Archive for February, 2006

They DO!!!





Chingis & Ksusha’s (Maya’s sister) wedding was beautiful. About 100 people came to the ceremony, and the same number for the banquet. They did much to honor Christ on their wedding day.

 

I witnessed everything through the viewfinder and took 400 pictures (@ my usual 10% success rate). We set up one photo after the ceremony at the city museum (where Chingis works) and aged the colors with Photoshop.

 

Tomorrow, I plan to head to Mongolia. After renewing a document, I hope to return the same day. Maya and the children will stay here with family. If all goes well, we leave here on Tuesday night and, after a quick layover in Chita, we will be home by the weekend.

The Rehearsal

Last night, the wedding party gathered for the first rehearsal, and it went well. It is going to be a very nice wedding, specifically aimed at bringing God glory. Many of those who plan to attend are not Christians, and this will be new for them.

 

Since I am supposed to be the photographer, I went to get a feel for the light and the program and to scope out some nifty angles. I only shot about fifty pics. The lighting is hard to work with. The ceiling of the building does not bounce flash the way that I like, and I need to figure out a way to make it more natural. The second rehearsal is tonight. The wedding is Friday.

 

As far as vacations go, this time is busier than normal. Each day, we have lots of family events and people to see; but we are enjoying it very much. David and Hannah are having a ball with their grandparents.

Free at Last

Yesterday, I walked away from the train station a free man. Of course, the train must be nicer than prison, but it was still confining.

All joking aside, it is really nice to be w/family, and I am thankful that everything went so well on the trip here. Maya and I are looking forward to 1 & 1/2 weeks of vacation here. I'll post some photos when I get a chance.

On a technological note: I am still posting with my handheld device via GPRS. It is worth mentioning that things have changed in Siberia. I counted 15 GPRS zones between Novosibirsk and UU. 5 years ago, connecting to the internet in Siberia took considerably more effort.

Rolling Existence

There is much less free time on trains than one might expect. The kids need near-constant entertainment; an outlet for their spring of energy. David takes to running up and down the hallway. Hannah finds her boredom release in sorrow, and cries inconsolably, even though her needs are met. You gotta love trains.

We just arrived into Irkutsk. No more from-the-train entries, since this is the last GPRS 'hot spot'.

Train Life

Lots of tourists pay the big bucks (the price is higher over the internet) to travel the Trans Siberian Railroad. I do not think I will take such an excursion for pleasure, though I still recommend it to those who enjoy adventure and improvised living situations :-). Highlights include incredibly hot cabin temperatures, bored-silly children, long lines for the strange toilet and eating exotic foods that require only boiling water to prepare.

Today is our second day on board. So far, all is well. We arrive tomorrow afternoon. My cell phone is about out of range, so I better post this. Next post will be from the next major city, Irkutsk.

Light Blogging Ahead

We depart in the morning for 2.5 riveting days on the Trans-Siberian Railroad (actually, it is a lot of fun for the family, time to read, etc). We arrive in U.U. on Monday afternoon. Maya and the children will stay with her parents while I go to Mongolia to renew a document. The wedding is on Friday – I hope to be back in time.

Until I get back from Mongolia, I will probably blog on this little handheld device of mine, and upload posts when I get in cell-phone coverage areas. Since trains are usually newsless, you won't miss much from my sparse blogging. 🙂

Thanks for your prayers for us on these 2 weeks of travel; for my document renewals, and for the wedding.

The Fear Factor

Twice in the last week, people have tried to manipulate David with fear. I do not mean instilling healthy fears like saying, “Don’t play in the street or you might get hit by a car.”; or a respectful type of fear by reminding him to consider the consequences. E.g., “If you refuse to obey me you know that I will have to punish you.” I mean purposely scaring the little three-year-old to achieve a desired end.

A few days ago, an eight-year-old neighbor girl came to play with David and Hannah while the babysitter was here. After David did something bad, she locked him in the bathroom, turned off the light and said that a goblin was going to eat him. After a few minutes, she released him and told him not to misbehave again. It worked, of course. David was an angel the rest of the morning, but he would not go near the bathroom for a few days (which caused obvious problems).

Of course, we talked with the babysitter and the neighbor girl when we figured out what happened. We have to keep in mind that many consider that sort of tactic the norm. I am sure that it will not happen again. We finally convinced David that he has nothing to fear in the bathroom, and things in that realm are back to normal.

The second time was yesterday, when I took David and Hannah for a walk. David stopped to beat the snow with a stick and I did not notice for a few moments. When I looked back, I called for him to catch up. David did not seem to hear. Behind us, a babushka (senior citizen) was walking slowly along the path and was almost to David. Trying to help, she looked angrily at him and said, “Little boy, I am going to catch you and stuff you in my bag!” David took one look at this woman, dropped the stick and ran faster than I have ever seen him run. After I calmed him down the babushka came up to us and David hid behind me. I asked her to tell him that she was joking, and she kindly complied. He relaxed.

The good side to all this is that it presented an opportunity to teach David about fear, that he can trust us and God when he is afraid and that God has not given us a spirit of fear

As a protective dad, only one word comes to mind: Unbelievable! Can you imagine what life would be like if God dealt with us, his children, like that?