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Home > News > 2012 > Kotlas Guest Anton Eltsov

Kotlas Guest Anton Eltsov, January 8 - January 28, 2012

When Arina Pavlova was here in 2010 for the 20th anniversary celebration of our sister-city relationship, Mark Fisher asked her if she knew any Kotlas student who would be interested in coming to America and attending Messalonskee High School. Soon after Arina returned home, Anton Eltsov (pronounced Yeltsov) added Mark as a friend on Konkte (Russian Facebook). Sixteen-year-old Anton arrived with Arina on the evening of January 8, and hardly stopped for breath during their three-week visit. On the 9th Arina, Anton, Alexandr Shatskov and Mark went on a full-moonlight walk up Frenchy’s Mountain in Rome. On the 10th Anton, Arina and Mark met Governor Paul LePage and Secretary of State Charles Summers. Summers spent considerable time with them and offered a special tour of the vaults of the Maine State Archives. In the evening they attended a welcoming reception at Martha Patterson’s house.


On the 11th they toured the Maine State Museum, saw the Samantha Smith monument, and attended the Maine State Agricultural Convention. In the evening Anton witnessed Mark’s inauguration to the Oakland Town Council. On succeeding days, they visited Ken and Eva Green; toured Thomas College and Colby College; had a special dinner prepared by Eva Green; went to church on Sunday and toured Mark’s grandmother’s farm in Albion. On the 16th, Anton went snowboarding at Sugarloaf, and informed Mark that he snowboarded all of the trails including the most difficult--the “Nitro”. After Sugarloaf, they continued to the Canadian border, stopping twice so Anton and Alex could take pictures of deer. At the second stop, Anton jumped out of the car and walked up to three deer and got some amazing video footage. The next day he attended Messalonskee High School, followed by a movie party at Colby Professor Elena Monastyreva-Ansdell’s house. Elena’s students had made three Russian-language short movies, which debuted at this party. On the 18th Anton, Arina, Mark and Martha Patterson had an interview with The Morning Sentinel. The article, which appeared on January 22, was picked up by the Portland Press Herald and numerous other news outlets, some of them international. Anton was very surprised to find that now when he types his name into Google more than 12 references are listed in the search.


On the 19th Alex, Arina, Anton and Mark went to Boston and toured the Science Museum, New England Aquarium, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Little Italy, Quincy Market, and had dinner on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Center. Anton’s number one goal in life was to visit New York City (his second is to climb Mount Everest). The first goal was realized on the 20th, 21st and 22nd when they toured New York City sites, including the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, Ground Zero, the financial district, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, and Times Square. Colby College alumni Mahdi Bseiso and his sister, Dalia, met them and took them to a Chinese restaurant in Brighton Beach, and to Vietnamese and Thai restaurants in Manhattan. They also arranged a special guided tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The group arrived home on the 23rd at 9:30 a.m. That same evening they went to a party at McDonald’s.


On the 24th they spent the day making up hundreds of photos and created two albums. Anton spent the 25th at Messalonskee High School, followed by dinner with many State of Maine lawmakers and leaders. On the 26th they toured Fort Knox, Acadia National Park, and Steven King’s house, and shopped at the Bangor Mall. At Acadia they waited for low tide and drove to Bar Island, also going to Sand Beach, Balance Rock, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs and the Anemone Sea Cave. The 27th was a day of packing capped by an ice cream social at Martha’s house, where we exchanged letters and said our good-byes. They departed for Logan Airport at 1:45 a.m. on the 28th. This was an incredible exchange and Mark thanks Arina, Anton, and Anton’s parents for making this trip possible. Mark is hoping that Anton will be back in August to spend a year at Messalonskee.