Russia’s River Villages: Rushing Back to Moscow

Our trip to Yakutia in eastern Russia is finished, and we now head back to Moscow on our way home. Truly, Russia surprised and delighted us. We were continually amazed at the warm welcome, the accommodating people, and the focus on learning and sharing that greeted us in Russia. Wherever we went, we encountered nothing but kind and caring friends—no attitude about politics and nothing negative.

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The new and rising Moscow skyline is nothing like our traditional image of Russia. (Photo by Mary Marshall)

Even Kate and I (she being a Russian citizen and I having worked in Russia before) were overwhelmed by the tide of generosity which embraced us during this recent visit. From busy but friendly professional store clerks in Moscow to clusters of courteous teenagers we’d pass walking on roads in the smaller communities, “nice and helpful” was the norm.

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A “fountain playground” in Moscow shows the city’s playful side. (Photo by Mary Marshall)
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Moscow has two distinct personalities—the old and the new. They both knocked us out. What a fantastic city! (Photo by Mary Marshall)

We realize that many people have an inaccurate concept of what life in Russia is like today, just as we did, so we are grateful that we can share the amazing experience of our month of taking NIK into Russia with you.

Thanks for reading—and for caring.

– Jon & Mary


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Meet the Author
Jon Waterhouse’s destiny was foretold the moment he pushed his canoe off the bank of the Yukon River and started to paddle. That incredible 2007 canoe trip, which he christened “the Healing Journey,” began with a simple request by the native elders and tribal leaders living in the Yukon River watershed to "go out, take the pulse of the river." Waterhouse’s journey raised awareness of the importance of environmental stewardship, combined traditional native knowledge with modern science, and helped rebuild intimate connections between Yukon communities and the natural world. The journey soon stretched far beyond the Yukon and led the Native American down rivers and through cultures in distant parts of South America, Russia, Greenland, Africa, and New Zealand.