It seems nearly impossible that we have been in St. Petersburg for 10 days. It went by so fast. We have had an extraordinary time working with Transit. I’m so grateful to the amazing staff. A special thanks to Olga Tumashevich for being the best interpreter a guy could ask for. The hardest part is saying good-bye to all the kids here who have welcomed us into their world.
I’m going to especially miss Igor and Dani (pictured to the left)… 6 and 7 year-old brothers who have really touched my heart. Their mother wasn’t able to care for them, so she brought them to Transit. She visits once a week, while she gets her life together. They both came to me the first day and jumped on my lap and greeted the boys and I with such enthusiasm every morning. You guys, the stories of these kids are amazing. Another of my favorite kids was Rova. He is a gypsy. He tells me gypsies are very clever and buy colorful clothes and their lives have many possibilities. Love that!!! Another amazing story… a girl who was sent to St. Petersburg at 17 from Nigeria to work the streets and send home money. Her passport was stolen and she was living here with no papers and nowhere to live. Transit is helping her to get back to Nigeria and hopefully start a better life. I was able to get her brother on the phone in Nigeria today. She looked at me with such thanks in her eyes. It really touched me.
They took the kids camping last week, two hours outside of St. Petersburg. They slept in tents by a lake. But the tents were in really bad condition with holes in them and the kids were eaten alive by mosquitoes. One of my goals is to help them create a camp for the kids. I’m committed to get Transit, two 4-man tents and one 2- Man tent and some sleeping bags. They can be used…. just functional without holes. If anyone feels moved to help with the tents, let me know and we can work out the logistics. These people are working so hard for these kids and making next to nothing, salary-wise. It’s truly a labor of love. If you could meet the staff here, it would blow your mind. They treat these kids with such respect and kindness. Apparently, that is not the norm in a lot of the group homes here.
Tonight after Transit, we were invited to the Opera at the Mariinsky Theatre. Everything you could imagine in a Russia theatre… beautifully ornate and oozing with theatre history. And tomorrow, before we take the 1am train to Moscow, we are going to see St. Isaac’s Cathedral, The Hermitage Museum and The Church of The Savior on Spilled Blood, three big sites here in this beautiful city.
Only the first stop on the Love Revolution and already I’m feeling like it’s a miracle trip. To all that are supporting this effort, you are rockstars. We couldn’t be doing this without you. Spread the word to friends and family. The more support the better. Tomorrow I have a phone interview with Parade Magazine. Very exciting.
More to follow… From Russia with love. jd and the boys.