Monday, September 17, 2012

Russians Have Arrived!

My friends have known for some little time what I've been up to...  A friend of mine from 15 years ago, Sergey Karpov, is bringing a group of Russian amateur astronomers to Tucson to tour astronomical sites in the state.  We met when he wrote to the astronomy club here back in the 90s.  I was President of TAAA, and I think the only one who answered his letter.  Back then we had a great time - 4 of them came and I showed them around Arizona, including Meteor Crater and the Grand canyon.

They are back!  This time, instead of 3 adults and a 12-year-old, they have one adult (Sergey), and 11 kids, age 11 to 16!  It will be an interesting time - they avoid speaking English, though they study it in school, and of course, I know no Russian language.  Their 2+ days of travel ended this morning after taking the overnight train from LA.  It was about 90 minutes late, but they are in good spirits after leaving home Friday afternoon our time! 
After the obligatory group shot in front of the rental van for getting everyone around (back the last trip, everyone easily fit in my 8-passenger van), Sergey's suggestion was for "soft food and soup" to help ease the jet lag.  Well, I wasn't sure where to get that at 9am, but we ended up going to Village Inn, and everyone had a bowl of chicken soup (12 orders, please!) and oatmeal with toast.  It seemed satisfactory, and about 2 hours later, I got them down and checked into the local Motel 6, where they will be staying the next week in Tucson.  They were quite excited about the "Studio" version of the motel, which includes fridge and freezer, microwave and hot plate, fully equipped with silverware and dishes, and of course, cable TV!  I think the pool outside will interest them too if they ever get time to tarry at their "home away from home".  But we've got lots of things on the schedule, so not much time for fun!  Today is the slack day, and tomorrow they attend an American high school for most of the day, then go to Mount Lemmon for a night of observing there with a 32" telescope.  We're hitting the ground running!


Anonymous said...

Dean, the children CAN speak English when they are ASKED for something... They are a little timid)))


torie kai said...

This is such a great exchange! I love hearing about (and getting involved with) chances for cultural exchanges. I'm really glad you and the kids are all having fun!