Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Our Russian Friends

Below are some pictures from an event we hosted last Sunday, welcoming our Russian friends Sasha and Alexander from St. Petersburg. Through Bill Lincoln and his organization CRI (conflict resolution institute) we get to meet and entertain some of the most fascinating and interesting people (check out my post a few months ago when we entertained the Vice President of Afghanistan in our home).
We had a wonderful evening, with beautiful weather and great friends. Through the amazing translating skills of Gregory, we were able to talk U.S. politics, gain insight regarding the invasion of Georgia by Russia and their feelings about Putin's leadership.
I cannot emphasize enough how beautifully Gregory translated, and at the end of the evening I was shocked to find out that he had not traveled with Sasha and Alexander, but that he lives here in the city and through a mutual friend was recommended to accompany them for translation services during their stay.
The ease with which he blended the conversation left me amazed that only one day after meeting each other, everyone was able to enjoy so many seamless conversations on such a variety of topics. I look forward to getting to know Gregory in the future, and hope that he becomes a part of our extended network of friends who visit regularly.
Sasha and Alexander came bearing gifts, including the requisite bottle of vodka which was enjoyed by all (and disappeared all too quickly) and a shirt for me which is pictured below.
Their openness, immense capacity for joy and fascinating tales from their homeland entertained us well into the night.
I look forward to their return this week, before departing back to Russia next Tuesday, and am so very excited to be hosting them for dinner again this weekend. No doubt I will have more pictures to post after that : )

Front yard conversations

Sasha, Kathi and Laura
Alexander, Sasha, Kathi & Laura

Alexander (in foreground) and Sasha

Alexander and Sasha

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