Monday, September 6, 2010

A trip back in time

Group photo in front of St. Basil's
Group photo in front of St. Basil's

This summer, I took on a little project, something I've been meaning to do for a long time.  We have a lot of old photos that pre-date the digital age, and I'd love to get them all scanned to keep them preserved. I decided to start with a collection that is particularly meaningful to me - the photos from the trip I took nearly twenty years ago.  In 1991, I had the amazing opportunity to tour the Soviet Union as a "student ambassador" with the People to People organization. Our group was comprised of students from the Twin Cities and from Atlanta, GA, and we spent three weeks visiting cities in Russia and Ukraine.  The goal of the organization was to promote peace by teaching students like us about cultures around the world by showing them to us firsthand.

For me, it was an eye-opening experience, as like most teenagers, my world seemed to revolve around my school and my life.  This trip exposed me to a culture that was very different and a history that goes much farther back than what we have here, and yet, it also gave me the chance to see how some things are truly universal.  I also had the great opportunity to earn college credit by keeping a journal and putting together a slide show that showed what I learned along the way.

The photos I took, along with photos that some of the other travelers gave me, have been posted in the USSR - 1991 photo album.  Thanks to the wonders of Google and Wikipedia, I was able to fill in a lot of the gaps I had in the captions on the originals, as well as learned the significance behind some of the things I saw, so simply doing this exercise was a learning experience for me plus brought back a lot of great memories.  Enjoy the trip!