Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ukraine Day 4

Today began with breakfast with the students of the Academy and Seminary. Again the day was beautiful (the weather was basically perfect during our time in Kiev: the evenings cool, the days about 65-70 degrees and sunny) so we joined the students first for prayer outside the main building, and then for a light breakfast. After that we had a few preparations to attend to for our flights (Archbishop Peter is heading to Moscow via Warsaw - there are no direct flights from Ukraine to Russia these days, and I am headed back to Detroit via Amsterdam). We had hoped that we might be able to pay a courtesy call to Metropolitan Onuphry after this, but given the difficulties the Ukrainian Orthodox Church faces these days he is extremely busy and could not see us. That was unfortunate, but not really unexpected.

After lunch with professors of the Academy Archbishop Peter was shown two special exhibits in the Academy Library: one on St. Luke of Simferopol, and one on Metropolitan Vladimir (the previous Metropolitan of Kiev who reposed a few years ago). Some pictures of that visit are here:

Following the museum trip Archbishop Peter was interviewed by a reporter for a local Orthodox web site. Pictures of the interview are here:

Following Archbishop Peter's interview we headed out on a driving tour of Kiev which was designed to bring us to a hospital where one of the nuns that Archbishop Peter worked with when he was head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in the Holy Land was a patient. Please remember Nun Theodosia in your prayers. Here are a few pictures from our driving excursion:

We then headed back to the Caves Monastery to pack for our flights early on Saturday morning. Our ride was scheduled to arrive at 2:45 a.m., so we needed to get packed and try to get a few hours of sleep. Part of packing for international travel, especially when one is returning to the US, is balancing the weight in one's baggage. For this I have a little scale that I keep with me. But the battery had died. And it is a funny type of battery - not easy to find. And of course I did not have an extra. So I went to the front desk to ask. They had neither a scale, nor batteries. Nor did they have any idea where to find one. But they thought that maybe there was some sort of scale in the cafe in the basement of the building. Off I went and sure enough - they had a scale for weighing produce. And it turned out to work particularly well for baggage as well! So I weighed my bags and went up to my room to pack. Internet turned out to have worked poorly here (that was the case on the last trip as well), and so it was hard even to read email, not to mention creating and posting blog entries. So most of this will go up after I am back in the states. Please pray for us as we (especially Archbishop Peter) continue to travel.

Fr. Gregory

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