A rather strange day, visit to a monastery undergoing restoration, an enlightening discussion with a younger student, followed by lunch (like everything here), then the official opening of the show which was definitely up on media coverage with press photographer and radio & television interviews. All those years working in television I can see why I was always behind the camera, very strange being at the sharp end of the mic and lens !.. all I can say is thank heavens for the excellent translations and help by Olga from Administration. Everything works in slow motion with talk in Russian, translated into English, my response, back into Russian .. etc etc but it was a good turnout and good fun with lots of appreciation. And for once I did not have to take the pics ... so I guess there is some benefit from being out front :)
Clearly a landmark day but one lasting memory for me was I met some more students in the morning and many study English. One had a question for me, expecting to be asked what was it like in Scotland or something about photography, no, this totally took me back.
"what is my feeling about the situation in the Ukraine ?", from a 12yr old Russian girl.
Now her English was not perfect (infinitely better than my Russian) but her views seemed to represent many young children in Russia and they are a long way from what the UK press lead us to believe. We did manage a small debate but think I was still in shock at not only the level of interest in foreign views but also the elequantness of how she expressed her thoughts and how concerned they are for the safety of those effected on both sides.
I made reference yesterday to how things work in this country, must add education and social responsibility into that viewpoint.
Now, crossing the road Russian style, thats next .....