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one more sleep

The “fetching Mrs. Salem” huh?  Toooooo funny, husband! 

Oh my word–what in the world did we ever do without the internet?  No email?  No blogging? I was totally lost. I mean like seriously lost.

Thankfully I’m back online and my communication woes are a thing of the past. Praying they remain that way, thank you very much.

The last three days have been a little crazy. My flights were fine.  Long and extremely boring.  I shared my tiny space on the long-haul flight to Austria with a very large man.  I was so squished.  He was very nice to me.  He couldn’t understand a word I was saying. We used hand motions to communicate.  It worked perfectly. I tried to sleep.  It was hopeless. I cannot, cannot, cannot sleep on planes. Read a novel from front to back instead. Cried because it was sad. I hated the way it ended.  Flew from Austria to Kharkov.  Very nice indeed.  No train this time.  Just lovely!   

Arrived at the Kharkov airport.  I totally laughed.  Ours was the only plane there.  Except for three broken down, half dismantled ones.  Too darn funny.  Thank goodness they did have a bus to come and pick us up a mile away from the airport buidling. I walked into the terminal building and chuckled even more.  Felt like I was in an airport in the back end of Africa somewhere. 

Then, my friends, it happened.

I eventually made it through passport control.  My luggage was waiting for me on the other side.  No such thing as those round-about thingy’s that carry your suitcase around and around in circles until you finally get it off.  Nope.  Mine got hand-delivered to me.  Sweet.

I grabbed my suitcase and was told to place it onto the one and only x-ray/scanner machine.  Alrighty then–I did as I was told.  When it reached the other side, the man operating the machine called me over to the screen he was looking at and pointed to a darkish spot in my suitcase. 

Security man: “Box?” he says pointing?

Me:  “Ummm, no, no box.”

Security man: “Silver or gold or metal?”

Me: “Definitely not.  This is my only jewelry” I say, pointing to my wedding rings.

The guy was not satisfied. I must have looked seriously dodgy.  He was onto something big with the blonde American.

He hauls my [very heavy] suitcase onto a nearby table and proceeds to start chucking out my clothes in search of the “box”.  Things start flying. He was very determined to find the thing that I was so obviously smuggling into the country. 

He repeatedly asks me about the box.

I politely tell him over and over again that there is no box in there. Like, I should know, I packed my bag myself.

He was a man on a mission. Even my sweetest of sweetest looks could not fool this guy. To him I was trouble with a capital “T”.

Oh man, even my knickers were ending up on the filthy floor.  E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g  was out of that suitcase. I confess–I am absolutely not the world’s lightest traveler.  I tend to swing to the opposite end of the pendulum in that area.  As much as I have traveled around the world, I have by no means perfected the art of light packing (I just know my hubby is nodding his head in total agreement here).  No matter how hard I try to pack only the essentials, I somehow always seem to end up with that big red tag that says “HEAVY” when I check in my bags.  Dang!

Packing lightly is just not my thing, I guess.


Finally, the guy reaches the bottom of my suitcase, which is now almost empty.  He reaches in, and takes IT out.  The thing!  He holds it up for me to see.

Um, yeah…he found the culprit.

My computer mouse.  All that for a mouse. 

Finally, fully satisfied that I was no longer a major threat to the safety and security of his country and its people, he points to the floor where my many pairs of undies are lying at his feet for all to see, and motions to me to come on over and pick ’em up.

Oh my gosh, I totally got the giggles. These people need some serious training in how to operate that x-ray machine! A computer mouse for goodness sake?  Give me a break. It definitely was a bit of comic relief after a long journey. As I picked my knickers up off the floor I was very relieved that I am a stranger in this land and that I’ll never see any of these people again in my life.  Otherwise, it could have been just slightly humiliating.

Aah, life is never dull, nor boring.

Today we spent the entire day getting all the paperwork finished to get Hailee and Harper out of the orphanage.  Wooohoooo!  Bring it on.

I laughed at how many of you mentioned the “three more sleeps” thing.  I so forgot that it is not an American expression. Sometimes I forget where I live and my South African-isms come out. Yes, we count things down by sleeps in the Southern Hemisphere.  Funny.

So, I can finally say…ONE MORE SLEEP!!!!!!


Tomorrow I have an early start.  First stop–the orphanage.  Oh how I cannot wait to change my darlings into some of their very own clothes and take them OUT of that place.  Wow.  It feels surreal.  I cannot believe this day has finally arrived. What an adventure it has been to get to this point. Goodness gracious, it feels like we have run a marathon to get here.

I’ll post pics just as soon as I can. 

Thank you for journeying with me, sweet friends.  You have blessed me more than you will ever know.

Love and hugs from the Ukraine–where I will not be sleeping alone tomorrow night.  Hallelujah!