Russia 2002

Russia 2002

Russia 2002

Connecting to the internet here in Yekaterinburg is hard work.  I had about half a dozen attempts last night before I managed, and then only after shuffling many settings on the laptop.  This morning, I connected easily, but when I tried for a second time to get some messages I could not, and have not been able to do so since.  I think/hope the answer is to try and connect at obscure times late at night or early in the mornings.

From a school marketing point of view, today has been very disappointing.  The number of people attending the expo has been minimal for everyone - whether this is because of the Russian Monday phenomenon that may have afflicted us a week ago in Vladivostok, or whether it is lousy advertising, I don’t know.  But for a whole day’s work I had one prospective student (of questionable seriousness, but you never know), and two agents, one good and the other largely a waste of time.

The good agent (Irina) has requested a signed agreement be posted, plus a CD with the videos and some brochures in Russian.  The more-serious-than-not student is Oleg. (other details redacted here).

Of most interest today was the meeting that was arranged with Olga Katsuba, the Head of the United Methodist Church in the Urals, Siberia and the Russian Far East.  I travelled by taxi with two interpreters to meet her in the newly built Methodist Church.  She was an absolute delight, a lovely humble Christian woman with a real heart for Christian ministry and bringing God’s word to the Russian people.  They even conduct the Alpha course at the church in Russian, and I am bringing back a copy of their publicity leaflet for it.  She is really keen to send young highly gifted Russian students to PAC, preferably (though not necessarily) at scholarship rates.

Weather-wise today has been stunning – a perfect day for the sightseeing that was impossible to do because of the need to sit at a desk and wait for non-existent visitors.  The day began with temperatures of -9°C but warmed up to about +7°C during the day with clear blue skies and strong sunshine on yesterday’s pristine snow fall.  At the end of the day, starting at 6pm, a two-hour sightseeing trip was arranged for us – sadly by that time the sun was behind the gathering cloud mass and by the time we finished at 8pm, it was completely dark and the temperature had fallen to -10°C, far from ideal sightseeing conditions!  We really only had time to see one place, the site where the last czar and his family were executed in 1917 by the Bolsheviks.  A church is now being built on the site.

Day 13


Monday 14 October 2002