Sunday, May 18, 2014


Life got somewhat back to normal after my long stay in Sochi and Deana's trip to Thailand.  These are just a few pictures of some different things that happened during March.  
 This was Deana's ladies' group that meets once a month.  They had fun making rolls together!
 This is the small group that meets in our home.   This was our last meeting all together. This group has now multiplied to make 2 groups.  Please pray for Leyla (standing beside Deana) who is the leader of this group.  Also, please pray for Nastia (standing in front of me and Kellan) who is the leader of the new group.  Pray that these groups would grow and multiply AGAIN!!!
 Deana and Ella at school.  Ella's class had a special program just for mom!
 Kellan at his basketball banquet!
Thanking Coach Crump for his help this season!  

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Sochi was a once in a lifetime experience.  It was something that I waited for a long, long time, but passed by in the blink of an eye.  I went to Sochi not know what to expect, besides what had been shared with us in the training.  I knew I would be working with South Korea and that I was a National Olympic Committee Assistant.  Other than that, I was learning as I went.  I will NEVER forget the experience I had in Sochi and it is something that can never repeat itself again in my life, even if I decide to attempt to volunteer at future Olympics.  The fact that I spoke Russian and that my native language was English put me in a very unique situation, unlike 99.5% of all other volunteers.  It was hard work, VERY HARD WORK, but it was worth all 20 pounds I lost and the sweat, frustration, and almost tears at times.  

My work included lots of different things: translator, taxi driver, cleaner, bed maker, furniture mover, errand boy, and I could go on and on.  The 2 most exciting things I did was being a "body guard" for Yuna Kim and translating a telegram from Putin to the Korean speed skater who won several medals.  

I was very lucky that my accreditation got me into any stadium and if there was an empty seat, I could watch the action happening!  Here are some pictures that share a VERY small portion of what I experienced:

 Preparing the Coastal Olympic Village for the arrival of all the participants.  I worked in the Coastal Village, not in the mountains.
 The first welcome ceremony was for team "Kazakhstan."

 The stadium for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.  You can see that the flame is not yet  burning, so this picture was taken before the start of the games.
 Speed Skating Stadium
 Ready to Burn!
 Team Korea welcome ceremony.

 I had to drive up to the mountains to scout out fancy restaurants for the Korean team to take their invited guests.  While there, the Olympic flame ran right past me.  I was very surprised!

 Walking to the Opening Parade!
 The American uniforms for the Opening Ceremony were as ugly in person as in pictures.
 Some of the American delegation on their way to the Atlhlete's Parade.
 Port - where some cruise ships served as hotels.
 Beautiful Sunset in Sochi!
 The flame completely changed the atmosphere of Olympic Park and the Athlete's Village.  It was an indescribable atmosphere!
 Ready to compete!
 I was able to go to the first medal's ceremony.  This was the performance before the awards began.
 Team figure skating - USA.  If i remember correct, they won the bronze!
 Translating and helping out the Koreans at a local restaurant.

 Short Track
 Playing on the rings in the Athlete's Village!

 Beautiful Mountains at night!
 Korean Athlete's Building in the Mountain Village.
 Rings in the Mountain Village
 Flags in the Mountain Village
 Our office and the team of volunteers that I worked with.

 Korean Party - with Olympic and Government representatives!


 Our last night together!
 The next Olympic Volunteer!

Deana in Thailand

At the end of February, Deana had the chance to go to Thailand for a language conference.  She now helps all of our new friends coming to Russia with their language studies and so she was able to attend this conference.  We also have some great friends who live there, and so she was able to stay a few extra days to take in the sites and play with the elephants!!