So it is 11 June and the Ukraine trip ended yesterday, technically. Of course, in other ways it is nowhere near the end.
But on our final full day we toured the lovely port city of Odessa in the morning and then had free time in the afternoon to pack, or to wander on our own. This is a city made for pedestrians, with cobble stone streets and Imperial-era buildings that exude peace and calm with their pastel colours, and I don’t even notice colours!
Then our final meal, and once again laughter and the sharing of memories around tables. The day had begun with this great text from Ephesians about how we are no longer “strangers and aliens” but together a new kind of citizen, and that’s how it felt at the end of this tour. Mind you, that is how it has felt at the end of every single TourMagination tour that I’ve been privileged to be part of, from Ukraine to South Africa to Italy to Moscow (where I now am!).
The personal good-byes began at 3 a.m. the next day, yesterday, as I got up to say adieu to members of our lovely tour group as they parted for the airport. Then again at 5, and then we left ourselves for the Odessa airport. Only Betty remained, and she left today I imagine.
So it is that TourMagination’s 2019 Ukraine tour has come to an end. But the time of grateful reflection, and the pondering of sites seen and conversations had; that part of the tour has only just begun.