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Dan showing a film in the village
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Another day in Krakow…

Well, the Lord saw fit to not make our paths straight today.  Great!  (What a pathetic faith I’m sure some people think we have!  When things go good, we say that God blessed; when things don’t go well, we say that God blessed and we trust Him.) 

We lodged three applications for visas today.  The consulate refused to accept the three girls applications because their names were not listed on the letter of invitation.  I say the words, “Love bureaucracy,” a lot.  If I don’t, I’m afraid I might get a bad attitude. 

I quickly ran off to find a wi-fi, (pronounced “wee-fee” in Poland), network so that I could Skype Andrei in Kiev to ask if he could get a letter of invitation done up real quick for the girls.  Thankfully he wasn’t on holiday and was able to get one done.  He takes it to the ministry of culture tomorrow and we’ll hopefully be able to get them submitted before noon.  It will mean an extra day in Krakow, but that’s a small price to pay.

We spent the afternoon walking around the picturesque old town – ate at an outdoor cafe, sat in a 900+ years church building and listened to someone playing the pipe-organ, shopped in a second-hand shop (go Pris!), watched a statue “guy” do his stuff, and walked too far.  Elle only asked once when we were going to get “there”…  We’ll rent some bikes tomorrow and cycle a bit further out if the weather is good.

Krakow

We are in Krakow.  Surely you knew that Krakow is in Poland?  :)  Nice place.  People are so friendly and helpful.

We got up at 2:00 this morning and drove to Lvov, not sure if we’d be able to buy tickets on the train or not.  It worked out perfectly though.  God made our paths straight, just as we had prayed.  It was really quite delightful how it all worked out.

Getting through the border was a breeze… although I still easily recognized the vast difference between the Ukrainian culture and the Polish culture.  The Ukrainian border control people were curt, demanding, rude, accusatory, suspicious and all-round unpleasant… all except the guy who asked if we were taking any tanks or bombs out of the country.  : )  He was friendly.  That was so weird. 

The Polish people were quiet, efficient and polite.  Now THAT was so nice.

We slept half the day away on the trip in the train.  Arrived at about 5:30.  We booked an apartment which is sufficient for our needs and are now, very ready for bed.

Here are a few photos I have gathered over the past week.  We spent four days with Priscilla’s parents in Rovno before coming out here.  And we’ll be here 7 days waiting for visas to be granted.  Tomorrow morning, we will be up early standing at the beginning of the line to the consulate (hopefully).

 

Fairy floss?  Candy Floss?                       At the zoo with the brass wild goat statue.

Documents and Bureaucracy

At rest, my heart rate is 50 beats a minute.  Apparently, that is the heart rate of an athlete.  The only problem with that is that I am NOT an athlete.  At this particular stage in my life, I am watching with a wary eye a middle that has spread way more than I ever thought I’d let it.  What happens to my heart beat if I actually DO get fit again?IMG_0622

We went down to tea with Shane and Jemi this week where the setting sun caused me to quickly pull out my phone and snap a picture of Pris.  You are the beneficiaries.  :)

We are doing well.  This last week we’ve pulled together several (seven) documents necessary to obtain a letter of approval from the ministry of culture so that we can then apply for a visa in Krakow, Poland.  There are new laws and new departments and new fees making the process more complex.  Thankfully, they have approved us for one year, but we are going to try again to get them to approve us for three years.  If they do and if the embassy in Poland grants the visa, then we save about $6000!  So we are praying that the extra documents we have submitted will be sufficient to change their minds… or satisfy their bureaucratic “bone”.  We leave Ukraine on the 3rd of August. 

The Camp Report

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I think the time away on Snake Island is my favorite time of the year.  … those 6 days just pip the Christmas season for 1st place.

Inclement weather notwithstanding, it was another special week filled with relaxing, teaching, meeting up with old friends again, and enjoying the camping experience.  Oh!  There were also competitions, (like this one where a team had to eat several raw potatoes – apparently extremely difficult for some people!) 

 

 

This year, Pris and the kids and I went out a day early so that the 55 people who joined us didn’t have to wait so long for a ride out.  We decided we liked being out there before everyone else arrived.  We had just two boats ferrying people and supplies, so it took a while Monday to finish up the trips.  Shane was a champ.  He and Jem were overseers for the week.  They did great.