Beautiful day for a picnic! On Friday evening, our team ventured to a beautiful city overlook to picnic on the Moscow State University grounds. The last time I'd been to this same location was the winter of 2004 - barely recognizable as the same place on a bright Spring day! We enjoyed all kinds of fun activities like kite flying, football, frisbee, racing scooters, a game of tag, and snacking with our current team of ten.
Dan (bottom left) acted as general jungle gym for Emma (middle,) Joel (bottom right,) and Nadya (top,) the children of our city directors, Keith and Lori. The kids keep us adequately entertained here, such fun personalities, and even humbled with their incredible Russian language acquisition! Plus, they make a pretty good pyramid, don't you think?
We happened to be out and about May 1st, May Day, a national holiday here in Russia. Although traffic throughout usually busy streets was minimal, lots of people were out enjoying the beautiful day with us. Of course, that means the vendors were out in force offering everything from traditional nesting dolls (Матрёшки,) to dried calamari... Not too many takers from our group.Moscow State, impressive in its sheer size alone, is home to one of Stalin's Seven Sisters. I don't mean actual relatives of Stalin, but skyscrapers in the city designed and built during Stalin's later years. Moscow State is visible from certain vantage points throughout the city, as are the other sisters, and serves constantly to remind it's onlookers of Russia's looming and impressive position on the world scene. Imagine, we know a student who lives in a dorm room on the 23rd floor of this gigantic building, and goes to class on the 16th. What history must be contained within the walls of this monster of a building!