Monday, June 27, 2011

Trip To The Border

On Sunday, Edwards, his wife and son took me and S to the Russian border.  It was only a thirty minute drive. 
That's it.  Not very impressive huh!   This is from the Latvian side.  We could not get any closer to the Russian side without a visa and who knows what that might cost or how long it would take!

This is Edwards and his son, Davids walking toward Russia
That is Russia up ahead

Getting a little closer!

The building in the distance are the Russian side of the border.  After this I was told "NO CAMERA!"
The drive there and back was more exciting than the border.  It is beautiful countryside, just like everything I have seen here.  Once we returned Gertruda had fixed salads and cutlets with fried macaroni.  Yes, they cook it, then fry it with egg.  It is ok.  The cutlets are great.  Salad is raw cucumbers and tomatoes mixed with sour cream which I have learned to love.  The children went outside to eat, and the adults sat around the tiny kitchen table.  With the help of Edwards, they asked me a lot of questions about living in America.  They think we live like kings.  They told me the average person in Latvia makes about $5,000 per year.  By that standard maybe we do!  They wanted to know what my house was like.  I live a very normal existence but even so, I downplayed it!  They told me that people in Latvia think America created the 911 crisis so we could go to war and our economy would benefit.  I told them it did not seem to be working since my house is now worth less than I paid for it!  The thought is that Americans should mind their own business and stop getting in the middle of everybody's wars.  They think we prowl the world sticking our nose in where it is not wanted or needed.  All at the same time, people are leaving Latvia in droves, many coming to America.  Edwards said five years the population of Kraslava was 15,000.  Today it is about 3,500.  Riga, the capital city has also lost significant numbers in the past five years.  It is interesting to hear how we are perceived by others.
Edwards and his family left to return to Riga.  The summer solstice holiday is finally winding down.  Gertruda, her friend Natalija and I went out to sit in the sun with the children.  Sabina translated a bit for me, but I was content to just sit there and enjoy the day.  The weather is cool but the sun is nice and warm.  Gertruda rounded up a for real lawn chair and I was totally happy.

Gertruda and N.  The children love this woman!

Natalija, Gertruda and G
It was just a nice, relaxing afternoon.  S, L and I left to return to the apartment about 5:00 p.m.  We took some photos on the way home.  Just pretty sights along the way.  Things that make me feel relaxed and content......I hope you enjoy them.

This is turning off the dirt road from the country home onto the paved road heading to the apartment,

L and S convinced Gertruda to let us bring Kilo back to the apartment.  She likes to ride in the back window!

S says the skies are more bright here.  She may be right!

I love this stand of trees
This house is above the norm here, but it is exactly what I would want.  It looks like Aspen wood and right on the lake!
Just beautiful land!  Another of God's every day miracle.
This horse is always staked out beside the road eating grass.  They move him each day, but he is always there.  I hope somebody takes him to the pasture every once in a while!
That was our day.  We went to the apartment and I made cucumber and tomato salad and the girls gazed through the fridge, eating everything.  They love sausages.  They are more like our bologna and hot dogs to me.  I don't like most of them, they are too spicy.  We had to buy liverwurst for Kilo.  I tried some of it and it was pretty good!

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