We were chosen to be couriers for some passports that have to be taken out of country to be processed for new visas. We were delighted to do it as it is a very fast trip indeed if we don't have another purpose other than stamping a visa out of Russia and a new one into Russia. Stamps are very important here and elsewhere on the continent. We don't go anywhere without somekind of stamp confirming we are legal in the country, community, and have a sponser who has a stamp!
We have to leave Russia every 3 months because we are on religious visas. It makes things complicated but the system has been streamlined and now it doesn't take much time. It is difficult for us sometimes, when we sit in a foreign airport and wait for a plane to pick us up in 2 hours, and we just have to wait. However our purpose is not to tour, it is to work. So, this time we got a few hours to tour while we waited for a plane to take us home after we completed our business in Riga. It may not happen to us again so we took advantage of our time there.
Riga is a beautiful city on the Baltic Sea. It was a beautiful day and we saw a lot of Riga and a neighboring town of Jammal (pronounce the "J" as an "H".) It is like a seaside resort with lots of top notch homes and wonderful trees, grasses, bushes, and lots of flowers. The architecture is beautiful and it has the old mixed with the new. Some of the new is done on the old style, just charming.
We hired a taxi driver, a friend of our contact there in Riga, and both of them toured us around for a bit. We then ate dinner on the beach at a wonderful restaurant. We had a 16th floor room in the Radisson Blu Latvia and could see the skyline for a long way. We will publish some of the photos we took there.
We have met our new mission president, our former president went home after a three year service term. We will miss them, but will surely enjoy our new president. He and his wife will be coming to visit our city and to interview the missionaries here this Saturday and Sunday. It will be fun to get to know them better.
We do enjoy our time here more and more. We have wonderful missionaries who work hard and one of the sets of 2 missionaries here just completed a week of hard work and accomplishing 15 hours of discussions. Here in Russia that is a difficult hallmark to acheive. We are pleased that they are working hard and reaching out to others in a happy, delightful way. They had to schedule many more hours than that to get the 15 hours. Now they need to call and talk to and set up more meetings, where they couldn't set them up before.
We have had some good meeting ourselves, and have been pleased at how well we are accepted.
We had a chance to wish our daughter Carmen HAPPY BIRTHDAY on May 30th then on June 25th we sang, badly, to Ryan Bailey our daughter, Hannie's, husband.
We want to wish a happy birthday to Terry. Haven't been able to get him on the phone so will post this so he will know we didn't forget him. Happy Birthday to all.
|Fountain in 'Riga park.|
|Skyline of Riga from our hotel room.|
|Garden in one of the many parks, Riga.|
|Changing of the guard at the Freedom Monument|
just a few minutes before Hilary Clinton visited
to place flowers at the monument.
|Windblown but happy on the beach |
of the Baltic Sea in Jammel, Latvia.
|Don't know if you can tell how big these peppers are.|
We couldn't pass up a chance to photo these beauties.