Two Weeks in Russia

 Girls in the Game’s very own Training and Evaluation Manager, Kristi Skala, is spending two weeks in Russia! In the spring of 2012, Girls in the Game had the honor of working with Liudmila Isaeva from Russia through an exchange program facilitated by the US State Department Sports Mentoring Program, American Councils for International Education, and World Chicago.  Now as a completion of the exchange program, Kristi is learning about and promoting girls’ health and wellness in Russia.  Share in some of her experiences as she writes about her adventures and discoveries in Russia.

The first day in St. Petersburg is ending. Even though I started my trip well over 24 hours ago, with the time difference, I have only had a half a day here in Russia.  I have been traveling with Americans Jon Schmidt from Chicago Public Schools and Kate Tsubata who works in HIV and AIDS education in Washington D.C.  We spent a lot of time getting settled, exchanging money, and learning how to navigate to and enter our apartment. We then had a welcome dinner with Vera Ageeva and Paulina Klishova, two of our Host Fellows who have been setting up our schedule here in St. Petersburg.

Tomorrow we will attend the Youth Event, “Young People’s Access to Rights: Development of Innovative Youth Policies.”  The Council of Europe, Advisory Council on Youth, European Youth Forum, and the National Youth Council of Russia organized this event.

St. Petersburg is a large city and used to be the capitol of Russia. Over the years, Moscow and St. Petersburg have taken turns being the capitol. As you can imagine there are a lot of American franchises here including McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut and Burger King…Luckily, all of the places we have eaten have had very healthy choices. I have tried beet and cabbage salad, baked eggplant with tomatoes and garlic, and compote (Kompot), a mealtime custom made by dropping fruit in boiled water for a short amount of time.  In our apartment the shower and the bathroom are both in a closet. Everything is small: the sinks, stove, refrigerator etc. It is very cute and charming.

Left: Check out all the healthy Russian food!  Even in another country, my Girls in the Game waterbottle is the perfect sidekick through all my meetings and traveling.

Center: Kristi, John Scmidt (CPS), Pauline Klishova and Vera Ageeva (Host Fellows) 

 Sending well wishes across the Atlantic,

Kristi-

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