We had mostly an uneventful arrival of our team from Switzerland. We were quite surprised at how quickly this team of twenty-one made their way through passport control and luggage claim. Absolutely no problems.
Our hired bus arrived within minutes of our call saying that we were ready for pickup. The day earlier when we made the down payment, the company upgraded us to a slightly larger bus…at no additional cost. What a blessing! The bus driver had his hands full trying to fit all of the luggage and passengers on board. The team was great as we put together the jigsaw puzzle. Unfortunately for the driver, because it took him longer than the allowed 10-minute free pickup time, he was charged for parking. Let’s just say that it’s a good thing that everyone didn’t understand Russian.
Jim pointed out historic sites along the scenic route to our camp headquarters. And it began to rain. Thankful that we were all loaded on the bus before it started. And a slow drizzle certainly did not soak us while unloading.
Anatoliy arrived at the site ahead of the bus and worked out the kinks in the room arrangements before most of the team even knew that there had been a problem. (We were told that there was one more room on the first floor than there actually is. Anatoliy was able to add beds to other rooms to still accommodate the guests by their assigned roommates.)
Luba was busy in the kitchen and the aroma wafting through the site was amazing. We were suddenly aware that we had no seating for the team to eat. The kitchen area is extremely small so when preparations for meals are happening, it is impossible to sit in there as well. the plan had been to sit outside at tables, but the weather literally dampened that idea. But, we still needed to sit. Fortunately help was just a phone call away…soon we had four tables end to end in the hallway. Not great, but workable. No one left the table hungry, for sure. If so, it was not because there wasn’t enough yummy food!
The leaders created a daily devotional for the team children. Did I mention that the majority of the team are children? We joined them in their devotional time and were encouraged by their attention and their questions…recall that their day started at 3 a.m.
The younger children were excused to go to bed while the older ones played a few hands of uproariously funny cards. Can you say sleep depraved?
The adults again met to discuss how the day went, any problems with the children, and sampled some authentic Swiss cheese with some Moldovan rose. Too sweet was the consensus. The team wants to treat Saturday’s dinner guests to cheese and wine, but we are uncertain of which wine. We’ll try a different one tonight.
A time of prayer and then we all retired to our rooms. A long day with much anticipation for a great week.