Daina & crew picked me up a little after noon. The drive to Jurmala only took about 35 mins. But we weren't headed to the beach right away. We headed to an orphanage located in Jurmala. This orphanage houses 45 children from 0-24. The older ones are allowed to stay in a transition house & be supported if they are willing to work hard, study hard and help around the orphanage. There are currently 4 young adults in the transition home. We were privileged to meet all the children that were there because some were in town working. We were given a tour of the home. What was extra special was seeing where some kids that I know have been adopted used to live. To know that it was a clean place with gentle care takers that love the Lord and want what is best for these children. We sat with the social worker for this orphanage because the director is on vacation. The thing that surprised me yet made me smile is that she knew child by name. We asked so many questions I don't even remrmber them all. But one was what are some of their needs...jeans (all sizes), shoes (all sizes), school supplies, money specifically for the kids older than 18 to get care for their teeth. At 18 the gov't stops providing dental care. We met a young, 21 year old girl that used to live in the orphanage. She is the mommy to a sweet 9 month old son, Maris. The social worker said that she is a prime example of one that needs serious help financially for the dentist. The cost for filling 1 tooth, incl. novacaine is around 21 lats. We had tea and said our goodbyes.
We headed back to the touristy part. We walked through a section that had booth after booth of food, clothing, hats & socks and amber everything. We found stuff that we liked & could get later. We walked to the end of a road that went straight to the beach. The sand was very smooth and beautiful. Arvils, Daina's son encouraged us to walk into the water. IT WAS FREEZING!!! And the further you went out the colder it got. It felt like ice! We finished walking through touristy parts. Some strangely dressed folks there but we found out today was the beginning of a week long party. Everyone was awaiting a huge parade. We walked awhile longer and headed to the car. It was hard saying goodbye tonite to Cathy, her girls and Daina. But I will see them again -here, there or in the air!
I have everything packed and ready. I will eat breakfast here and be picked up by the airport shuttle at 11:50. My plane doesn't take off until 3 pm but I might as well get there. I am meeting Leigah's foster mom, Maija at 1 pm. My plane ride to Prague is around 2 hours but my layover will be 19 hours. Sp I need to figure out what to do besides sleep, which I eventually will do. Then off to Atlanta.
I am so excited to see my family at the end of the gate in Springfield, Thursday night. Then to start preparing for the final trip in September.