Monday, June 6, 2011

spa seee ba!

spaseeba means "thank you" in russian! first of all, i want to tell you that pictures are on their way but i do not have any yet. i KNOW! so obnoxious!

i sat on the big plane that was taking us back to the states and LOST IT. i did not want to leave odessa. i did not want my experience on the mission trip to end. why was it so great you ask? my first answer is, "have you ever been on a mission trip??" my other answers i think i am going to put in "list" form because there are too many to put in paragraph form, and you might get bored.

Liz, why did you love your trip to odessa, ukraine?
1.  it was the best experience of my life! (next to child birth and getting married!)
2. my husband was there to experience it with me!
3. we met amazing ukrainian people. interpreters, teachers, children, and street kids.
4. bert got to finish out a room in the street kid center. and have the best meal of his life from the street kid "mom" of the center.
5. OUR TEAM was amazing. our chemistry could not have been better.
6. we BONDED with precious children with autism and cerebral palsy.
7. we walked the kids down to the black sea which was a treat for them because it takes a team to get them there, and they had not seen the sea in about a year.
8. we ate at wonderful restaurants where we could decompress and talk all night.
9. we rode on public transportation where we were squished up next to everyone around us. this was not a favorite memory, but a memory none the less.
10. we toured an orphan halfway house for girls that was one of the NICEST places we had ever seen. we toured their strawberry garden, talked with the girls and had the best meal in ukraine. and two of our girls with us tried to "hypnotize" a chicken!!
11. we watched our special ed students work with the kids and were amazed by them. these kids CAN be taught. it just takes more than one teacher per room. ps. most kids were non verbal.
12. we watched more than one of our teammates cry from the emotions that odessa produces.
13. we played basketball and volleyball with some street kids.
14. we were touched by the love and care that the interpreters took to help us with the children in the orphanage.
15. we toured odessa and got to see the port and pier and climb some stairs very reminiscent of the stairs in "rocky"
16. i bought a painting in the little market across the street from our hotel. it was $10.00!!
17. i buddied up with one of the waiters at breakfast every morning and i miss him!
18. we stayed in a rickity old hotel that was so ukranian and PERFECT!
19. we had to brush our teeth with bottled water.
20. i experienced a "NO TOILET PAPER?" moment.
21.we learned that you are not to make eye contact with men or they would think that you were soliciting them. this was told to me AFTER i looked and smiled at TONS of people.
22. we had daily devotionals, and those times each morning were so precious.
23. and for the finale' of out team members accepted Christ the last night of the trip and now comes to our church!
we had the time of our lives. the work was tough but with God all things are possible. we plan on returning next year.

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