Snow Snow Snow

Trip Start Jan 08, 2010
Trip End Sep 27, 2010

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Flag of Sweden  , Gotland,
Saturday, January 30, 2010

So tuesday was Australia day hey? Well I was going to cook lamingtons but was sick on monday, so we had to make do with visting the beach.  We thought sunbaking was pushing it a bit but we went for a wander anyway, keeping well away from the water.

On wednesday the snow really arrived! People here are saying they have never seen the snow this deep and hanging around for so long on Gotland! It has been snowing steadily for the past few days and it's building up on everything in amazing ways. Hard to explain, have a look at the photos.  Every chance we get Pete and I stand looking out the window into the back yard.  People keep asking what we're looking at, the snow is just amazing.  We have been looking extra hard this week, it's so beautiful. 

It's fun to be out in as well but not so much when it's whipping you in the face when you're trying to get somewhere.  The snow has been building up for days on Shell and Anki's car in the backyard so Pete thought it would be funny to write "Plow Me" on the back.  When he went to do it he realised that the snow was about 40 cm deep and froze his hands so it didn't quite work as planned.

mmmm...i'm eating a fair trade banana. they have so many fair trade products here, bananas, sugar, icing sugar, honey, cane syrup, nutella stuff, cocoa, drinking chocolate and heaps and heaps of coffee, tea and chocolate, all at low low prices! These swedes don't know how lucky they are! we may have to help them realise soon...

On Thursday the leader of the Penecostal Church in Moldova, Victor Pavlovski, came to talk to us for the afternoon.  He told us what it was like growing up in a communist country in the Soviet Union.  Once Gorbachov (spelling?) was in power they were told they were allowed to do anything not forbidden by the constitution, which meant they were allowed to have public meetings again.  They organised a big meeting to celebrate 1000 years of Christianity in the country.  10,000 people showed up, among them the police and the KGB who tried to shut them down. 

Long story, but they managed to finish their meeting, but the leaders of the event were summoned to the mayor's office the next morning.  At that time people were being arrested and taken to prison for 10-25 years for things as small as asking for the Pentecostal Movement to be recognised as an organisation.  So the leaders all fronted up to the office, having said goodbye to their families and not expecting to go home for a fair while. 

They went armed with Bibles and gave one to each of the authorities in the room and told them what they were trying to tell the people in the meeting the previous day.  By some miracle, the mayor sympathised with them and let them off with a light fine.  He told us about the many times similar things happened and how the church has grown so much under the pressure and persecution in the country.  

Pretty amazing stuff, they went through a hell of a lot and now the country is really poor and they are working incredibly hard to help the people suffering there.  He showed us photos of the disgusting state orphanages, the multitudes of street kids and the elderly people abandoned by their families and freezing to death.  The he showed what the church is doing to help the situation.  They have an orphange which is run more like a group of families where parents (often with their own kids) adopt several kids and live in one of the 10 houses on the property the church owns.  They also have an old folks home which filled up instantly with abandoned people so they are in the process of extending it. 

They are doing amazing work and keep going even though they never know where their next penny is coming from.  Very inspirational and challenging.  Not sure what we're going to do with all that information yet, but we'll see.
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Caleb on

Well I thought "plow me" was heaps funny. Pity 'bout the frostbite.

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