Monday, August 31, 2009

Our Village - Selifonovo

We’re building our new house in Selifonovo.  

It is located on the Smolensk “loop,” about 10 minutes outside of town.  There is a large cemetery that sits on a hill overlooking the village.  We have a bus stop and in summer there are 3-4 buses that run - in winter, less, but I’m not sure exactly.  

Right now there are about 30 houses in the village.  It is typical for this part of Russia, so I thought I would show you a few pics of our neighbor’s houses and the surrounding area.  Ready for a tour?

At the crossroad - the house on the left seems to be fairly new.  

Notice the row of fruit trees in the front?  Every house in Russian has fruit trees - it is such a great way to use the land.  Why don’t we have more fruit trees in our yards in the States?

The view behind that house and on down to Smolensk.

There is no store in our village - but every week a “traveling store” van comes and sells bread and other staples.  We were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this process.  
See the Babushkas there lining up to the right of the van’s open doors?  

Hey, maybe this would be a good business for us to start . . . a little store.  Hmmm?

Another house not far from ours.  I love the light blue!

And another - this one is a mixture of the old wooden style and the new favorite - brick.  
Do you see that little room at the front of the house - looks like an add-on?  It is the “mud room” - where you take off your boots and shoes, leave your coats.  In the village it is usually not heated . . . 

This one is a bright blue - with yellow trim around the windows.  Love it!

An example of a very traditional Russian wooden village house - green with some painted wooden carvings around the windows.  And, look at the charming wooden fence!

I see these all the time in villages here.  Our neighbor, who is around 70 yrs old, and his wife ride to town on the motorcycle - he drives and she rides in the side car!  
It’s a great way to get around!  

The other new house going up in Selifonovna.  The guy building this house is about our age - he is a retired “tax police” officer, a really hard worker, and a very helpful neighbor. His name is Sergei and he has laid every brick (of an all brick) of his house himself.  He has given us lots of advice as we deal with the land administration.  
Really thankful to God for him!  
I hope we can be friends!

This picture was taken one day after the rain - 
God gave us a rainbow right over the cemetery! 

We have a cow who lives nextdoor!

And a couple of ducks on the pond just behind our lot.

Roosters and chickens run the roads.  
Sophi chased this rooster, yelling, 
“Animals are afraid of people, Mom!”  
I don’t know, I’ve heard stories of mean roosters who aren’t afraid and who chase people!  
I guess she’ll learn . . . 

And we have hay for feeding the animals . . . 

All of this, and Smolensk is not far away!
I am thankful for our village.  
The people here have been nice and very helpful.
I so want to make friends with everyone and be a servant in this place.  

Will you join me in praying for the people God has given us to serve here?  
Ask Him to give us good relationships with our neighbors.

Ask God to Love Selifonovo through us!
Thank you!

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