Thursday. July 18th our team boarded a Volga Riverboat and took a 3 hour trip to Shiryaevo Village. It is a historic area of the Samara Region and locals call it the Switzerland of Russia.
It is home to the Repin Museum and is where Repin did many drawings while he was working on his best known painting “Barge Haulers on The Volga”.
But more importantly it is beautiful Russian countryside. We spent time hiking, picnicking and being warmly treated by several members of the group of Samara UMC members who visited Ohio last summer.
It was a great time of fellowship spent in a beautiful setting. During one outing the team members and our hosts took turns singing and entertaining each other. The food was incredible for picnic food.
Spending time with this wonderful community of Christians gave us insight to their world. They are very close knit and adults function as supplemental parents, watching out for and taking care of each other’s children. As a five year old leaned over the water’s edge for a rock, one of the other Mothers stood behind him loving holding the back of his shirt so he could not slip and get wet. In one way it was so basic but in another reminded several of us of a time that has passed in America.
When our time was done on Friday, we had a great cruise down the Volga to Samara.