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Five From Kotlas Make For A Great 2009 Sampler
The members of the Kotlas delegation pose by the Waterville welcome sign at the foot of Main Street. From left to right: Yulia Ageeva, Alyona Mylnikova, Zhenya Nosova, Darya Voronova, and Yulia Sorokina.
By Carl Daiker
On St. Patrick's Day, 2009 five members of the Kotlas Connection were on hand at Boston's Logan Airport to welcome five Kotlassians who had traveled to the United States to help with the 2009 Russian Sampler at Colby College. The five were:
- Yulia Sorokina - A public school teacher of English
- Yulia Ageeva - A student in the eleventh form*
- Alyona Mylnikova - A student in the eleventh form
- Zhenya Nosova - A student in the eleventh form
- Darya Voronova - A student in the tenth form
During their stay the four students were housed with families of students from Erskine Academy in South China. Erskine Academy is one of the few schools in Maine offering a course in Russian.
The Kotlas students and teacher enjoyed a whirlwind of activities:
- On Wednesday, March 18, they got a firsthand look at the Russian Language Program at Colby College and life on an American college campus.
- On Thursday they toured the Old Port area of the City of Portland and visited a cold and windswept Portland Head Light.
- Friday, March 20, saw the Russian visitors touring and visiting classes at Winslow Junior and Senior High Schools.
- The Russians were treated to a coastal trip on Saturday, March 21, to Pemaquid Point and Pemaquid Light. They were also able to sample some good down home Maine cooking at the famous and historic Moody's Diner in Waldoboro.
- On Monday, March 23, the four students and Yulia Sorokina were the highlights of Russian Sampler Day at Colby College. They answered many questions put to them by the Maine junior and senior high school students attending this year's Sampler.
- Tuesday, March 24, started out with a visit to Waterville City Hall to meet Mayor (and Kotlas Connection member) Paul LePage. Then the delegation walked across the street to tour the offices of the Morning Sentinel, to see birch trees at Head of Falls, and have their picture taken at the "Welcome to Waterville" sign, which notes that Waterville and Kotlas are sister cities.
- Wednesday, March 25, saw the students and teacher attending classes and participating in assemblies at Erskine Academy. The students were very impressed by the yellow school buses. (In Kotlas, there are no school buses. Students have to get to school on their own, usually on foot or on city buses.) That evening, we held a pizza party and reception for our Russian guests in the REM Forum in The Center in downtown Waterville.
- No visit to the Waterville area is ever complete for our Russian visitors without a trip to Augusta to see the Maine State House and to tour the State Museum. That is what our Russian guests did on Thursday, March 26. The visitors were officially introduced in both houses of the legislature.
On Friday, March 27, it was, unfortunately, time to bid our new Kotlas friends good-bye as we saw them off at Logan International Airport. Before their flight our guests got a brief tour of downtown Boston, including Faneuil Hall and the Boston Common. The airport send-off was complete with the ever-present stuffing of last minutes purchases in already bulging suitcases. We exchanged last waves as our visitors cleared TSA security and headed for their departure gate.
*In Russia, the eleventh form is the last year of school. It is equivalent being a senior at an American high school.
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