Katya's graduation, Blagoveshchensk, Russian Federation, June 2008

It was difficult to decide where I would place Katya in my log. Technically, she did not live with us and was not one of our exchange daughters; I worked as her supervisor while she was on exchange in the United States. Still, to me she is much more than just another exchange student, so although I am placing her in “Friends”, I am tagging her as “Exchange Daughter.”

Katya’s home town is Blagoveshchensk, Russian Federation and she was an exchange student in the United States for the 2006-2007 school year. She came to the United States as part of the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program. Katya is a wonderful actress and an even better writer, prone to write long letters and poetry. In the fall of 2008, she will be entering the university in Tomsk, Russian Federation.

I was saddened that I was not able to see Katya on my summer 2008 trip to Russia, but I did manage a nice meeting with her father, which was interesting considering my poor Russian and his non-existent English.

A note on the photograph… Schools in Russia are difficult and great deal of studying goes into preparing for the grueling exams that conclude the school year. Although the completion of the exams is special every year, it is especially so for the graduating students. It is easy to tell when graduation day occurs, because all over the city the graduates are running around in their finest clothes and their red ribbons.


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