‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Saturday, October 09, 2010

2nd Degree Burns, Finlandia, and A Very Important Birthday

A little reminder for all of you, that we live in Bigfoot Country! He's sighted in Kemerovo fairly often
and this is a recent footprint found locally. Maybe we'll go hunting one of these weekends...
Sitting on the floor, drinking my 3rd cup of tea today, nursing the 2nd degree burn I got on my arm from the tea kettle...ouch! The girls are cuddled in bed watching tv, and all is fairly well with the world.

Tomorrow I will spend my third Sunday here looking for the local Catholic Church, which has proved impossible to find. Then Anya and I will try to sneak off to shop for Nastia's birthday, which is Monday. Trying to find a way to make the day memorable for her, when she has no friends here but Anya and Katya. I'm open to ideas. Nastia is turning eighteen.And yes, this is a big deal to me and I'm having some anxiety about the momentousness of the occasion, but I'll be ok. I think.

On Wednesday I hope we will be flying to St Petersburg. The girls will visit with our friend Alex Chizenok while I make my way to Helsinki, Finland to renew my visa. Alex is the tv journalist who helped to locate Anya and we have become good friends over the years, staying in touch and even hosting him on a visit to Massachusetts last year. It's funny to catch Alex on TV most days. I'll never get used to seeing people I know on tv! Feels very surreal. Anyway, he does lots of cultural programming, so I enjoy watching his work.

We will stay in an apartment that Alex's family owns, and I'm not exactly sure how long we will be there. I'm guessing 4-5  days. I should be able to get an expedited visa ( I checked) but if there is a long line or something, I want to make sure I give myself enough time to stay in Helsinki two days if needed.

I also have another generous high school friend who now lives in Sweden and offered to host me for a few nights if needed. I almost wish it were needed! I would welcome the time to chat face to face with her and see a new part of the world, but I feel too guilty leaving the girls with Alex for more time than is needed.

And for those of you wondering why  I don't just leave the girls with Svetlana for a few days and save money -- I just can't wrap my head around leaving them thousands of miles away. In St Pete they will only be a quick boat ride or 4 hour car ride away from me. I can live with that. Plus, Anya doesn't know St Pete, so she will stick close to Alex and not get into trouble. If I left them here, she might abandon Nastia and go off with her friends. I don't want that. We're trying to bond as a family. As to the money, I borrowed some before heading over and I will use  some of that to cover the flights. Yes, it's that important to me:)

In other news, the girls are really bonding and so are Anya and me. Lots of great memories being created and lots of laughs. Anya is attempting more English, and my Russian is getting way less embarrassing.

Goodnight world, from our little family in Siberia:)


  1. Haha...I was in Montreal once watching the morning AM news and all of a sudden a girl from my high school French class was on TV doing the weather in Burlington VT!! It was kind of suprising at the time!!

  2. I just began following your quest. So I hope you don't mind my posting. Knowing very little, you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned Anya knowing very little about St P so she will stick close to Alex and Nastia. Plus St. P also be a nice change of venue for them anyway. For Anya's sake, being exposed to more and more life styles will raise her expectation of her own future, if even by a smidgeon. The red toes may mean shoes too small. Hoping all will work smoothly for you!! Cheers!

  3. That chocolate stuff is GREAT! :)

    So glad you are seeing the visa thing work out!
    Good night to a precious family in Siberia.

  4. Well, frankly - I'd think that being in Russia, being reunited with my sister, and going to St. Petersburg would make a pretty darned spectacular birthday!

  5. PS - You do need to bring one of those younger ones home with you, too...

  6. Love love love, to all of you. Glad to hear that bonding is happening and that Visa things (seem to) be working out

  7. Keri, I am so enjoying your posts. Things sound so much slower over there. That could be a good thing. Big hugs.

  8. completely random thought that I posted on the signboard at church this morning seemed to work after I read this: Roots hold me close; wings set me free!
    Bless your little family...love you all!


What do you have to say? Leave a comment!