Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Blue Sea

We are still killing time in Odessa waiting for Valentina and Sergey's passports to be ready.

Yesterday, we had a rare sunny, beautiful day in Odessa. We decided to go down to the shore again, as the day before it was very cold and overcast. It was great to enjoy ourselves in the fresh sea air and sun. It was a real morale booster for me. I grew up at the ocean in Long Beach, CA, so I do enjoy being near the water when I have the chance. The Black Sea was a beautiful blue today.

Though it was sunny and mild, there was still a strong sea breeze. The waves were crashing and the kids enjoyed playing "chicken" with them as they would break.

At the end of the afternoon we took the long way home via downtown Odessa, just enjoying the sights.

We were invited to Sergey's Godmother's apartment for a borsh supper. I had borsh a couple of times in restaurants here but hers was outstanding. We had a nice visit. She showed us a camcorder video of a program that Sergey was in that she went to at Orphanage #4 last year. That was fun.

Last night I was looking at pictures from the day and was thinking to myself how different this day was for them than it would have been had they been in their orphanages. I wish all those kids had families to do things with.

I was able to talk to Nancy this morning. All is ready back home for our arrival. We will be home soon, it just depends on when their passports are ready. We have been told today, but who knows? Things will move quickly for us once we get the word. We'll need to pack and cart all of our food, games, and movies over to M's, and say goodbye. We'll probably try to move a bunch over today yet if we can, even if the passports aren't ready yet. As we start making preparations to leave Odessa, I think it will start sinking in with the kids that they really are going to America!

Blessings to you!

Here are some pictures.

Walking down to Chevchenko Park and the shore. The pink building on the corner is being restored. You see a lot of this right now in Odessa. The sea air is very hard on buildings. Many others are in need of restoration.

At Chevchenko Park, stray dogs and people were enjoying the beautiful day.

Portraits of Valentina and Sergey overlooking the Black Sea.

The flame at the Memorial to the Unknown Seaman burns eternally, except when it doesn't. These workers were doing maintenance on it.

The kids enjoyed themselves at the shore.

We took the scenic way back to our apartment. Here, Chevchenko Park overlooks the southern end of the Port of Odessa. Ukraine's main exports are wheat and steel. A lot of it goes out here.

There are many monuments in Chevchenko Park.

Nancy called from America while we were on our way downtown. Had to tell her to call back later as the city noises made it difficult to hear.

Yet another monument to someone or other in Odessa.

A couple of famous landmarks along Primorsky Boulevard.

This pedestrian bridge is caller Lover's Bridge. There are thousands of lovers' personalized padlocks locked to the bridge's fences here. In the second picture, their names are Alyena and Sasha. Some of the padlocks had very elaborate engraving. Some very large padlocks had long script, I suppose a love note of some kind. While we were there, we did see people walking along the bridge and actually reading the locks. At the other end of the bridge are little scenic photo spots for lovers to take their pictures. They have a gazebo, arch bridge, overlook, wishing well, and a statue.

We were invited to Sergey's Godmother's apartment for delicious borsh and a nice time of visiting. She has been very kind to us.

A little example of the kids playing.


MamaPoRuski said...

Just checking in! We too had the same beautiful weather yesterday and now it's back to gray and windy. Praying for those passports to come soon! God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Alan, these pictures are great. I hope you get out of there soon and it looks like you and Nancy are going to have your hands full with those two. They seem to be getting along so well and pray for your safe return trip. That Valya is a cutie pie. Welcome to the "club" of Dads with daughters. I'm so blessed, I wanted two :))) Two weddings, two things to worry about at night. You get the point. Many blessings to you guys.

Conethia and Jim Bob said...

You always have such beautiful pictures!

drdavid said...

We continue to keep your new family in prayer. You are certainly on the home stretch. I also grew up in Long Beach so there is just one more thing we have in common. It will be so much fun to meet in person some day soon.
We know how difficult this last stretch is. We will keep you in constant prayer. Our God is faithful and will complete all that He has begun in you and your family. God's blessings.
Cindie Wolff

Anonymous said...

Very cool pictures! I especially like the ones by the water. Nancy says you may be back in Mitchell on Friday. We may get to stop by on Monday to meet your new kids as we will be coming through from the cabin.

Anonymous said...

oops- the last comment was from Val