Sunday, June 25, 2006

Another note from Anna

I'm in Kovrov again for three hours. We're passing through on our way out to the tent camp in Sudugdo. Camp starts tomorrow and we'll return to Vyazniki either Sat. or Sun. As is usual here, we found out thirty minutes before we needed to leave that we were going to leave. Make sense? We were in the kitchen preparing lunch and the director came up to me and said we had thirty minutes to pack for six days and eat lunch. After 20 minutes, he was ready to go. =-) He dropped us off at our brother's apartment while he goes to another town to pick up some more workers.
About this past week: we basically had a week of rest, with youth meetings in the evenings. We went on lots of walks around the city, prepared for this coming week's camps, played a lot of card games(it's amazing how many card games you can play with one deck of UNO cards), watched Russian movies and cartoons on the computer and were very hot. The weather here is not as hot as NC, but for here- it's very hot this summer. Usually, it's very cool and I love it. This year it's hot and humid. There's no air conditioning and hygiene here isn't quite the same as in the US. The combination of heat, sweat and body odor is quite, um........overpowering? We've been walking down to the river to swim every day. It's so refreshing and yet so gross, all at the same time. It smells fishy and there's all kinds of stuff floating in the water. I didn't bring a swimsuit with me, so I'm swimming in capris and a tank top. I get out and my clothes are brown. So everyday, we all go back to the church, hand wash our clothes, and take a "bath."
We are all sleeping in the director's church, where the only running water is in the kitchen sink. God bless Larissa(the director's wife). A few days ago, she set up a bathing room for us outside in the little tool shed. It's a small wooden building about 4ft, by 4 ft. It's full of tools and other assorted garden things, and is our "shower" stall. She nailed up plastic table cloths so that no-one could see in, and cleared a shelf for us to set our stuff on. The door is held shut by a bent nail that you turn to "lock" the door.. We fill a bucket with really cold water(the only choice) from the sink, carry it outside, and use a ladle to wash. It's a little basic, but when there's no other option, it's pretty great. It's right next to the outhouse, though, so it sometimes gets a little odiferous out there.
The outhouse: most of you have heard me talk about the outhouses here. The outhouse at the church is pretty decent compared to many others I've experienced. It's a stall built over a hole dug in the ground. You step up on a platform and for lack of a better word, squat over a hole cut in the platform. I keep having this strange urge to turn around and flush. Another interesting thing: in most stores, train and bus stations, etc. the toilets are also squat pots. You pay a lady outside the restroom, get toilet paper beside the sink, and go into a stall. They're porcelain, but you have to squat. Two years ago, I was rather confused when I went into a restroom and could see all these ladies heads over the tops of the doors. I thought perhaps they were all really tall? I opened the door to find real sitdown toilets and realized that all of the ladies had climbed up on the seats and were squatting. When they stood up again, they looked really tall. =-0
Alright, I think that's it for now. Until next time- Anna

Please really be praying about the weather. It's been terribly hot, and Will hasn't been handling the heat well. Today we prayed for cooler weather, and a wonderful thunderstorm rolled in. (Jaan and I went puddle splashing as soon as the thunder part had passed over. ) That cooled everything off beautifully, but it's also not great camping weather. Ivan was worried about having Anna and Abby go at all with all the rain, but I think they were ready to get out and do something. So, pray very specifically, please!

Jaan, Anna, Will and Abby
Originally uploaded by fylliska.


A day in the life... said...

ROFL!!! Great writing..."for lack of a better word squat!" :) praying for you!! esp. the weather... i think if this keeps up we'll have eaten our body weight in tom. & cheese sandwiches!! (or am I the only one who refuses to turn on the stove??)

BabaJulie said...

Oh, yes!! I loved Anna's note today and encouraged everyone to read it!! It is VERY descriptive! And, we are seriously praying for cooler weather! I don't know if this is still true, but Will had low blood pressure at one point and somehow, the heat seems to affect people like that more!! (It sure bothers me!!) I'm sure you're right about Anna and Abby needing to go to the camp. I know Abby must want to do them with heading home so soon!! Love to all!