Sigh :-). I'm in the throws of booking airline flights, finding accommodations in Moscow etc. and I dont know what I would do without the help of the wonderful folks at CIES (Council for the International Exchange of Scholars) and Fulbright here in the States, and my Fulbright Russia contacts.
Did I mention that logistics are not my favorite things? I love the getting to it part, but if you want to hit the ground running you have to PLAN! When I have questions I can ask at least 3 people and, often within a couple of hours, get a cheerful, positive helpful response.
The other day I got a web orientation that started off with Secretary Clinton, congratulating me and telling me how important my work was to the Country. EXCUSE ME!! but HOW COOL IS THAT!! I told my daughters in the car (We are big fans of the Secretary of State, always have been, even before she was Secretary), and my oldest asked " Did she really say your name!!!?? No, I had to admit, but none-the-less very exciting. A plethora of information was in that communication and a promise of webinars to come.
The other really interesting thing I learned from the recent orientation videos was how Fulbright Scholarships came to be and, maybe I should have known that, but its the idea that we can promote peaceful relationships by traveling and living with other people in different cultures and collaborating on common interests - finding common ground, and I guess really learning that we are at the core as individuals pretty much the same.
Today after having several questions answered Via E-mail about flights and Visas, I got a set of documents about spending time in Russia, a list of proposed reading for living in a different country and culture and much more. I feel really taken care of, though I still wake at night with a million things running through my head.
Michael Worley at CIES and Oksana Anistratenko in Russia, you are the best! I also need to say that here at Paul Smiths College, I have had some incredible support from the Technology department as I look for the right laptop to bring to Deans and Administration.
If any of you are comtemplating developing a Fulbright Proposal, I really encourage you to do it. So far, and I'm only just begun, it been a really fulfilling and supported journey !
Stay tuned for ......My next blog on Learning Russian and the amazing Cyrillic alphabet!! до встречи (see you later)