Thursday, May 29, 2008

I am safely in Russia. I had to find an un-marked building in the middle of the city after taking an un-marked bus to an un-marked metro station, standing in line for half an hour to buy one ticket, taking two transfers, and walking through a construction zone. Yep, I'm in Russia.

Pray that my Russian comes back quickly - I can't tell if the people I'm staying with are telling me I can only stay one night or I can stay as long as I want. Haha.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I gave up my cell phone this morning. I feel as though I lack hands. Every few minutes I reach for my phone to call a friend or relative - to complain about a long line or relate a funny story about funny Finnish people and their tall, strange ways. I'm like a smoker who's just put down his last cigarette: I would give anything to use my cell phone one last time!

I'm sitting in a waiting lounge at beautiful JFK airport. Only a few more hours and I will be in Moscow. I'll try to get some sleep on the airplane - We will board at 1AM Russia time - a good time to fall asleep in any country or time zone.

I've had some bad news this week; one of my good friends from my older-adult Sunday School class had a massive stroke this weekend. The uncertainty is very hard on this traveler, but she is a wonderful Christian - and I realize that every time I leave this sort of situation is a possibility. I know we are only sad because we do not see the future.

Only a few more hours and one more layover and I will be in Russia. Still no word on getting picked up at the airport - I'm prepared for the bus/subway ride and walk. I mean, how lost could I possibly get in Moscow?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Trip Outline

I have finally found out a little more about my time in Russia. Here is a quick update so everyone back home can have an picture of what I will be doing.

I will arrive in Moscow on Thursday. I will either be picked up by a seminary student or I will have to find the seminary by way of bus, subway, and walking. I'll find out which when I get there. Haha. I like spontenaity.

My missionary will arrive in Moscow on the following Tuesday - so I have a long weekend to get used to the time change, the city, and the language. I plan on taking a day trip to Konakovo (where I was an exchange student in high school) to let them know when I will be vacationing there.

Patrick Whaley and I will travel to Samara, Russia in early June and spend a few weeks there. We will work with a church in the area for a week, spend a week working with a drug rehab center, and a few other projects.

After that (on June 24th) I will travel to Moscow to meet up with a team of Americans and together we will travel to Voronezh to work at a United Methodist church camp. I will take a few days vacation to Konakovo to visit old friends.

My missionary will have returned to the states by this time - so I (and two other America college students) will be working with a United Methodist pastor, Kira Volkova(4th from the left) and her very young church. Kira spoke at General Conference this year during the young adult presentation - she represented the global community of young adults. I'm thrilled to have the oppertunity to work with her.

Patrick Whaley will have returned to Russia by mid-June and I will go to Moscow to work with him at the youth camps.

I will return to the states August 1st, will spend a few days in Boston with friends, my sister and I will drive back to Pennsylvania, and I should be back in Toccoa by mid August.

A great summer packed full of adventure with a lot of really exciting ministry oppertunities makes me, Michael Airgood, one very happy camper.

Please pray that I can safely find the seminary and that my Russian language skills will return quickly.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Well, I'm not quite in Russia, yet.

I'm in Kane, PA for the moment. If I am able to get on-line while I am in Russia I will blog to this site. I will be heading to Boston for a few days on the 25th of May and then heading to Russia on the 28th of May. I will be in Voronezh, RU June 24 - July 5th. I plan on heading to Konakovo (where I was an exchange student) for a few days of vacation after that.

Beyond those specific plans everything else is still up in the air. My passport and visa are in hand and I am ready to travel!