I never thought that trying to help my churches youth group raise money to buy vehicles for missionaries would send me accross the world. I never thought I’d ever go anywhere outside the United States, even though I only live Approximately fifteen minutes from Mexico. In trying to raise money to support my youth group, I accidently raised the most money in Southern California and won and adventure that would send me to the exact opposite of my dessert home, to St. Petersburg, Russia.
It all started with the longest plain ride of my life. The airline we used was Luftansa, and I knew it had to be an international airline because I had only heard of airlines that stayed in the states. I think after the sixth hour of being in plane the novelty wore off and my cabin fever sent me over the age. But when we started to fly over Russia, the sun was just coming out and we could see how beautiful the land below looked capped in snow. Snow, something I had no familiarity with. My excitement was back and soon we had landed at St. Petersburgs Airport. Ready to begin our journey we soon found our luggage didn’t make it to Russia with us. The missionaries helped us fill in the lost luggage form and we headed to their house where would be staying. Driving through St. Petersburg for the first time left me speechless, and trying to take in all the new artcitechture and culture was so much and gave me a constant flowing of adrenaline.
We did so much throughout are trip. Some new experiences I embarked on was taking the subway. The smell in the cars alone was an experience. Mostly smelling of body oder and smoke, but I loved it because this whole new culture facinated me. THe below freezeing temperatures alone compared to my 120 degree dessert made it hard to breathe, then try turning the corner and yet another beautiful building or cathedral was there leaving you feeling breathless and insignificant in the best way possible. We also went to an orphanage for the afternoon to play with children, which was my favorite. We didn’t understand each other, the kids and I but it was almost like it didnt matter. Then we visited a womans home, and you realize that we all aren’t so different after all. My most memorable moment, which I will never forget, was seeing my first snow fall. From outside the windows of the church, me and one of my traveling companions watched as a few snow flurries began to fall, and grow into a lot of falling snow. I always imagined it to be beautiful, but I thought I dont think falling snow would be as beautiful falling anywhere else in the world than St. Petersburg.
Russia was the most wondeful, scary, and fun places I have ever been. I think that the experiences I had there have very much shaped my thinking today and I will always remember how incredible my journey was.
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