Thursday, April 28, 2011


April is racing by and in May the trip begins. We are now a small group - just 3 volunteers, with I think that many staff. It is early to go to Russia - it will only be in the mid 70's, but the help will be needed any time. A different opportunity.

I hope to explore lots of Orthodox Russian churches and icons. The legend of how Russia became Orthodox is that the ruler wanted to unite the country under one religious that would transcend territory so he sent emissaries to the Roman catholics and the Muslims and the Protestants, but the "requirements" for each were too much. Then they went to Constantinople and fell in love with the architecture and that was that. Moscow called itself the Third Rome and for a long time felt itself to be the spiritual leader of the world. It will be interesting to see post-Communism how the churches are doing. Many church buildings are now museums.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I will be limited by weight, but they allow us to bring supplies for the kids in Russia! Constuction paper, white paper, and Scotch tape - anyone want to share?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yaroslavl, Russia

I have a brand new passport with plenty of pages and a Russian visa! Trip dates are May 21-June 12.

Yaroslavl, Russia,( is about 150 miles northeast of Moscow so we land there. It is one of the cities on the Golden Ring, full of architecture and icons. And 11 orphanages, homes for the handicapped, and street children. We work in all of them. Lots to see and experience.

I am traveling with Cross Cultural Solutions again. I like their method of housing us all in a volunteer home base together so we can share experiences in the evenings and find travel companions for the weekends. The food and water are safe and if you run of shampoo, someone brought extra.

The weather should be in the low 60's, but the sun is up from 4am to 10pm!

Prereading has been heavy! Russians never write small books. Anna Karenina I split between audio CD and book form and finished it! I am looking for a good movie of War and Peace. I read The Last Station, a novel of Tolstoy and From Nyet to Da about Russian business culture and Natasha's Dance about the influence of history on culture. The Russian Orthodox church is another vast subject all together, and I am looking forward to seeing icons.

So welcome to the journey!