On Friday (in Russia), we cleaned up the apartment and rearranged it to how it was when we arrived. We packed up all of our things. The Sister Missionaries came over and we gave them the rest of our food from the fridge and cabinets. I withdrew some rubles to pay for the taxi in Moscow and we bought a few more little souvenirs. Sarah & I watched some HOUSE while the girls watched some SpongeBob Squarepants. At 9:30pm, Sveta and the landlord showed up. After getting all our luggage (4 carry-on suitcases, 1 large suitcase, 3 backpacks, CPAP, laptop (in bag), and my purse + coats for everyone + a box of orphanage donations downstairs, we packed it all up in Sveta’s tiny car. Iryna had to sit on top of one of the carryon suitcases on the drive to the train station. Sveta helped us get on the right train car, and put our luggage into our room. There are four beds in the room on the train car, with one communal bathroom per train car. Iryna & Anna took the beds up top (think bunk bed style) and Sarah & I took the beds on the bottom. The train left at 10:45pm, so it was time for bed right when we got on the train. Anna fell asleep before the train even left, whereas it took the rest of us a few minutes. At one point I was dozing off, and suddenly there was a woman in our train car – which scared me to death! She came to collect the tickets and even spoke a very few words of English that I could tell she was happy to be able to use with someone. J
There wasn’t a plug-in inside the room, so I couldn’t use my CPAP. There were plug-ins in the hallway down the train, but I didn’t see how that would work, having people trip over my cord all night and then I couldn’t keep the door closed. With 4 women in our car and no men, I didn’t think we should leave the door open all night. So no CPAP, but I did take melatonin which did help me doze off some. The bed was pretty hard, though, so I flipped from side to side all night and didn’t get much sleep due to my legs being numb.
Vladimir, our taxi driver, showed up at our door on the train car right after we arrived. He was really nice and didn’t speak much English – or so he said to us in English. He thankfully helped us by pulling some luggage on our much-longer-than-I-had-anticipated-walk to the taxi from the train car. We were prepared for a 2 hour drive to the airport, so imagine our surprise when we arrived in 30 minutes. I guess the traffic isn’t too busy in Moscow from 7 to 7:30am.
We had a LONG wait at the airport before we boarded out plane at noon and flew out at 1pm. The flight was pretty uneventful. They played some good movies, which helped pass the time. Iryna behaved exceptionally well until the last 30 minutes or so – and she was completely over stimulated and out of control. That made it “fun” for the 2 hours it took to go through customs, pick up luggage, find and ride the Air Tram, get on the shuttle, and finally get into our hotel room.
We were hungry, so I ordered from a local Italian place. I figured that it would cost more to eat here, since it is NY. I ended up buying $35 worth of food. It ended up being enough to feed an ARMY. We still have ¾ of it left, one day later. We went to bed at 7pm and I woke up at 4am, and then made myself sleep until 5:30am. We got ready and ate breakfast at 6:30am. It was so lovely to have an American style breakfast with a TV playing a news station in ENGLISH. Oh, how I’ve missed my country! We’ll leave this afternoon to fly back to FL. I can’t wait to see my husband, Tyler, and son, Keith!
We haven’t heard any updates on Calvin’s surgery. I hope it went well and that he’s recovering well. He had a hard recovery from his first surgery, so I hope this one will be smoother. Prayers are still appreciated, as heart surgery is extensive and very serious. Thanks!
Goodbye Nizhny Novgorod - we'll be back soon! Hugs and kisses to my boys: Calvin & Silas! Your mama loves you lots!