Winter 2008 - 9

Yes, it is cold in Russia in December but not as cold as Buffalo, New York.   Of course when you live in Myrtle Beach, anything located above the 36th parallel North is bound to be cold.   We took appropriate clothing for outside with the knowledge that anytime we were indoors, we would be more than warm.

     We left Myrtle Beach on December 23, 2008, flew to Atlanta and then took the direct Delta flight to Moscow.    Of course Nadia was there with her wonderful smile to meet us.  We drove into Korolev and divided up with our new families.   This year I was able to stay with a new friend, Tatiana, who was a top intellectual.   Her father had been the official photographer for the Soviet Government from World War II until the 1980’s.  Tatiana had taken his photos and documented them and written a book.  Her primary language was Russian, 2nd Arabic, and 3rd English.  Her English was excellent.  Her house was full of books in English and we enjoyed every minute with her.

We visited schools, saw Christmas plays and truly enjoyed Korolev for a couple of days.   On December 26, at night, we left on the train for Kazan and arrived the next morning.   Kazan was very exciting with all of the religions living in one city and Muslim being the predominate religion.   We visited famous cathedrals, museums, went to a beautiful concert hall for an organ recital and ate with Dr. Nella Pruss, Rector of TISBI.  It was a great couple of days.

On the train back to Moscow and home to Korolev.   Now I am staying with Nadia and her family.  Of course, we went to the circus and it had  Mary Poppins theme.   We also went to an ice show which featured the Peter Pan Story.  I am getting better at watching and listening to the classics in Russian.

This year, we cheered in 2009 at a resort with the Peace Foundation.   We saw fire twirlers before the party and professional dancers throughout the dance.  Of course Father Frost and the Snow Maiden were there with us.  As usual, at midnight, the TVs went on and we heard the President of Russia give his address and then everyone sang the Russian National Anthem.  New Year’s day, the streets of Korolev were deserted.

The next few days we toured Moscow and went shopping at Izmailova.  On January 4 we started for home.  We were delayed for 2 hours for a stop in Gander and an unruly passenger was removed.  This made us on the plane for 16 hours, UGH and of course we missed our connecting flights in Atlanta.   

I am ready to go again.

Virginia Simmons, Group Leader and President of RWVF

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