This is Valerie blogging. We are all taking turns trying to catch up on blogging so please forgive me for going out of order. It's Thursday evening here in Yoshkar-Ola and we are finally getting back to the hotel after a whirlwind day learning about the Mari culture and visiting with Mari believers. The day started with a Russian breakfast in the hotel. Afterwards we started a walking tour of the city. We had the 6 of us, our two translators Natasha and Zhenya and our guide Pastor Anatoly. We were a sight walking down Victory Park! Marc was able to get some great video for Engage Russia and the pedestrians seemed to enjoy the bloopers. Marc even had a very small co-host for one segment. After lunch we visited a museum dedicated to the Mari people. Natasha did a wonderful job translating for us!
Pastor Anatoly has been helping us connect with believers in the city and guiding us around town. This evening he arranged for us to meet some Mari believers about 30 minutes outside of the city. We were invited to their apartment and had the chance to talk and interview them. Afterwards they served us dinner and Janet has pictures of Marc enjoying his. We started talking about Mari music and before we knew what had happened, we were listening to them perform music, sing, dance and see the traditional Mari clothing. We enjoyed our visit with our Brothers & Sisters in Christ even with the language barrier!
Your Sister in Christ,