Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mission Trip to Ukraine and Austria - Day 1

Boarding the bus at Wooddale Church - May 4, 2008

Safely landed in Kyiv (Kiev)

Sidewalk sweeper outside the Kyiv Borispol Airport

This day was actually more than 24 hours in length. It started with our choir singing at the 9 and 10:15 am services at Wooddale Church. At the conclusion of our singing at the 10:15 service, we hung up our robes, grabbed our boxed lunches and boarded the bus to the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. Since there were not enough open seats on the plane when the tickets were purchased, we flew on two planes, one hour apart.
When I boarded the second flight, a flight attendant asked me if I was part of a choir? I told her yes and that we were going on a mission trip to Ukraine and Austria. She said, "Do you think the choir could sing a song for our passengers?" I replied, "I'm not sure the other passengers would like it." But she seemed to really want us to do this, so she told me she would check with the purser. In a few minutes she returned to my seat and said it had been approved. She asked me the name of our church, our city, my name, and the name of the song we would sing. I told her we could sing Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord. She told me she would introduce me and the choir after the pilot made his announcements.
After my introduction, I stood in the aisle (I was seated pretty close to the front of the plane) and started the song. The choir immediately joined in. At the conclusion, I said, "Let's sing it once more. If any of the others on the plane would like to join in, that would be great." I was surprised that many of them did. This is an easy song that our director wrote. We usually sing it in a round.
When we arrived at O'Hare in Chicago, we met up with the rest of the choir, which included our director, Dave. One of the folks from my flight went right up to Dave and said, "You should have been on our plane. We were asked to sing - and we did!"
O'Hare was very hot inside. We had a two hour lay-over, so I decided to get an ice cream cone. Later I bought a bottle of apple juice. Once on board the plane, I got cramps. They were still boarding, so I was forced to use the "business class" restrooms. Not once - but three times. I had diarrhea and felt really tough. So tough that I considered getting off the plane and flying back to Minnesota. But I toughed it out and by the morning of day 2 I felt completely fine.
I watched the movie The Bucket List from Chicago to Munich, Germany. It was a very good film. From Munich we flew to Kiev. This was a long day - about 12.5 hours in the air, plus the waiting time between flights. After checking into our hotel in Kiev, I took a shower and went to bed. I slept all night (skipping dinner) and felt really good in the morning.

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