Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Kyiv Trip re-cap part 13 (the end)

This is the last of my re-cap posts of my wonderful Kyiv, Ukraine adventure to visit my dear, sweet friend Tara and her family.

As I mentioned in prior posts, I am losing the battle with Blogger about where my pictures are placed. So you may want to read this post from the bottom up since I put "the end" at the beginning...

Tara is truly the ultimate hostess: gracious, thoughtful, classy and just makes her home a relaxing and inviting place.

Here is a perfect example. She went out and got (not nearly as easy as that phrase would indicate) fresh, purple-on-purpose flowers to put next to my bed.

The Lord has been so gracious to provide Tara to me as a friend. We met in college an undisclosed number of years ago, and were friends then, though not super close. After several years of falling out of touch, thanks to the technology of e-mail, we reconnected many years ago. Now I consider her and thank God that she is one of my very closest friends. I cannot tell you what a blessing this godly woman is to me. She is a wonderful encourager and true friend - one that speaks truth in love, listens endlessly and accepts me for who I am. I pray that the Lord will bless her and her sweet family abundantly. Thank you, Tara, for the adventure of a lifetime!

This was the last gate screen in my Ukrainian adventure - in the Atlanta airport before the last of 3 sections of my trip back to Dallas.

While it would have been lovely to have a long enough layover in Paris to sight-see, it makes me happy that I passed through there and got some authentic French chocolate! I was glad to arrive in Paris as the flight from Kyiv had felt much longer than the flight from Dallas to Amsterdam 10 days prior, even though they were about the same length of time...I guess you can chalk that up to the anticipation of seeing a long-time friend in a new country vs. coming back "home" with no one to greet me at the gate (not feeling sorry for myself there, just statement of truth).

Here is the sign in the Kyiv airport for the 1st of my 3 legs back to TX:

Here is the gate from which my flight left Kyiv. Alas, my Ukrainian adventure had come to an end and it was time to head back to Dallas. I'm so thankful to have had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

I hope you have enjoyed my little re-caps. It's so hard to capture in words what those eleven days of my life were like. I've been back a full week already, and yet I feel like I haven't totally digested it all. Adjectives like wonderful, eye-opening, life-changing, refreshing, relaxing yet exciting don't come close to an accurate description of this adventure. It was the first time I'd been out of the US, it was the longest time I'd ever been off work, it was a long, long ways away...but worth every blister, headache and cent to see wonderful friends in a foreign land! It was certainly a blessing I will NEVER forget!

THE END (of my re-caps, but not the memories!)

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