Sunday, May 30, 2010

Open-Air Ethnographic Museum and Good-Byes...

This just in...Niki, Sarah, and Leah made it back to Maryville, Missouri, EARLY this morning!  Things happen so quickly; it seems like yesterday that we arrived in freezing-cold Riga with no coats...

Happy Birthday to Ms. Sarah Richardson, who turned "devini-gadi" (9 years-old) today!

Last week we visited the Latvian Open-Air Ethnographic Museum with Becky and Carl Chaplin, American missionaries affiliated with the church we've been attending.  The outdoor exhibition showcased the four main geographic regions of the country (Vidzeme, Latgale, Kurzeme, and Zemgale).  It was really interesting to see the different buildings from each area, and everyone had fun wearing Bill's hat at some point in the day.
Here's a picture of the ladies in an historic chapel.
They REALLY know how to build a swing here!
Sunday, May 23, marked Niki, Sarah, and Leah's final service at the Riga Reformed Church, so the Sunday School threw them a party!  Many thanks to Anete and all the other Sunday School teachers who have been so wonderful (and bilingual!) over the past several months.  We have all enjoyed our time with this congregation!
Good friends!
Niki's cousin, Anna Nichols, joined us at the end of her Eastern-European vacation to help escort Niki and the girls home.  There's nothing like having a seasoned world-traveler (plus a second pair of hands) to ease any anxieties about travel "details;" plus, she brought presents for the little ladies!
Of course, we said good-bye to Dzemma, the daytime security guard at our apartment.  She (and the other guards) have been so helpful in so many ways.
We also traveled to the Music Academy for a last visit with Maija Sipola, Vice-Rector for International Relations.  In addition to helping Bill out with TONS of details regarding his teaching at the JVLMA, Maija was a wonderful resource for keeping us "in the know" about childrens' concerts in Riga.  With 4 ballets, 1 children's opera, and numerous other performances attended, we were most definitely not starved for artistic activity here!
Sarah's birthday actually occured today when she traveled back to Maryville, but we had to have a celebration with dad!
We also said good-bye to Liga, our favorite waitress at the Double Coffee next to the JVLMA.
Finally, here's a picture of Niki, Anna, Leah, and Sarah at the Riga airport.  More to come in the next few days.