Treasures of the Heart

Providing Humanitarian Aid for Orphans, Sick Children, and Children in Need.
Russia, Republic of Georgia, Sri Lanka, India, and Haiti

Contact Us:  (409) 898-1937
Email Updates - 2009

Dateline: Moscow, Russia August 31, 2001
Foreign Correspondents: The Barlows

What We Learned Today

HK has become the Master Taxi (not real taxi, but gypsy taxi) procurer. As we stand on the curb and watch, he sticks his head in the door and negotiates the price. He now can say, "Nyet", and "Vash Mot (Yo Momma)!" If he slammed the door, and kicked the rear fender as the tiny Russian car drove away, we knew that was not our taxi. We got to Izmailovo for 100p $3.30). After our shopping experience, it began a light rain. My back was completely gone for the day...I sat on the curb of the street, making Stefan (in his bright yellow jacket) my road block for the cars zipping up and down the narrow street. The REAL taxi wanted 900p ($30), HK laughed in his face! Two taxis were robbed from us by quicker people. The next taxi was ours, but alas, he would not cross the city. Now we are a tiny bit worried and a little hungry, so when our next chance came...we foolishly leaped in the taxi without really looking at the signs:
  1. Not all taxi's are from God.
  2. It would be helpful if the driver was Russian, NOT Kakizstanian on his way into town.
  3. HK spoke more Russian than he did, though that did not stop him from his guided tour of Moscow. He would point at each landmark and explain it in his native tongue.
  4. Oh, did I forget to mention, he had no idea where Leninsky Prospect was, is, or may come to be. This lack of information was not forth-coming until we realized the strange hand motions where not unkind gestures, BUT indications that he was LOST ( in the physical sense, not the spiritual sense ). As any good man, he waved our map off, and continued in his quest to happen upon our hotel.
  5. As he stopped fellow drivers, none of whom could understand his "Russian", the traffic would stall for our little adventure. They indicated their joyfulness and willingness to help, by sounding their horns and yelling directions to somewhere, as they passed our "little cab of horrors".
  6. His car had traveled more miles than Hannibal's elephants through the mountains.
  7. Never get in a car where the seats are furry zebra skin! It sounded as though the zebra was in the trunk and wanted his skin back.
  8. If the smell of alcohol on the driver's breath is greater than the smell of body odor on the rest of him - no price is good enough - don't get in!
  9. If the mass of flesh of the group is substantially greater than the mass of the vehicle that stops - don't get in! We are not Shriner's and this is not a circus!
  10. We do not know if the marijuana was for sale, a gift our new friend offered, or he was in need of rolling papers, or he was proud of his home grown oregano.
  11. Stefan was offering 300p just to let us out. He reminded us that he had only lived a short time and was too pretty to be a Russian statistic.
  12. He now stops and asks anyone passing on the side walk, "Leninsky Prospect?" By the way, the stupid Americans are showing him, on the map, the picture of the train station that we just passed, and our hotel that was on the other side of town.
  13. HK now exits the vehicle, in his duty as a police officer, and photographs the crime scene, as our "driver" has the map on the hood of the car, and an elderly woman explains he is on the wrong side of town.

I was sharing with my son how the Lord had spoken to me on our recent Aeroflot fight, when the ice on the wings was 3 inches deep and no de-icer was in sight, that as I would reach the Pearly Gate, God would have said, "I gave you a brain, why didn't you use it and get off that plane." My spiritual son, Stefan, took this as a word of Knowledge, or Prophecy, and shouted "Run Mom!" So like a scene from "Cops", we bailed from the "little cab of horrors", and ran for our lives. My baby and I ran to the curb, hailed a NEW cab, negotiated a price (cheap at any cost), barricaded ourselves, and our new purchases, in the back seat and waited while HK grabbed our map, and explained the concept of "Failure to Perform", and "Breach of Contract"! We may have learned some NEW Kakizstanian words today, as he wished us farewell and Godspeed, as his new American friends faded into the sunset. Oh, also, the well-groomed lady continued giving our NEW driver, that will graduate from law school this year, last minute instructions. The rest of the journey, unfortunately, was without the type of excitement that we had come to enjoy and expect.

And all of this we did on our own, as Olya had departed for a birthday party. We now know we have Survival Skills.

Now with that knowledge under their belts, HK and Stefan took on Metro. They hopped the Metro to Red Square and walked to Arbat Street, purchasing Beeg Moc's for us. Oh, did I forget to mention, this is Moscow Days. There were more Russians in Red Square than there are bedbugs in St. Petersburg's Octoberskya Hotel.

We now feel confident that your soon arrival will benefit from these lessons. As good tour guides, we have gone before and conquered the land.

In the custom of days of old (no quality TV for entertainment), in our dimly lit hotel room, passports strapped safely to our bodies, we gather as a family around our little laptop, and pen words of encouragement to those who will follow our footsteps.

As Day 3 winds down, we are making plans to visit the church, "Cathedral of Christ the Savior", adjacent to Red Square, tomorrow. After all, it is the least we can do, as our American tax dollars, from our most recent past President, paid to re-gold plate the beautiful domes. Even our Russian friends are embarrassed by the overall project, not just US money, but the expense that was incurred in refurbishing the facility.

We cannot wait for your arrival, come quickly!
Donna, Howard, and Stefan

P.S. So you will not be caught unawares, there are some repairs going on with St. Basil's Cathedral, and some other significant buildings, therefore "pedestrian" safety netting is covering some parts. The beauty remains, but photos will suffer.

“All material herein is exclusively the property of the author and is not to be used without written permission from the author.”

2000 - 2011 Treasures of the Heart, Inc

Shopping Cart Software by AmeriCommerce