Monday, May 21, 2007

Visit to Moscow

I made it back safe and sound from Moscow. It was really worthwhile. The reason I was there was for an Army conference on preparing projects to be funded through IHQ. It gave me a much better understanding of the possibilities for funding specific programs in Estonia, and how to do it right. The days were long and tiring and we didn't leave the grounds of the hotel much, but we did have the chance to leave twice, once to visit an Army children's center and another time to visit a homeless feeding program. This is our group outside of the entrance to the children's center, which looked more like a prison from this view but was nice inside. But the neighborhood is rough so this is their solution.

After leaving the children's center, a small group of us were able to go on a two-hour tour of some of the highlights of Moscow. Where I am standing was once the center of the Russian Empire. There is a star on the ground where you are supposed to stand and then throw a coin over your shoulder for good luck. Poor people gather around the circle and snap up the coin, often before it even hits the ground.

Our group at the center of the Russian Empire: Sasha, Margo, me, Oxana and Marie.

The gateway that leads into Red Square.
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