No doubt, this was an interesting time to visit Russia. Our first official activity in Moscow was a briefing at the US embassy. I felt the growing intensity of our awesome responsibility and opportunity to be the face of America to those we were about to meet.
I extend thanks to the US Department of State, IREX, the TGC fellows of my travel cohort, the many educators and students I met in Moscow and Tambov, the educators, students, and staff of the Michurinsk Lyceum, the many other people we met in Michurinsk, and most especially my host teacher, Yaroslava. Had there been any observers at the train station when Cyndi, John, and I (TGC teachers) arrived in Michurinsk, Russia, they would have thought we were greeted by a family member who had been missing us terribly! Observers to the tears shed as we left a week later would have assumed the same relationship. A week is not a very long time and the total two weeks in Russia were not long either, and yet, it was long enough to forge strong connections. None of them were any stronger than those with our host teacher, Yaroslava. She welcomed us into her school, her home, and her life. I am truly grateful for her generosity in sharing her students and family with us.
So....... За Дружбу ("za druzhbu") - - for friendship