Friday, September 21, 2012

So what is next for Anna and I?

Many people ask me, what Anna and I are going to do now. We have been corresponding through Skype using Google Translator for a year now. And now I have returned home after spending over a week with her. So "What is next?", you may ask.
Anna and I are still very much in love and we plan to get married as soon as we can. But an international marriage is not a very simple process. It will require a lot of time and effort to file the necessary paperwork with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services controlled by the Department of Homeland Security.
Anna and I are preparing to file for a K-1 visa. A K-1 visa will allow Anna to come here for a period of 90 days as my fiancee with the intent to marry me while she is here. In fact this has been our plan for quite a length of time and I must admit it was one of the motivating factors for my visit to Russia. My trip to Russia was a very crucial step in the process. One of the main requirements to file for the K-1 visa is to prove that we have met in person within the past 2 years.
Both Anna and I must provide many documents to the USCIS. Fortunately we prepared many of the documents during my visit with her. In fact we had to pay a company in Russia to translate birth certificates as well as other documents so we could include them with the application.
I hope this will answer everyone's questions for now and I will let everyone know when the visa is approved.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My visit to Russia, Continued...

I cannot say how much we enjoyed our time together in Russia. Anna showed me many places and introduced me to much of her family.

I wish I had time to post all of the pictures we took while I was there but, unfortunately I do not have the time.

We had a great time. But unfortunately after a period of 7 days, I had to leave.
I must say this was not a very happy time for us. I wish I could have spent more time there but my visa was scheduled to expire on the 31st of August and I had to leave.

Once again we had to get on a bus and make the long trip to Moscow for my scheduled departure.
We were able to spend the day Touring Moscow together before I left though. She showed me Red Square and many other popular attractions there before I left.

I hope to add a special page showing many of the pictures I took while I was in Russia but unfortunately this is all I have time to post at this time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My visit to Russia, Continued...

Anna and I really enjoyed our time together. She showed me all around her hometown. She brought me to a place they call the "Valley of the beggars" which is ironic because it is where all the government officials live. While the average Russian lives in a 400 square foot flats in complexes like this,
the government officials and religious leaders live in nice homes like the ones seen here.
Thus the irony stated in the term "Valley of the Beggars".
Anna and the children took me to the mall where we had a great time shopping and having lunch. 
I must say the Russian food was excellent, but I have to admit Anna cooked much better meals than were prepared in any of the restaurants there.
Anna even treated me to a haircut while I was there with her personal hairdresser. If you ever find yourself in Russia and want a haircut, look up this place and ask for Natasha. She did an amazing job.

This is the Salon she works at.
To be continued...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My visit to Russia!

I am sorry it has taken me so long to write this but I have became sick soon after I arrived.
But for all of you who have been waiting for the details, I will try to remember them. Fortunately we took many pictures while I was there so I hope it will trigger my memory.
After I arrived at Moscow, Anna picked me up at the airport and we briefly toured Moscow before taking a 12 hour bus ride to her hometown which is approximately 450 miles from Moscow. For those who want more information on the first day you can refer to my previous blog entry titled "My first Day in Russia".
After resting for a while Anna began showing me around her hometown. I must admit we did struggle a little bit with communication because neither Anna or I were as well prepared as we had hoped. Fortunately she had a cross-translation dictionary that we used quite frequently.
We spent time shopping at the local meat market as well as other local shops to purchase some things for dinner.

We had to visit the post office twice in order for her to contact the U.S. Embassy to notify them of my arrival.
We even spent time at the park with the children.

While we spent many hours walking the streets in Russia, from shop to shop and from attraction to attraction we would pause briefly at night to handle any communication problems we had using, yes, you guessed it "Google Translator". In fact I took a picture of Anna preparing a message for me to read. Our only regret is that we did not save our written correspondence while we were there. It would have been nice to be able to add those words to our over 1800 pages of correspondence.
On a side note, this is the very location I met Anna online. She was sitting in this corner on this laptop and read my first message to her "Privet Anna!".

To be continued...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The first day in Russia

After 30 hours from my departure from the Boise Airport I finally arrived in Moscow at 6:00 AM Moscow time. I must say the sunrise was beautiful over Moscow. I was able to get a picture through the window of the airplane.
After I passed through passport control and picked up my luggage at the baggage claim, I exited the main terminal and Anna was right there waiting as she promised. We recognized each other right away and it was if we had already known each other for years.

After leaving the Airport we took the Metro which is the subway system in Moscow to the bus station to check my bags in for our trip in the evening.
Despite the rainy weather in Moscow that neither Anna or I had been prepared for me managed to briefly tour a few of the attractions there in Moscow.
It is unfortunate that I do not remember the name of this place but it was beautiful. Here are some pictures.

I took so many pictures that I cannot spend all day uploading them to the blog. But after about 14 hours of touring Moscow and riding the Metro back and forth we arrived at the bus station to take us to Anna's hometown which is approximately 450 miles away from Moscow.
The bus ride was about 12 hours and we slept most of the way. We arrived at her home at about 6:30 AM. Both of us were very tired even after trying to sleep on the rough bus ride and felt fortunate that the children allowed us to sleep the remainder of the Morning.
That was the first day!