Thursday, July 06, 2017

Made it to Ukraine!

We said our goodbyes to Mitch yesterday morning, after a crazy morning of finishing up packing and getting ready for the trip. I took him to church, where a group of people gathered to pray over the team (Mitch and two others from our church). After the time of prayer (we were running late), we shuffled and weighed the checked bags again. They could each bring 3 large suitcases, but they had to be under 50 lbs each. This one was over, that one was get the idea. Mitch took quite a bit of heavy stuff in his carry-on bag. And we even took out a few pounds of less-needed items and put them back into storage for the next trip. Someone snapped pictures of the contents in each bag (in case they were lost). Then it was really time for me to say goodbye. I could have easily been crying all morning, so at this point, when Mitch leaned over and gave me a kiss on the head, I had to make a run for the car where I felt I could cry and get it over with. ;) 

At the airport, check-in went smoothly. The first bag they weighed was a hair over, and the ticket agent said she would give them grace on it. The next couple bags were a bit more over, so they again shuffled the weight. Then they put a bag on the scale and it was over 80 lbs!!! There was no way they could redistribute 30 lbs. Mitch thought it was impossible that we had been that wrong on one of the bags. He picked it up and put it down on the scale again...this time it was in the 70s. They weren't sure what to do, when the agent got a smile on her face, and Mitch saw that she had her foot on the scale. ^^ He high-fived her and thanked her for the prank...he said that's exactly something he would have done. When he took his carry-on through security he got flagged because the x-ray couldn't see through it. He had a solid block of wood in there as well as several bags of brown sugar. That made an interesting story for the TSA agent as he explained why they were bringing brown sugar to Ukraine (you can't get it there, or at least not the same stuff). 

I got that story while Mitch was waiting to get on his flight. About an hour and a half later I got one more phone call from him as they were boarding. It was so weird to just go to bed last night, knowing they were somewhere over the Atlantic. I was tempted to stay up, watching flight aware, and wondering if they made their connections. At something like 5:30 am I heard my phone vibrate a few times, and even though I didn't really want to get up yet, I couldn't resist checking it. Mitch messaged me to let me know they had made it to Ukraine, they had all their luggage, but some things inside had broken open. I didn't get any more details about what, if it made a huge mess, or if it is salvageable. I hope that it is. 

{Mitch texted me this picture at 5:30 am}

They should be safely to Horol by now, but I haven't heard yet (see edit below). Horol is 8 hours ahead of us in the Central US (7 hours ahead of y'all on the East Coast, and 1 hour ahead of Germany). So as I'm writing this, it's almost 8 pm where they are. They haven't been in bed since yesterday morning. I hope that they will sleep well "tonight" and that their internal clocks will adjust to the new time zone quickly.

Edit: I just heard from Mitch as he is heading to bed. He said, "Today was filled with blessings, from the comical Delta lady to the luggage coming on time, seeing far off friends, and teaching 4-square." He also said that it was boxes of macaroni shells that broke open in the suitcase, so those can be easily replaced (they had 2 boxes for the American meal they will cook for the family). He teased me and said that Pastor Grigorii reminded him that he was supposed to bring me with him the next time he came back. ;) I wondered if it felt like Edmund going to the White Witch's castle without his brother and sisters. He laughed and said that Zhenya will still feed him. I asked him if Miroslav is huge and he said yes...and that part really feels like Narnia where the time moves more quickly.

Prayers for a good night's sleep for the team! "for he gives to his beloved sleep." Psalm 127:2b

My Obi seems to be missing Mitch more than everyone else, and he was asking me a lot when does Daddy come home. So I made him a countdown chain. I put the days that Mitch will be in Ukraine in the Ukranian flag colors and the days that he will be in Germany in the German flag colors. It doesn't seem so long now, though when I'm used to having him around every night, it's harder. I looked back through facebook posts and my blog archive to remember what it was like 2 years ago when Mitch and Micah went to Ukraine...Eden wasn't home (she went to Washington with Hope), and I had a horrible cold virus. I was so sick! This time, Eden is home and so far I'm not sick. Plus Genna generally sleeps through the night and I don't have any diapers to change! It's not so bad after all. I made a list of projects I would like to get done, and if I can get started on those I will feel much better (emotionally). 

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