Last night the GMU Russian Club sponsored a Farewell Party at my parent's house. It was a delightful evening with many special guests. Not only were two of the GMU Russian language professors able to attend, but also a number of other non-Russian speaking family and friends. The party was also a terrific way to kick-off the new academic school year for the GMU students.
With less than 48 hours until I am due in DC, I hope that I have been able to say good-bye to as many people as possible. It will be a short 9 1/2 months until I am back in the States. Though, everyone is more than welcome to pay me a visit in Vladimir!
The last minute errands are what eat up all your time! I have been to DC twice in the last week for various tasks. I worry that I will not have enough gifts (i.e. Washington DC pens/trinkets, etc) to give to the various Russians that I meet along the way. This morning my friend Moriah and I went to DC to hunt for more gifts to give to the Russians.
Aside from gifts, I am also having trouble finding a tour guide book of Russia, that is not exclusive to Moscow and St Petersburg.
The other challenge is getting consistent advice on what to bring to Russia! It is actually rather funny to see the extreme differences in opinion. Some people tell me to bring a warm coat, others say buy one in Russia. Some have told me to not bring anything but a Russian-English dictionary, while others have encouraged me to carry along every Russian textbook that I own. Either way, it will be more difficult to find Western goods in Vladimir than in Moscow. This has lead me to pack more than I probably should. Though in all, my luggage for one year will not exceed two standard sized suitecases.
Tomorrow will probably be more last minute errands, and Tuesday will just be crazy!