Being out of town takes one out of their routine. I went to Odessa to talk to young people about Kazakhstan and our project to send missionaries from Ukraine there. However, I have never been to Odessa and so I decided to go a couple of days early to see the sights.
Odessa sits on the Black Sea and is a port city where many products arrive and leave. I stayed with another IMB couple, Dan and Mary Ellen, who live in the northern section of the city.
When I arrived on Saturday, it was raining, and it rained and rained and rained that day. They had quite a bit of flooding as a result of the rain.
Fortunately, it did not flood where they lived, but we went to the bus station to pick up my friend Mark, who was coming in from Russia. So, on the drive home from the bus station we had to take about a 45 minute detour to get around the streets that had flooded.
Sunday I went to church with them and then we ate lunch in a Mexican restuarant in downtown (I will be in Texas soon eating some really good Mexican food!!!). After lunch, we walked down to the harbor, so a fort, and then took a boat ride into the sea. The water was quite choppy and I got a little seasick (probably since I had just eaten lunch).
We walked through the main park and saw a concert, then walked to an Orthodox church and then headed home and had dinner in their backyard.
On Monday, we all went to the beach and had a great time. I even covered myself with clay (and people in America pay BIG BUCKS for this treatment and I got it for free!) I hope to have some photos of my before, during and after the clay treatment.
We had a picnic on a cliff overlooking the sea, took lots of pictures and then we went back to the seaside, covered ourselves again and then played frisbee. It was great fun and very relaxing!
On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings I passed out flyers and spoke to young people about our project and met a couple of people interested. Only God knows for sure what will come about.
Wednesday afternoon, we said goodbye to Odessa and made the 5 1/2 hour trip home. It was great to relax, but now I have much to do over the next few days before leaving for vacation on September 1.
I hope to go back to Odessa some day and see more of the sites. It is a nice city with lots of tourist potential.