Sunday, March 14, 2010

Good Bye Denver Hello Europe

Greetings! I originally wrote several blogs on paper during our initial travel to Ukraine. However, I have been slow to actually post them to this blog. I have a great desire to keep up with our blog and share our stories and life with you. I recently looked back at our posts from Peru. Blogs are such a great way to capture memories. I hope you enjoy reading and following along in our adventures. Let me start from the beginning of our travel to Kiev......

I left Compassion July 2009 in preparation for our move to Eastern Europe. Before we were to embark on this new adventure Adam and I decided to make a trip to Brazil to see our filho (son in Portuguese). Mom traveled with us to see Bruno and meet his wonderful family. While we were there we had the opportunity to visit San Paulo, Piracicaba, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, and Paraty. It was a very special time with Bruno and a great start to our endless travels!

Rio de Janeiro
And of course no trip to Brazil would be complete unless there was a futbol game involved! Loco por ti Corinthians! This was the most intense sports game I have ever been to. Drums started before the game and never stopped until long after the end. Love the passion and excitement!
After we returned home from Brazil we had one last week to say good bye to the USA. August 4, 2009 we went to Denver airport with our dog and four bags, not fully knowing what awaited us on the other side of the world. We were incredibly blessed along our trip to Ukraine. We were not charged anything for extra weight or extra bags. Once we got on the plane we became aware that the airline had double booked our seats. As two passengers sat contently in our seats the flight attendant looked frantically for a place for us to move to. Mr. Flight Attendant approached us and began, "I am terribly sorry, but............" Uh, my heart sank. Wait a minute I have everything I own strapped to my back and in the belly of this plane, am leaving my home and everything I know, moving half way around the world and......... my panic was interrupted by him continuing his sentence, ".... I'm going to have to move you to Business Class."

Peru was a big move for me. It was three months away from home. I can't believe how that felt like such a long time. Three months is a blink. I never thought I'd move so far from home and for so long. Our commitment to QSI is 2 years. It was hard for me to leave, as I was sad to leave my family for such a long time. I also had many fears about what to expect when we arrived to such a foreign land. Relaxing in Business Class (BC) sure helped ease the tension. However, I am now ruined forever, as I now know what happens behind the curtain! We had a seat that reclined into a bed, and which also had a massage feature. We were offered hot towels scented with fresh lemon. Did I mention BC also comes furnished with it's very own chef? Let me give you a taste of the all inclusive menu we so greatly took advantage of:

Choice of Starters:
-Grilled Chicken Caesar, Baby Romaine, and Parmesan Cheese Croutons
-Cabernet Poached Pear, Toasted Walnuts, Baby Romaine, and Sherry Vinaigrette
-Beet Cured Salmon, Fennel, Cucumber, and Minted Yogurt

-Arctic Char, Balsamic Roasted Red Onions, Potatoes, Fava, Parsley and Horseradish Sauce
-Grilled Chicken Breast, Asparagus Risotto Cake, Zucchini, Lemon Thyme Jus
-Caramelized Carrot Risotto

Cheese and Dessert: (Man I am getting hungry typing this!)
-Sage Derby, Gruyere, and Cambozola
-Fruit Salad
-Madeleine with Strawberry and Whipped Cream

I would go on to list all the special wines they paired with each course, but you get the idea..... we were spoiled. Rotten.

Once we landed in Germany for a 10 hour layover, we met up with Ben's family. Ben was a friend of Bruno's and also a foreign exchange student from Germany. They gave us a wonderful 10 hour whirlwind tour of Frankfurt. And, there was enough time for a German Beer, bratwurst and sauerkraut!

We arrived in Kiev at 1am August 6, 2009. I can't remember my exact emotions or feelings at this time. I do remember a mad rush to immigration, with no lines formed at all (since I have learned this mob IS considered a 'line' by Ukrainian standards). There were no friendly smiles or "Welcome to Kiev". As I got through customs there I saw my little dog on the other side! I was so excited to see him, as he was me too! Poor Riley. We put his crate and all of our bags on three carts and pushed them toward passenger pick up. I'd push one cart for a moment and then run back and push the other one. As I grabbed on to a cart with our luggage I heard Riley's cart come crashing down. I rushed over to see if he was ok and struggled to quickly lift him back up. It was quite a trip for all of us!

At 2am we were dropped off at our new home nestled on the 16th floor of an apartment building. We made it!

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