Home again

Home again

Sorry for the delay. The trip home was arduous. We left Ternopil Ukraine Saturday around 5:30 pm their time so 10:30 am Eastern Standard time.

From Ternopil we traveled by train to Przemysl Poland. During this part of the trip, we realized that we would be at the train station in Przemysl from 8 something pm until 4 am. This meant we would be either hanging out on the side walk or in a tunnel under the train tracks for approximately 8 hours. (We have learned that booking train/bus travel in Poland is near impossible ahead of time via email). After realizing that this layover was not a good thing, Pastor Jeremy quickly booked us tickets on a bus that would go directly to Krakow, eliminating at least one train ride and reducing our layover from 8 hours to 1.5 hours.

When we got to Przemsyl train station we were delayed in Passport check for well over an hour, leaving us only a few minutes to locate our bus and get boarded. There was very little light in the parking lots and the buses where not only not where we where told they would be but they weren’t marked very well either. Jeremy and Alex E. found the bus first and were able, with some heated discussion with the bus drivers, to hold the bus for the other 6 of us to get there. Because of changes in time zones and lack of sleep, I am not exactly sure how long that bus trip took, I think around 3 hours but i could be completely wrong.

During the train and bus rides, Jeremy had managed to change our flights home to get us back in the states a full 24 hours earlier, yay.

After arriving at the bus/train station in Krakow in the middle of the night we had to figure out how to get to the airport, a 20 minute drive away. We also needed to find bathrooms that were open because all of the ones in the bus station were closed. Alex E. and I left the group to try and find bathrooms and transportation. We tried asking a couple of security guards but neither spoke English and both refused to talk to Alex in Russian, One got mad and walked away. We finally found a whole other level below the bus station that had bathrooms that were open, but you had to pay for them. Money well spent. We went back and got the others and on the way back down, we saw the bus that we needed to get to the airport.

After arriving at the airport in Krakow it was just a matter of waiting for our flight to Frankfurt Germany, another flight from Frankfurt to Dulles International airport in D.C., where my lovely wife was waiting with the church van to drive us back to Lynchburg and then back to Roanoke for her and I. We arrived in Roanoke sometime after 2 am Monday morning. The flight from Frankfurt to Dulles was 8.5 hours and God blessed us with it being pretty empty. We all had bulkhead seats which means there isn’t a row of seats in front of you but a wall that divides the plane into sections. It also means a whole lot more leg room. Thanks to Alex T. for snagging those seats for us.

We did not go to Auschwitz because we caught an earlier flight, maybe next time.

All in all it was an awesome trip, the travel was hard but the people we met, the ways we got to serve, getting to see how God is working in Ukraine, particularly Calvary Chapel Nizhyn made the travel well worth it. I hope to go back again soon.

A quick video of our trip. https://youtu.be/zVmWeX-tsC0?si=hXHmAfZn3HhjxUA6

Until next time.

Thank you all for your prayers and support, may God bless you.

Love,

Derek and Melissa

Buchanans in the Wild

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