Excitement builds for a trip to Russia

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Next month I’m making my second journey to the great Imperial country of Russia.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has undergone massive changes in an effort to make it a modern and hospitable country. With large-scale events like the APEC Summit taking place this September, the Winter Olympics in 2014 and the World Cup in 2018, tourism grows stronger every year.

For western visitors, in particular – the Albany-Tula Alliance, it’s our deep friendship with the people of Tula that excite our visit to the largest country in the world. And, despite the lengthy visa process and mountains of red tape a Russian Visa requires, once the pending 10-day trip commences it will be worth it.

This year we are taking two sweet and super smart students who won an ATA Essay contest this spring. Seniors Rose Schneider (top photo) and Haewon Hwang (bottom photo) gathered with ATA board members to discuss packing, luggage, money and the itinerary this past weekend. Besides visiting the historical sites of Moscow and Tula, the girls will be attending the prestigious Leo Tolstoy International Conference, his country estate Yasnaya Polyana and the Lev Tolstoy Tula State Pedagogical University.

I sat down for an interview with both about their anticipation and excitement for the upcoming trip. Videos to be posted soon!