We live on a two lane street about as busy traffic wise as Cottage Ave back home. In fact if you cut down the trees, removed the sidewalks and turned all the houses into high rise apartment houses you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Walking home one night this past week we came to our little street which seemed a little busier than usual and had to wait for a minute to get across. Actually, there were so many cars that night they got backed up from a red light about three or four blocks down. As we stepped out between the stopped cars here came a car driving down the wrong side of the street passing all the stopped cars. Apparently, this seemed like a good idea and immediately there followed about a dozen others bent on “improving” their place in line. For a moment you would have thought this was a two lane, one way street. Then the light changed and it became quite a circus. People were cutting in trying to get out of the way of the oncoming traffic. It reminded me of when one of you (no name) cut me off when turning around in Toppenish one evening. Anyway, we entertained ourselves for several minutes watching while all these drivers tried to get back in line. Everyone got along fine though, very little honking, no shooting, I mean shouting and we commented that back in America someone would have been hurt from road rage in a situation such as this.
One of the young couples in our “Prehoda” (Branch for those of you familiar with church speak aka congregation) whom we have grown quite close to had their first baby this past week. As mom approaches delivery time it’s off to the hospital which I know sounds quite like a normal procedure. Here in Russia however, approaching delivery is like a week to ten days before the actual event and mom stays in the hospital all that time. The baby was delivered Wednesday eve and Dad is hoping to be able to bring them home tomorrow (Monday am). No complications everything went fine – it is just the Russian (free medical) way. Yesterday, Sister Webb and Sister Huffaker (the other Senior couple in the city) did a quilt for an upcoming wedding while Elder Huffaker and I went with two of the young missionaries to teach a lesson on Heavenly Father’s Plan for us, answering the age old questions – where did we come from?, – why are we here?, – and where do we go when we leave this life?, to a young Buddhist girl who is studying to come to America and be a doctor. It was an interesting and very uplifting discussion. On our return to the Huffaker’s apartment Elder Huffaker suggested we take a “shorter” route. This involved riding a bus and a short walk (normally we ride the Metro and take a long walk) to their apt. Well, after a 45 minute wait in the cold for the “1150” bus our trip began. Had we taken the normal way we would have been back at the apartment before the bus picked us up. We climbed on the bus which was packed with mostly 4th or 5th grade kids, I presume returning home from a field trip of some kind all, wound up and having a great time. We of course had to stand. After picking our way through a traffic jam, stopping several times to pick up and let off (always picking up more than letting off), we finally arrived at our drop. We clawed our way out of the overstuffed bus and made the short walk back to their apt. Total time elapsed – 2 hours 10 minutes. - shorter?? You be the judge. It was really fun though and another “cultural experience.”
We want to send out a BIG thank you to Terry McCauley who called us this past week. Thanks Terry and we are so glad you are doing well. You remain in our prayers. We miss you all and love to read your comments. Have a wonderful winter. We will share what we can of the cold Siberian winter with you. Love you all.
|Sister Webb relaxing on the NEW furniture|