|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...
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:)