In a couple of days, Erinna and I are heading back to see where it all started. Our friend Mindy, along with her two Russian-born kids Alex and Abby, and our friend Joan, who accompanied both Mindy and me on our trips, are coming along.
Although there are many similarities between the trips, the differences are significant!
- Then, Erinna was just short of 3 years old. This time, she's all grown up. (Although she'll always be my little smunchkin.)
- Then, I had a week to get all our paperwork in order, make reservations, and pack. This time, we've been planning this trip for a year. (Even so, Alex's and Abby's visas almost didn't come in time.)
- Then, I had an "entourage" accompanying me throughout the trip: a coordinator, a translator (and nearly constant companion), drivers, liaisons, host families. This time, we're on our own. (And loving it !)
- Then, I traveled with a total of 14 bags (for 3 people). This time, if it doesn't fit in our carry-ons, we're not taking it.
- Then, one dollar got you about 700 rubles. This time, one dollar is worth about 30 rubles.
- Then, I didn't know for sure if I was bringing home a daughter. This time, there's no doubt!