Grew up in Russia
I grew up in Russia. My parents helped manage a Russian orphanage for eight years in the heart of Moscow. My sister and I always wanted my grandmother in the United States to come visit us. Despite her deadly fear of flying and the fact that they had never stepped a toe outside of the United States, my sixty-something year old grandmother got on a plane all by herself to come visit my family in Russia. She wanted to bring the children some fun toys and games, so she decided to bring a balloon animal making kit. As you can tell from this image, fun was had by all (although I still don’t know who had more fun). The children adored my grandmother, and despite a language barrier my grandmother was able to make a special connection with the kids. After she returned to the U.S., they always asked when the Crazy Old American Lady was coming back. A lot has happened since that visit. My grandmother died two years ago, but her bravery and kindness continue to inspire me to this day.