thank you again for a great trip
I'm at Sheremetyevo waiting for my flight back to New York. We left Masha Ganina in St. Petersburg yesterday, and she asked me to give you details of our stay there. I'll put together a full report when I get home. For now, let me just say that Masha was wonderful as always. She arranged for us to visit School 207 just a few blocks from our hotel and close to Nevsky, and that went very well. The kids we met there were younger than my group, but that turned out to be a plus. The fifth and sixth graders wanted to show off their English to our students, and they were prepared with questions and presentations about their city and country in English. Our students were delighted to be in the role of older brothers and sisters to them, and we had lunch in the school cafeteria afterward. The hockey game was a great success, especially because our kids were getting a little weary of museums and wanted some excitement and noise. St. Petersburg SKA lost to a team called Atlant (from Moscow Oblast, I think), but the crowd was enthusiastic and well behaved. (You can't eat or drink anything in the stands at Russian hockey games, and they'll even stop you from bringing in a candy bar, so that seems to keep people from being too rowdy.) There were also a lot of women in the audience, which surprised me, and the stadium camera projected couples on the jumbo display during breaks and instructed them to potselovat' as everyone cheered.
More later, but thank you again for putting together a great trip and reuniting us with Olga Kareva and Masha again. Our Russian travel adventure is always a great success! - Tim -