Journal entry for Tuesday, February 3, 2009
After catching a couple hours of sleep last night, we boarded a flight from Vancouver to Toronto to Vienna (for yet another infamous 5-hour layover), and finally to Kosice, Slovakia. I must have been more tired than I realized in Vienna, for I stretched out on a padded bench in a public waiting room and promptly fell asleep for an hour. That’s the first time in my life I’ve slept in transit!
One of our IM missionary couples met us at the airport and delivered us to the apartment where we stayed with an IM single gal. A quick shower and a short nap refreshed us before joining yet another IM couple for dinner at an authentic Slovakian restaurant.
Ordering from menus is much different there than in Canada. Over there, one page might contain the meat dishes. A second page might contain vegetables, salads or potatoes cooked in various ways. You decide what items you want and then you order each one separately. They arrive on one plate.
Sometimes the menus are written in Slovakian only, sometimes they contain an English translation. Even if they’re translated, they might not mean what you think they mean. I ordered a chicken breast from one page, and then “rice and vegetables” from another. I thought I’d receive chicken plus a single serving of cooked rice and a cooked vegetable – the day’s special, perhaps. I received a chicken breast grilled to perfection and four ice-cream scoop-sized servings of white rice mixed with cooked peas and carrots.
We had a great time visiting with this IM couple – Brad and Karla Thiessen. They have an amazing work happening with the Roma people (Gypsies) in Kosice, teaching woodworking skills to the men and sewing to the women. Besides that, Karla leads a weekly women’s Bible study and Brad has a language school that offers tutoring for more than 30 languages. They’ve worked here for about 17 years. I recently wrote an article about them for Power for Living – I’ll post the text on my new website under the link to “International Messengers” after it appears in the paper on March 22.