Hello everyone ~ I hope you are all enjoying beautiful weather wherever this post finds you. Moscow is experiencing the most beautiful May I have ever seen (there has been snow, people!). As the school year winds down, so does my time in Moscow. Due to major changes, my school presented us with new contracts. For a number of reasons, I’ve opted to return to the States. It’s a bittersweet decision for certain, but one I’m confident will open new doors and exciting experiences.
Graduation took place this past weekend and I said goodbye to my Visual Art girls. Having taught the group for two years, they hold a special place for me. Four of the five are Russian, one from Romania. Two will pursue university in the UK, two will study art in Moscow, and one will try her luck in Paris. We had an absolutely idyllic day for the ceremony which was conducted outside for COVID reasons, of course. Though we are all vaccinated (you can be vaccinated at 18 in Russia), masks were worn for the majority of the event. It was a poignant celebration after a tumultuous final year of high school.
In addition to sorting, packing, and distributing my belongings, I have been enjoying the open-air dining Moscow has to offer – so many more options than ever before thanks to the pandemic. Though everything is open here, my friends and I still take precautions. Plus, what is better than a river view?
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is one of my favorite landmarks here in Moscow. When my friend Julie mentioned that she had always wanted to take a tour of the bell towers, we decided there was no time like the present! Soaring 40 meters above the ground, the observation deck offers 360 degree views of Moscow. The gleaming onion domes radiated heat and shone like the Orthodox icons sheltered inside.
The final weeks of school seem to be slipping away faster with each passing day. Discovery Days brought the chance to take my students down to the forest stream for an afternoon of oil pastels and sunshine. I’ve been so blessed with wonderful students here in Moscow and their resilience has helped me soldier on during this pandemic. They will truly be missed!
One last stop at my favorite vintage warehouse, Chronos Factory (“In rust we trust”). Bought a piece of stained glass which is light enough to ship (love the onion dome). Went splunking for paintings at NB Gallery with a friend looking to invest. Such appreciation for the arts here – another aspect which I will greatly miss.
Packing up my place, many memories of the past 5 years wash over me. It’s been a great run. I will soon have an ex-pat cat and be back among family and friends who I haven’t been able to spend proper time with in years. I have a new teaching position and (hopefully!) a new apartment to move into in August. There’s a lot to look forward to. For now, I’m trying to savor the moment. Keep an eye out for one final post from the Motherland before I go. In the meanwhile, take care.