Day Nine: Fortresses, Fabergé and Fun

Today I slept until 10:50 a.m. 10 minutes before breakfast was ending. Took a long walk around the other side of the Nevea River Embankment and toured “Peter and Paul Fortress” the original citadel of St. Petersburg founded by Peter the Great in 1703. In the early 1920s, it was still used as a prison and execution ground by the bolshevik government. There were many stories of prisoners to capture .. no pun intended. One story I thought was fascinating was of a pregnant woman that was to be executed. Instead of killing her at the time of sentencing, she was kept alive until her baby was born. Russian culture is full of surprises.

Took an Uber to the Fabergé museum but the line was really long and it was starting to rain. My blood sugar was dropping so I went into the first place I could see from the Uber, a Russian Pub. It was a lot of fun and really made me miss my friends back home because I know how much they would have enjoyed the atmosphere. Had a great bowl of borscht and loved people/car watching from the window. I could have sat there all day but I couldn’t shake the cold my body was feeling from being on the water all afternoon.

The weather did not let up and I was feeling drained from the windy walk along the river so I headed back to the hotel and took the best nap in my princess room. The gift shop had some nice Fabergé eggs so I considered that my museum trip. Missing this experience just means I have to come back. There are way too many museums and sights to see in this beautiful city to jam into a weekend.
After my nap I went to Telepo for coffee and cake with Anush and Ruslana. We discussed the differences between fundraising and awareness strategies in our mentor programs. I got to hear some touching stories about matches involved in both BBBS programs. Anush shared a video where a famous pianist from SPB and a DJ put together a 24 hr outdoor concert to raise awareness about BBBS. As soon as I get the video link I will share it, it is well done and quite inspiring! The cafe was adorable. The menus had spots to leave messages, so the ladies let their business cards.. Networking 101 – making me proud. I would have done the same but my cell phone number was on my card.

I also loved that this place sold postcards made by kids from NGO’s, proceeds from the postcards sold go straight to the organizations that made the cards. This is great concept to build awareness, I think some Dorchester organizations could afford to make this happen for local nonprofits.

I was sad to say goodbye to Anush, she is so energetic, we have big plans of collaboration and a trip to Armenia where she was born. She did some great summer program work there last year and the pictures looked so inviting.

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