched into space, I didn't completely understand. I was taking a rather lame picture of the above ground metro line when a man in a blue uniform came up and starting telling me something about how I was his least favorite person on the planet and he wanted to beat me up. At least that's what his tone of voice said, I have no idea what he was really saying because I was too startled to pay attention. We showed him my passport and explained to him that we were tourists (making sure to say the word correctly, as it can sometime sound a lot like terrorists) . He didn't trust me a whole lot, and I don't blame him. Who takes pictures of dumb trains? I just have a bad habit of taking lots of really bad random pictures I guess. I then had to take out my camera and show him all the pictures I had taken that day, and rather embarrassingly explain them. "Here I am with a little girl in goggles." "This is me with some flowers in my pocket." "Here's a picture I took of some wire I thought looked cool on the ground." I think he got the point and wasn't too impressed with my vacation photos, because he quickly waved us away a short while into my slideshow. I'm glad he didn't let me keep going though because the picture of the metro rail was the last picture I needed to completely fill my 1 gig camera card.

Tomorrow night we leave for St. Petersburg. It will be an exciting couple of days to finalize our trip. We are staying at a bed and breakfast in the center of town and plan to visit with the church in Lomonosov on Sunday. This being the congregation that I would have been living and working with for two years had God not had other plans and sent me to Ukraine. It should be interesting.

-James

2 comments:

  1. Great pictures, love the buildings. Don't ya wish we had old places like that here?

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  2. Melody12:08 PM

    Mila is so big!! I miss Katya and Uri. It looks like you guys saw a lot of old friends. It is hard to believe the we lived there. Congradulations on your first year of marriage. They say that is the hardest one.

    Miss you and thanks again for the Christmas/Brithday package.

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