Thursday, June 23, 2016

Latvia: Day One

Whew! We all made it in one piece to Latvia. The journey was definitely very long with 24+ hours of traveling and little to no sleep. But we're finally at Saint Gregor's Christian Mission Center and have settled into our rooms. I'm so thankful that God got us safely through no less than four flights and that he also brought this incredible group of people together from all over the US. I'm excited to get to know everyone on our team and all of the students/teachers/translators in Latvia! Grateful is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel about God providing a way for me to take this trip. 

As I write this it is 5:30 in the afternoon in Latvia and I am doing my darnedest to stay awake so my body can get adjusted to the local time zone. Let me just say that trying not to fall asleep when you haven't slept for 24 hours is one of the most exhausting things ever. And trying to form coherent thoughts is also struggle so bare with me folks. 

Our flight from New York to Moscow was the longest I'd ever flown in a plane and the first time I'd ever flown over seas. And I'm not really eager to do it again. I thought family road trips were bad but transatlantic flights are almost ten times worse. But I made it and nothing overly terrible happened so I guess it was fine. 

Anyways, when we arrived in Latvia I finally got a stamp on my passport (!!!) then we met up with the instructor of Striki school and took a bus to lunch. Lunch was at the place called Lodi in a mall close to the airport. It was a sort of MCL cafeteria type thing but it was waayyy better. Nothing beats sausage, potatoes, and 10 different types of salad all with dill in them. I can already tell that I will definitely be eating well in Latvia. :) 

One of the things that struck me the most (especially when we were in Moscow) was how barely anybody was speaking English anymore. I've become so accustomed to English being the major language spoken pretty much everywhere I've forgotten "Oh yeah, people in Russia actually speak Russian not English". It's definitely different being surrounded by more non-English speakers than English speakers but it is a good reminder for me that we are not the only language in the world. 

Although Latvia doesn't strike me as much different from the US thus far, I'm eager to explore the differences between the two. I can't wait to see how God will move in the lives of the kids we're going to teach and the lives of this team as well. And, as always, thank you all for everything you've contributed (money, prayer, supplies) that made this trip possible for me and the rest of the team. Continue to pray for the whole team and that this will be an opportunity for God's presence to grow here. 

Much love,


p.s. I apologize for any grammatical errors I've made. Fixing grammar mistakes with no brainpower is a very difficult to do. 

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