Actually, I must say that if this is truly my worst nightmare, I am in pretty good shape! But I must also say that this is pretty close.
Jim and I accomplished a lot on Friday before leaving town by overnight train. We pushed ourselves right up to the end to finish a newsletter for distribution on Monday, but, alas, the clock kept ticking and the trains here do run on time.
We weren’t sure whether we’d get time online or not once we left home, but we took my laptop…just in case. All we needed to do involved choosing photos and putting them in. Maybe we’d still get it done.
We reached our coupe (sleeping room for four) with nearly 10 minutes to spare. Our good friend Clay was in the coupe next to us so we had some informative and fun conversation as we took turns making our bunks for the night. Jim and I each had bottom bunks…hooray! And our upstairs neighbors were taller and easily made those bunks and climbed in.
Not quite halfway to Odessa, I began to feel horrible. I had had a headache before we left the flat but kept forgetting to take something for the pain. Apparently it reached the level where I was physically sick. I kept trying to talk myself out of it…just relax, fall asleep, forget about it. But at one point through the night, I grabbed the plastic bag that had previously held my sheets…and, yep, threw up. Not in the bag, mind you, because I couldn’t find the opening, but on it so it was contained. Jim must have heard something because he immediately sat up and asked if I was okay. I pitifully responded, “No. I’m sick. Help me. I need a towel.”
So off I traipsed to the toilet. Fortunately that was where I managed to lose most everything else in my stomach.
I returned to the coupe only to have to get up several times. Such a bad night.
We arrived in Odessa at the crack of dawn and reconnected with Clay and a young Ukrainian friend and hailed a car to get us to Clay’s flat. Four of us were smushed into the back seat of a car that had a problem with exhaust fumes permeating the air. I was quite thankful that the trip was a short one.
Once we arrived at the Quarterman’s, Clay’s wife Darlene greeted us with a big smile and asked if there was anything that I needed. I simply responded that I only needed to know the way to the bathroom. Ugh. What a hello, eh?!
I spent the morning on their couch while Jim examined several of the missionary kids living in Odessa. The rest of the crew was shopping and planned a lunch at a local Ukrainian restaurant. Popular opinion was that I should skip lunch.
While everyone was out I woke up again, ate some toast, and continued to sip Diet Coke through a straw. I was definitely feeling better. I jumped in the shower and felt like a new person. A change of clothes and I was back to 80%. Though Darlene had graciously invited me to just stay in Odessa rather than make the 2-hour trip to B-D, I really felt strong enough to travel with the crew.
God was so gracious throughout the entire ordeal. We had bottom bunks. I can’t imagine what I would have done had I tried to climb up and down each time I needed to dash to the toilet. And what a blessing that I was sick in the middle of the night rather than when everyone else would be pounding on the door to wash faces and brush teeth. And how fabulous to have a flat to go to rather than sit at a train station for several hours. Yes, God is good even through the nightmare.
(It is now Tuesday afternoon. I survived the trip to B-D and am now preparing to board the good ‘ol train to return to Kyiv. I will write about our adventures in B-D on another post. But I had started this one, and wanted to finish the story. Thanks for the prayers that many of you on facebook offered up on my behalf. He answered!)