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March 2010

marta 8


international women's day is march 8th.  spring is in the air, women worldwide enjoy extra attention from the men in their lives, and the prices of roses in russia skyrocket.  but its a small price to pay for those you care about.  we, of the male species at the consulate, made our plans for the annual event.  the first year we did something pretty simple.  every women at the consulate was met when they arrived for work and was escorted to their office.  along the way they received a rose and had a picture taken with the consul general.  last year we threw a hawaiian party, importing in leis and wearing our best tropical shirts and shorts.  

this year we're going formal again.  on friday, we went with a film festival theme. escorts (with famous russian, english, and american actors 8x10 photos taped to their chest) walked our "celebrity" women down a red carpet where they were filmed, photographed and interviewed by the consul general on their way to the festival awards ceremony. a few introduction speeches were made, thanking the women for all the things they do to make the world a better place.  then came the awards.  we took the idea of a best film of the year award and announced the nominees from all the consulates and the embassy in russian.  each post's film contribution was actually a creative commercial.  i had to spend a few nights on youtube and to come up with enough "nominees".  the criteria:  no speaking since we had a mix of non-english listeners, honor women for what they bring to the world, and also be creative enough to feel like they could actually be a movie.

here a look at what we presented for the women of mission russia:

Yekaterinburg's "The Second Driver"

St. Petersburg's "Jealousy"

Moscow's "First time"

Vladivostok's "Brothers"

and the winner - Vladivostok!

our creative consul affairs officer also contributed a "live" video feed to offer his congratulations to the ladies for winning.  since he was in Magadan that day, a thousand miles away.  he still wanted to help out with the event.  actually it was pre-taped and played on dvd.  the humorous ending showed some obvious give-aways that he was recording this in vlad before he left.  the resulting laughter proved our annual event was once again successful.  

i handed out the "awards", each wrapped in aluminum foil containing a "marta 8th" coffee/tea mug with their photo on it.  i used foil, since i could mold it into some semblance of an award.

it was a lot of planning.  several people were out of the office on leave or training.  so i was a little worn out covering work and coordinating the event.  but we have a great local staff that helped get the food ready, find the awards, work out the video and audio issues, decorate and then put everything together.

it wasn't the oscars, bit it did honor the ladies with a 5-star tribute.

russian first day of spring - march 1st


 -new bay bridge under construction-

today's the first day of spring in russia.  doesn't feel like it yet.  but at least we know warm weather is on it's way.  i told my girlfriend the first day of spring in the usa isn't until march 21st/22nd.  she doubted this, saying spring starts on the first, everywhere in the world.  after a couple minutes on-line, i was able to prove i wasn't just making it up.  several continents, like north american, observe the first days during the respective solstice and equinox of the seasons.  she believes this would still cause some confusion in some instances.  i'm still trying to think of examples of how, but can't come up with anything.  now if we were talking about time-zones that'd be different.