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Journals from Russia 2009

2009-01-09 First day in Russia...

We arrived in Moscow after a 12 1/2 hour flight, jet lagged and exhausted, but excited to be in Russia. After a quick dinner in the hotel dining room we all crashed. Needless to say, since Moscow is 11 hours ahead of Portland time, most of us woke up between 2 and 3 a.m. Cathedral of Christ the Savior was our first stop. This was an incredible Russian Orthodox Church and because this is their Christmas season"January 7"they were holding a special service. We were moved by the beautiful harmonious chanting and wished our schedule had allowed us more time to enjoy their voices longer. Several of us joined in the reverence of the cathedral by lighting candles and offering up wishes and prayers. Afterward we walked across to a small shop (see attached photo) where we purchased a few items and sampled Russian vodka. The rest of our day was spent at the Novodevichy Convent & Cemetery. We visited the graves of some of Russias most noted individuals such as Khrushchev, Stalins second wife, Raisa Gorbechev, and Yeltsin. Tomorrow morning we look forward to visiting the medical clinic at the U.S. Embassy. This is a very rare opportunity, by special invitation of one of Dr. Tongs former students. Check back often as we will be updating our journal as we explore more of Russia. Anne Prantl

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