Sunday, June 9, 2013


This weekend I traveled to the Eastern part of the country to visit the kids that I'll be bringing to the Seattle area for our summer hosting program Window to Hope

Nothing like spending 2 nights back to back on the Ukrainian train!  (Even if the visual of seeing the train tracks with the evening sunset give you the feeling of a romantic European adventure....the smells and heat of the inside of the train will convince you otherwise!)  Ahh the joy of sleeping in a moving room with 50 other people in the heat of the summer. It is something to be experienced. 

My friend Bekah joined me on this weekend getaway -- because if you are going to spend two 13 hour trips on the train-- you'd better do it with good company!

After arriving by train, we met up with my friend Natasha who drove us the hour and half (2 hours if you happen to get lost) to the orphanage where the kids live.  I briefly had met all these kids in the fall when the director selected the kids for travel- but I figured if I was going to be traveling across the ocean with these sweet ones then I had better spend a bit more time getting to know their personalities and see what challenges I might be up against.  I've dealt with few airport melt downs in the it is good to be prepared.

After a geography lesson of playing 'let's find Washington on a map' we settled in to playing games involving the knowledge of random English words (of which they know quite a few I might add). Then the kids became comfortable asking dozens of questions about their host families and where they'd be staying.

Do they live in a house?
How old are they?
Do they speak Russian?
Do they have a dog?
Will we still see our friends?
Will we see the ocean?

I had the joy of being able to pass out letters from their host families, which answered some of these questions.   The kids were glued to their letters and then quickly comparing who would have cats and dogs and the most kids in their family for the summer!  It was very sweet.  The older girls probably read their letters 3 or 4 times-- asking how to pronounce the names and wanting to know all the details about everything!

They are counting down the days until we travel....34 to go! 

I'm very excited about this group of kids, they are a really sweet group and are so grateful for this opportunity to travel. They even promised they'd be working on their English over the next month.  We'll see if that happens!

If you are in the Seattle area this summer and want to join in the activities we will be doing with the kids, you can email me or visit our website at