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Day 1

So we are all safe and snug at the Grand Hotel in Ryazan Russia. It all started yesterday morning when 5 of us (Jeff, Carolyn, Donna, Jaiwen an Lori) met at SFO at 11:15am. We had 4 extra bags of crafts and gifts that we were going to have to pay $200/per bag. We had some people praying about this and Donna and Jeff were able to talk United into letting one bag go for free, and charge us only $70/each for the remaining 3. Norm who left from Detroit and joined the team in Frankfurt was able to get his extra bag for free also. So only $210 vs. $1000 - we were blessed and encouraged. We then took the 10 1/2 hr uneventful flight to Frankfurt, met up with Norm and then on to another flight to Moscow. All went well, and we were a tired but happy team. We were met by Galena and Masha from Nadezhda Fun (Children's Hopechest partner in Russia) and awakened to the cold air. Not bad at all for Russia - sounds like it'll get a bit colder and some snow in the next few days. Yeah for the snow, Russia always looks more beautiful with a white blanket over it as long as the roads are cleared.

We got into a van, said bye to Masha and headed down to Ryazan. All trying to stay awake and talking with Galena and finding out many changes in Ryazan that have occurred just over the last 3 years. We stopped at the traditional McDonalds :) for some russian happy meals and then back on the road to the hotel. This is the first time I've been in a hotel with free wi-fi and actually very good speed. Yeah for that.

One prayer that came up today when looking at the camp schedule. More time for sharing with the kids our own stories.

Everything has gone very smooth and we are happy to be resting now, as we were all fairly zombies by the time we got to the hotel. Now off to sleep. Thanks for reading and your prayers!