13 November 2007

The Color of the Clouds

Note: I was finally able to publish on the 13th, so am publishing several days of blogs at once.


It’s a bit bizarre to think that it’s now the 9th of November, yet we never officially left the 8th behind. Nine time zones will do that to travelers, I guess. We flew overnight on a cramped American Airlines 777 (thank goodness for personal TVs to help pass the time), and at Frankfurt, Germany, transferred to a Luftansa Airbus to finish our journey to St Petersburg. A thick cloud cover hid the countryside as we flew and had our first experience with breakfasts of meat, cheese and vegetables. As we descended, the clouds faded away to a grey landscape dotted with miles of high-rise buildings - from the air, no color, no neighborhoods. Only apartments as far as the eye could see.

We landed and entered the smoke-filled airport, which like the landscape lacked color or personality. After moving through customs and getting our suitcases, we journeyed to our hotel – the Park Inn which is located on one of the many islands of St Petersburg. Our hotel is a high-rise overlooking the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland. The accommodations are good and the water is hot. And the windows can be opened, acting as both air-conditioning in an otherwise very warm existence and a refrigerator for our water and Coca Lights (thank you Coca-Cola).

Our group has come from throughout the United States, with a single mission in mind – to offer love and compassion to orphans. We have packed our bags with craft supplies, humanitarian aid, stuffed animals, and candy. The bible school materials are ready and we anxiously await our first visit.

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