Showing posts from July, 2018

Learning the Hard Way

Sunday was Navy Day in Russia. We had no idea that it was happening until the navy jets flew over our Russian school last week practicing for the fly-over. Our Russian teacher told us that the last Sunday in July is always a day to thank and honor the Russian navy. We were in the center of the city for church that day, so we decided to walk down toward the Neva River to see what was happening. When we were at the river bank, we saw one of the draw bridges open with the road closed, so we knew we were at the right place. I've never seen a 6 lane draw bridge open before - with light poles sticking up in the air. That in itself was quite a site. As we approached the river, we could see that both sides of the wide river were lined with people waiting for the navy parade to pass by. As we walked along the river toward our metro stop, we saw the Russian navy parade, which was rather impressive. The boats turned into ships the longer the parade lasted. By the time we reached ou

Please Pray with Me

This week I am taking time off from my usual postings about life in Russia. I'm going to ask you to pray for my grandson. His name is Christian, and he is having surgery to remove a tumor from his brain. When he was nine months old, he had meningitis. Thirteen months later, he had it again.   The doctors finally did a scan of his brain to find out why he had meningitis twice before the age of two. They found he had an epidermoid brain tumor, which he's had since birth. The tumor is situated between his optical nerves and touching his pituitary gland. When the cyst expands with excess skin cells, it erupts leaking foreign cells into his brain, causing meningitis. After they found the tumor, the doctor knew that he needed surgery to remove the tumor sometime in the future. They monitored the tumor which was stable for a year. Then in June he had another attack of meningitis. Shortly after that, the doctor scheduled surgery for July 24. Since that time, he's had another

Higher is Better

After one week of living in St. Petersburg, we were able to move into our new apartment which is in a twenty-one floor high rise building. Thankfully, we live on the third floor so we don't have to wait forever for the elevator to get to our floor. We love it here because it's very new, bright, and close to the metro that my husband will use to go to teach this fall.  The apartment is very spacious - by European standards - with a living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and WC. It was furnished with a couch, bed, table, chairs, and even a big screen TV. That saved us LOTS of money! We have a view of a river out of our bedroom window - maybe not a great view, but at least it's not another high rise staring at us. There is construction on both sides of the water, but that's OK for us. We think we're almost the first people to live here because it so nice and new. We are thrilled with that. The water is always hot in the shower, not waiting for the hot wa

Pictures Say a Thousand Words

When we arrived in St. Petersburg in late June, we lived in an apartment in the center of the city while we searched for our permanent flat. Since it was in the city center, the building was probably built more than a hundred years ago. Since it's so old and not in a tourist area, the neighborhood is a bit run down today. As you can see, the buildings need a coat of paint and sprucing up. But it is very safe. The security system was obviously from the Soviet style era. My husband said that he saw the same thing when he was in Ukraine in the 1980s. There were several locks that we needed to get through to enter our apartment. There was an outside gate to the courtyard that was accessible by a code, or could be opened for a car to enter. To access our apartment, we had to climb some crumbling stairs and were then faced by an old metal door. I had to swallow twice when I faced this the first time. What were we getting into? The metal door had a key pad on that was opened by

First Impressions

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood I'm sending you a picture postcard from St. Petersburg this week. We arrived last Wednesday, so I've only walked around the city a bit and taken these pictures. I don't know anything about the buildings, yet though. It was a beautiful warm day when these pictures were taken - close to 80. What a welcome to this beautiful city. We haven't seen the sun since, however. It's been in the 50s now and cloudy and wet. We didn't move here for the climate. Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan The city was built in the 1700s by Tsar Peter the Great. Because he hired engineers, architects, and builders from European countries, this city in Russia most resembles the cities of Europe like Prague and Berlin. Peter the Great wanted to make St. Petersburg a more modern city than the rest of Russia.   Many of the streets in the city center are lined with massive old buildings and palaces that today are government buildings or a