07.07.07! — On Saturday morning the team from Memphis left. There are a group of five women who have come to a Ukrainian Christian summer camp a least once a year for the past five years. One of the women, Marilyn, has a husband named John Whittemore who works in Ukraine just about full-time as a missionary.
I took a walk up into the mountains and saw the waterfall that the Vodogray Resort is named for. The English equivalent is something like “croaking water.” I like these shots a lot because I will be able to use them for backgrounds for text graphics in future productions. I already used one shot of the Carpathian Mountains in The Real Jesus DVD.
Later we went to the pool again. I read some literature on this that said in effect: “One of the wonders of Beregovo region is thermal mineral springs which have curative properties and can cure 86 known diseases.” Then it went on to list the diseases and I could recognize most of them in Ukrainian because of the Latin cognates. This time I swam ten laps and soaked in as much of the salt and minerals as I could. Unfortunately, it didn’t cure my cold.
Between laps, I sat on the top of the ropes and I talked to Olga and Oksanna again. They know about as much English as I know Russian, so we taught each other languages in the pool for about an hour. I’ll always remember that. It was hilarious and I hadn’t smiled and laughed like that in a long time.
That night I was completely knocked out. I slept for an hour or two and could not wake up. I heard the campers laughing at a slide show from the week – really crazy laughter. Finally, they woke me up to go downstairs and I got a ceramic medallion from the teachers from Kharkov. It has a relief of the castle in Mukacheve on the front and, “To John from the people of Kharkov – 07.07.07”– written in Ukrainian on the back. I am looking at it hanging from a bookshelf in my office as I type this.