In and around Moscow – clear skies, lots of sunshine, and not one drop of rain. Even in my cell in the St. Nicholas Convent where I stayed for the first week there was plenty of light and warmth. They fed me with pirozhki from their own bakery: with potato, lentil, fish, and—my favorite—pumpkin with lemons. I paid them back with my presentations in the seminary. What a deal! I cannot thank them enough for their hospitality and for caring for me, especially after a thirteen-hours-long travel plus eight hours of time zone difference.
Frankly, I was somewhat concerned about attendance at my two teachers’ conferences, as they were falling right on the last week before finals. I worried even more because the early weeks of May—between the May Day and the Victory Day holidays—are usually spent by many of them in their dachas (cabins), planting vegetables and flowers. Many teachers support themselves by their own gardens and greenhouses and may not have had time for any extracurricular activities. Praise the Lord, they made time and my classrooms were always full!