Visits from Will & Sophie

Posted by Amanda on February 5th, 2008

A few weeks ago Darryl got an email from someone he served with in Russia.  Incidentally, Will (the guy), lives in Seattle with his wife, and we have been to their house.  Well, turns out they were in Ukraine, and coming to Kyiv!  We met them to go to church, and then had them over for dinner.  It just seemed so ironic that we had dinner with them over a year ago in Seattle, and now the next time we see them we are all in Ukraine.

Will’s wife, Sophie, is from Ukraine originally.  She is working on a PhD at University of Washington and has been to three different countries doing research.  She was in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and now Ukraine.  Will came for a few days to visit.  Sophie has been travelling for months.  We were able to see her the next two Sundays at church, and had her over for dinner once more. 

Last week she brought a CD with pictures she has taken.  She also commented on them and told us some of her experiences.  It was extremely interesting and I wish I had taken notes on some of the things she said.  I think most of her time was in Tajikistan, and that is what she was telling us about.  It sounds like a very interesting place, and frankly I haven’t ever really thought about that country before.  It was part of the USSR, but the people were able to retain a lot of Muslim culture.  She showed pictures of men dressed in Western clothing – pants and a t-shirt.  Women were always dressed in what you would see Muslim women wearing, heads covered, etc.  Sophie was interested in (and it pertained to her research) the treatment of women.  Also she said the current president of Tajikistan has close ties to Russia and Putin, and school children have started to wear Russian type uniforms to school.  It is the kind Sophie wore to school when she was a child in Ukraine, however Sophie said for the Tajikistan culture, it was inappropriate for the girls (the skirts, I think).  She had pictures of the markets there, that resembled what we see here.  However, there were rows and rows of stalls/kiosks with silk material and all sorts of material that we don’t see here.  All the women in dresses.

It just made me think of how many places there are in the world, and how many people and how little I really know.  That is perhaps my favorite thing about going to other countries.  I realize how much is really out there and see a glimpse of the diversity of Heavenly Father’s children.