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March-April Newsletter


The International Women’s Club of Moscow

Glav UpDK Cultural Center, Olaf Palme Ul. 5, Korpus 2, 1st Floor Tel/Fax: 147-2240
Office Hours: Mon 12 noon– 2  p.m. &  Wed 10 a.m. – 12  noon.


Fashion Show

To Support IWC Charities


March 28, 2001 at 5 p.m.


At the Embassy of Lithuania


Dates to Remember

Inside this Issue

March 22, General Meeting, Craft Fair, Aerostar Hotel,            Leningradsky Pr. 37. 10 a.m.– 12 noon. Metro: Dinamo.


March 26, Last day for reservations for Newcomers’ Coffee.


March 28, Charities General Meeting, Embassy of Canada,  Starokonyushenny Pereulok 23. 10 a.m. until 12 noon. Nearest Metro: Smolenskaya.


March 28, IWC Fashion Show, Embassy of Lithuania, Borisolebski Per. 10. 5 p.m.


March 29, IWC Newcomers’ Coffee, British Embassy Residence, Sofiyskaya Nab. 14. 10 a.m. until 12 noon. Nearest Metro: Biblioteka im. Lenina/Borovitskaya.


April 6             Deadline for April-May Newsletter.


April 7 Anglo-American School “Spring Gala”. See page 20.


April 12, Deadline for Nominations for 2001-2002 Steering Committee.


April 26, IWC General Meeting, Embassy of Angola, Olaf Palme, Ul. 6. 10 am  - 12 noon.



Acknowledgements 2      

Fashion Show 3     

Newcomers 4       

World War 3, 5

Steering Committee 6      

Meet the Steering Committee 6  

Charities Pages 7-8-9

Membership 10-11

Nomination Form 12     

Steering Committee Position

Description 13-14-15

Travel Tips 16-17-18

Something to Share 19

Advertising/Announcement 20

Interest Group News 21

Spotlight on Chocolate Factory 21

Interest Groups Listings 23-24-25








Letter From The President


Dear friends,


I am pleased to inform you that we have already received some feedback on the history of our club since its inception in 1978.  Some interesting information regarding its origins and evolution are now in the process of being compiled.  We soon hope to bring out a short history, which will also project the achievements of the International Women’s Club. 

As many members are leaving this summer, vacancies are due to arise in the Steering Committee.  Interested ladies may please contact Denise Sebastian.

Many thanks to Djamilya Shaislamova, wife of the Ambassador of Uzbekistan, for a lovely coffee morning.  Glimpses of her beautiful country were fascinating and members enjoyed purchasing the typical Uzbek handicrafts. 

The celebration of International Women’s Day at UPDK was a treat too.  The Russian dancers and the sale of selected items was a befitting way to celebrate the event.  Our thanks to Valeriya Pavlovskaya for organizing a wonderful program.

Our next General Meeting will be held at the Embassy of Angola on April 26, where traditional Angolan dances await you.

Immediately next on the agenda is our annual fashion show, to be held on March 28 at the Lithuanian Embassy.     Tickets for the event are already on sale, the proceeds of which will go towards charity.  Hope to see you all there. 


Yours sincerely,


Nilima Lambah



Thank You

Thank you to Mrs. Djamilya Shaislamova, wife of the Ambassador of Uzbekistan for hosting our February General Meeting in her Embassy. The sale of typical souvenirs and the movie on Uzbekistan’s main cities were very much appreciated by all members attending the meeting.


Thank You

Thanks to the Renaissance Moscow Hotel, the Italian Embassy and the staff of the Uzbek Embassy for their support in the logistics.


Newsletter Contribution


Birthe Rasmussen: 795-9731 or


Next Deadline: April 6, 2001.

April 2001 General Meeting


April 26


10 a.m. till 12 noon


at the Embassy of Angola,

Ul. Olof Palme, 6


Entertainment: Angolan Dancers


Nearest Metro: Kievskaya


From the Kievskaya metro station (line-taxi no. 11 or trolley-bus no. 7, 34, 17) up to bus stop “Universitetsky Prospect” then walk along Olof. Palme Street which runs perpendicularly to Mosfilmovskaya Street.



The distribution of the IWC Newsletter

to all Embassies will be at the

premises of “Information Moscow” at

Leninsky prospect 45.

Please remember to pick it up.


Thank You Austrian Airlines

We are grateful to Austrian Airlines for

sponsoring the printing of the newsletter.


                             Office Duty

Office Hours:

Monday,            12 noon to 2 p.m.

Wednesday,   10 a.m. to 12 noon.



Wed 21  Cristian Ernsting

Mon 26  Jane McKinven

Wed 28  Lyles Perkins



Mon 2    Giancarla Bonotto and Nilima Lambah

Wed 4    TBA

Mon 9    TBA

Wed 11  Office Closed

Mon 16 Office Closed

Wed 18  Office Closed

Mon 23  TBA

Wed 26  Celia Verrier








Attention Newcomers

č          Are you new in town?

č          Are you interested in learning about the IWC?

The Newcomers Committee is here to help you make your first months in Moscow more enjoyable. Call us and we will do our best to help you.


Gwenn Djupedal                   418-4470

Tania Mikhailenko             971-1140

Dora Monga                         243-4811

Elisabeth Calder                   737-5904

Janet Bowie                           241-1225

Lidia McEachern                  935-7987

Yumiko Almasov                  728-5421


Hospitality Coordinator:

Magdalena Dondo:      Tel: 200-0297

                               Tel/Fax: 956-1063

Newcomers’ Coffee

If you are new in Moscow and would like to meet with other newcomers while learning more about the many programs and activities of the International Women’s Club, please plan to attend one of our monthly Newcomers' Coffee mornings.

The next coffee will take place on Thursday, March 29th from 10 a.m. until 12 noon at the British Embassy Residence, Sofiyskaya Nab. 14. Our hostess will be Lady Mandy Lyne. The nearest Metro station is Biblioteka im. Lenina/Borovitskaya. If you would like to attend, please call a member of the Newcomers’ Committee. For security reasons, reservations are required by Monday, March 26th. Because of space restrictions, these coffees are not suitable for babies and toddlers. We look forward to seeing you there! The IWC Newcomers’ Coffees are an opportunity for you to meet other newcomers, make friends and share experiences. Members of the IWC Steering Committee and the Newcomers’ Committee will be on hand to explain what the IWC has to offer and also to answer your questions and try to help you have a smooth adjustment to life in Moscow. Please join us for one of our monthly Newcomers’ Coffee mornings whenever it is convenient for you during your first year in Moscow.

Gwenn Djupedal 418-4470


Thank You!

Warmest thanks to Mrs. Anne Maria Cede for hosting the February 22nd Newcomers’ Coffee morning in the beautiful Residence of the Embassy of Austria. Your gracious hospitality made us all feel most welcome.

From The Editor

This Editors Last Note

                I lost my heart, not in San Francisco, but in the South of France. Having just returned from a week’s holiday in our house in Mandelieu, I must admit it is the place where I feel I belong and where I want to be. Mandelieu, also called the Capital of the Mimosas, is located right on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and is just 10 minutes (one hour in high-season) from Cannes. From the end of January and until the middle of March is the time of the year when the Mimosas is in full floral so I don’t even know if you can imagine the fantastic scent there is at this time of the year. It is like sitting in the middle of a huge bunch of flowers or being in a perfume factory.

                After 4 years membership and 2 1/2 years active involvement with the newsletter and fundraising, my time has come to step down to let others take over. I will be leaving Moscow end of this school year, going back to the South of France, but I will never forget the lovely time I have had here, the wonderful people I have met or what this club has done for me, because being involved is not only giving but also receiving.

                A special thank you to Linda Montgomery who has made my job as Editor very easy. Linda’s ideas and her talent as a writer have made the newsletter so much more interesting. If, she is ever going to write the book she is talking about, I will make sure, I am the first one in line to get a copy. Thank you again Linda, for all your contributions and your hard work.

                Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to meet you, to work with you, and for being there for me when I needed you. I shall of course miss you; miss working with the club and also Moscow, because even if I dislike the traffic, dislike living in a huge city and dislike winter, Moscow has still won a part of my heart.

                 Linda has also stepped down as Assistant Editor, so we would both like to welcome the new editorial team (for constitutional reasons, it is not possible for me to mention their names before they have been voted in at the next steering committee meeting) and wish them all the best for the future. Of cause, we will give them, and the IWC, all the help and support needed as long as we are still in town.


Yours truly,


Birthe Rasmussen




World War 3 By Linda Montgomery

Between finishing a newsletter story for the IWC and writing the travelogue on Turkey, I’ve had a busy day at the computer, but wanted to share the story of a visitor we had this evening with you. Artiom is a young artist who makes beautiful Russian scenes in wood-burning on wooden boxes, lamps, plaques and toys. I first met him at a friend’s house and ordered a couple of Christmas ornaments more than a year ago. It’s a good thing, too, because his orders are about a year behind schedule.

Tonight he brought over a round box with a winter skating scene and a hot air balloon complete with characters (including the captain looking at maps and a pilot checking the wind) inside. Although his work is charming, the long stretches between his appearances make you wonder why you made the order in the first place. Until he shows up again. Then, you realize the reason his appearances are few and far between.

Artiom loves to talk. I think he talks more than he works, and that’s why it takes so long to get anything done. The last time he was here we spent three hours at the dining room table talking about everything from his work to Russian history, current events and blues music (that was Dave’s input, not mine). This time, he was here for just over an hour -- a short visit for him, but his wife is pregnant with twin boys and wanted him home soon. They are due in May and both are very excited about it. They tried to have a baby for a long time, but had lots of trouble (you can see how long we’ve talked), and have spent lots of time at clinics and with doctors giving advice all the way. I’m sure his wife would be thrilled to know how detailed her medical history is with his clients.

He is like a mother hen and talks more than any chicken I’ve ever known, but he’s really funny and is always entertaining. For some reason he got off on his military service stories tonight, and was telling us about how one experience “COULD BE MAKING THE WORLD WAR THREE”. We were talking about something innocuous like traffic when he announced that he did not drive, did not have a driver’s license, and could only drive a tank!

Well, this of course, invites a story and we egged him on (although it didn’t take much to encourage him). After telling us how easy it was to drive a tank (just two hands and a foot needed to turn right, left, go and stop by pushing the pedal down or taking the pressure off to stop), he launched into further stories about his military duty. Artiom is a very tall, thin man with long limbs whose antics are comical. It’s hard to imagine his grace with his art when he is telling antimated stories, arms and legs flailing in four directions, but he is the same man who spends hours doing minutely detailed work for a living.

He was stationed in East Germany, outside West Berlin where the Americans had a base. He said the American base had lots of planes (C-130’s -- the enormous cargo planes) and since they were located on a hill (the Russians always find the high ground), they were always watching them. In between watching the American planes, the Russian soldiers drilled and ran with all their equipment --


just like most soldiers everywhere. He was pantomiming and describing these exhausting drills and told us that the best and worst time of day was when they were making their last exhausting run back to the barracks for a longed-for dinner.

Inevitably, one of the frequent American cargo planes would fly over and the leaders would yell, “AIR ATTACK!” This was the signal to fall on the ground, roll over on their backs and point their empty guns in the air and pretend to shoot at the offending attacker. This was the last thing they wanted to do on their way to dinner, but it was part of the training. Once, he told us, they were especially tired when they heard the plane coming, fell into the prone position and started their pretend attack when they heard a live round go off. It must have scared them to death, because he said that all the officers immediately dove into the woods where about five men were in position, denying the use of a live cartridge.

About thirty men searched on their hands and knees for over an hour for the spent cartridge. They never found the offending evidence, but the whole group missed dinner. He said they ran to the “chow hall” begging for something to eat, but were told to eat dirt and grass while doing push-ups. All armies must be alike. To further prove that, he told us about the visit of a military VIP -- it was, in fact, the minister who later tried to overthrow Gorbachev.

When the visit was announced, the Russian army dropped all drills and started sprucing up the grounds. It was fall, and the season presented the usual problems. No matter how often they swept up the leaves, the trees kept dropping them. Finally, Artiom said he noticed four or five men in each tree lining the path to the chow hall on his trip to dinner. As he walked by, he noticed that the men were shaking the branches furiously, trying to loosen every possible leaf that the tree might lose in the next day or two.

In addition to these “preventative” measures for the trees, he said the brass was concerned about the uneven patches of green/browning grass on the parade grounds. To rectify this situation, they ordered some poor soldiers to paint the ground and necessary dead grass green. He laughed, but said he wasn’t immune from such ridiculous duty. When the company’s lawnmower broke down, he and three other soldiers were given “Skizors” (scissors) to cut the grass at 5 centimeters exactly. He crossed his eyes while pantomiming the precise exercise.

I don’t know if it’s the stories or his antics that make me laugh so much. Part of the charm of hearing stories like these must come from the idea of hearing them from a former Cold War “enemy” who tells ridiculous, but very familiar tales of military life. His mixed English grammar adds another element of charm, too. It’s another one of those small miracles to sit in your warm living room during a Russian winter and hear funny stories about the trials of a Russian soldier. Sometimes I must pinch myself to realize I’m not dreaming.



IWC Steering Committee 2000-2001

Meet A Steering Committee Member

Charities Co-Chair

Celia Verrier


We were living in Ankara, Turkey when we learned we would soon move to Moscow, and the first thing anyone ever told me was “I lived there a few  years ago, and you have to join the International Women’s Club of Moscow, it is the best women’s club I’ve ever belonged to...”. And the next day I met someone else who used to live here, and she said the same thing. Funny thing was, that woman had lived here decades ago, and still remembered the architecture walks as one of the best parts of life here. So I am very happy to be a part of this and I know some day, somewhere, I will meet someone who is moving to Moscow, and I will say the same thing.


I used to be a practicing lawyer, in Canada, but what I thought was a short break from work seems to have turned into early retirement. Luckily, charities work here is infinitely more interesting.






Your monthly

Breast examine

Could save your life




News From The Charities Group

News from the IWC Charities Meeting

by Alison Adams

A lively meeting took place at the Canadian Embassy attended by a large number of volunteers. We thank the Canadian Embassy and in particular Maureen Rush for hosting the meeting in Penny Irwin’s absence. This month we enjoyed hearing about the wonderful achievements taking place in the Mother Teresa Homes. There are fourteen Mother Teresa Homes throughout Russia with two based in Moscow. Sister Gaulbert from the Central House looks after 13 handicapped children, 5 of whom are unable to attend school. All of these children have needs and desires though are not always able to express themselves, the Sisters do a wonderful job keeping the children occupied, helping to build up their self confidence by showing them there are things they can achieve themselves. Without attention they tend to feel useless and become aggressive. If anyone has specialist knowledge of working with the handicapped your advice and ideas would be greatly appreciated. Sister Grace Therese works at the Street Clinic and Home for the Elderly. The Home for the Elderly provides shelter for about 45 old people who are homeless or sick, the Sisters aim to take care of their physical and spiritual needs and are delighted to see how, with care and attention, the initial rudeness and aggression displayed by many gradually dissolves. The Street Clinic offers a hot meal of soup, bread and tea every evening to about 100 homeless people, medical attention three mornings a week, with the help of Doctors without Borders, and two mornings a week gives the homeless the opportunity to shower and change or wash their clothes. These winter months are particularly difficult as they have no heat in the building that serves as a soup kitchen, dispensary and shower. If anyone knows of a heating specialist please contact Birgit von Canisius at 134-8449.

We also heard about the Moscow street children from Marianne Hirdman who has written an article on the subject. See page 8

Thank You

Thank you to the CANADIAN EMBASSY, for donating furniture which we gave to several centers for social orphans, a foster family home, and a youth center….

Thank You

Thank you to ALLIED PICKFORDS moving company, for donating a truck and men to move the furniture donated by the Canadian Embassy and to distribute this furniture amongst several of our projects.


Needed - Second Hand Children’s Books

A library “Books on Wheels” is being set up to visit the internats (orphanages for children 8-20). Please donate any early readers, novels,  magazines or children's videos in English, French and German. To arrange a
pickup/delivery point please contact Candide Darwazeh at 720-5126


Summer Camp

A summer camp is being arranged for internat children. The children will travel to Georgia and stay at an archeological camp where they learn discipline/social skills and survival. If you are able to donate tents or other camping equipment please contact Inga Lis Hauksdottir at 956-9992.


Photocopier Needed

One of our projects (a hotline for women and psychological counseling for  homeless children) needs a photocopier - do you have a used one to spare?  Please contact Hanno Kress at 243-5462.


February Funding Report

by Celia Verrier

Every IWC member contributes to the work of the Charities Group - whether it is by paying membership dues, buying or selling a ticket to a fund raiser, selling or shopping at the Winter Bazaar, volunteering time, donating old clothes… In February of each year, the Charities Committee tries to allocate a large portion of its available funds, and here’s what we decided - we thought you might like to see a short summary of what went where:

The Oratorio Concerts supported our foster families, and children living in prison in St. Petersburg.

Swedish Radio funds bought footwear and contributed to psychological counseling for homeless children in a Moscow holding center, and bought 

medicine and underwear for homeless children in another Moscow home for street children.

Winter Bazaar 2000 funds are being used to purchase food to be distributed to the poor in the Tverskaya Oblast, near Staritsa, to feed children in some multi-racial families in Moscow, to feed children in an orphanage run by Italian priests, for food packages for elderly housebound in Moscow, and for
orphans at a center for orphan graduates (older orphans learning to live on their own and support themselves).

Winter Bazaar 2000 funds are also being used to provide psychological counseling to teens at a Moscow holding center and to children in foster families, to enable a Moscow neurosurgeon to promote early identification and treatment of

hydrocephalic babies, and to build permanent playgrounds at baby houses in Moscow and the Moscow region.

The funds raised at the Embassy

Dinner and Dance 2001 will support six Moscow soup kitchens and

provide individual support for several families in crisis - a boy with cerebral palsy, two elderly sisters, several multi-racial families, and single parent families struggling to care for their children. Embassy Dinner and Dance funds are also being used to top up an emergency response fund from which we provide help to needy families and projects throughout the year.

Funds raised at the Gala Dinner last October at the Renaissance Penta Hotel have been used to support an agricultural project outside Moscow, also in the impoverished Staritsa region.



News From The Charities Group

The Plight of Moscow’s Street Children

by Marianne Hirdman

In November 2000 I was contacted by Swedish Radio and TV Assistance Association which had decided to allocate the money collected during 2000 to Russian street children. I started to investigate and found that human rights laws prevent Russian authorities from bringing children into custody unless they have violated a law. The children are left to sleep out during the cold nights, and organizations are discouraged from operating homes for them. Ironically, the law was designed to decrease the number of street children.

Holding Center in the North of Moscow
I contacted a holding center for minors, which the Swedish Embassy had previously visited. This institution is government-run, has a capacity for 350 children, but at present houses about 100. They are in a fenced-in territory but can walk outside and to the church room or classrooms with supervision. They are helped by Danilovsky monastery.

These children are 12-18 years old, many without identity papers; others are waiting to enter a special vocational school or have fled from a vocational school or orphanage. Some have committed crimes, for example, begging. As many as 40% come from former CIS countries, some are Muslim.

They stay a month or so, during which time they live in a highly disciplined environment, attend classes, receive medical help, and attend psychological counseling sessions in groups and individually. The psychological counseling has been an IWC Charities project for two years, recently supported with proceeds from the Winter Bazaar 2000. Four psychologists come for four hours each a week, mainly during the weekends. This is very important as these young persons need to talk about what they have been through, sexual abuse, prostitution, drug addiction, theft, violence and even murder.

When I asked what they wanted, they replied: soap, shampoo, toothpaste, sheets, shoes, slippers, socks and tights - these I was able to purchase with money from Swedish Radio, the IWC and from private donations from the Swedish Embassy - and also computers, TVs and fax machines - which regretfully were beyond my means!

I visited their art center where a volunteer artist draws and paints with the children. They showed us very artistic paintings. But many of the young people I spoke with had not been to this showplace. I find it hard to believe that in 30 days a street child could make so much progress!

On my second visit, with Celia Verrier from the IWC Charities Group, we delivered some of the items they requested and they showed us their locked storerooms and evidence of their careful inventory. When each child leaves he or she signs a list of all of the clothing given to wear home.

Prison for Young Adults in the Moscow Oblast
I also visited a prison for young women outside Mozhaisk         

                                                                Continued on page 9                          

The Mother Teresa Homes Need Your Help:


Mother Teresa’s Children’s Home and Street Clinic/Home for the Homeless need help with their weekly grocery shopping. The sisters have to shop and cook for a soup kitchen for about 100 people every day, plus the 40-odd residents in their Home for the Homeless Elderly, plus the thirteen children in their Children’s Home. They need someone to lend a small van once a week or even twice a month - so they can buy their groceries and take them home…do you have a driver with extra time on his hands? Could you send him out there (in the east of Moscow, near Ismailovo Park) for a few hours from time to time?


The Street Clinic needs crutches, routine medications and bandages, clothes for adult men, and toiletry articles (when you travel bring home those individual toiletries from your room - they are perfect for the homeless who come to shower and change at the Street Clinic)


The Children’s Home needs daytime volunteers to spend time with the children who are too disabled to go to school. They need comfort, attention, feeding, companionship…Also the Children’s Home needs arts and crafts materials, puzzles, and books.

Please call Birgit von Canisius at 134-8449 if you can help with any of these needs-


Thank You

A big thank you to Shahveer and Knushnuma Kapadia for their generous donation to support the Soup Kitchens.



so until further notice please take any donations to Patriarshy Dom Tours, Monday to Friday, during regular office hourse, at Vspolny Pereulok, No. 6, School 1239, telephone 795-0937, or send an email to listing your donations. If you have questions, please contact Yasuko Naka, our Donations Coordinator, at 960-4093 or Thank you for your patience.


The Next Charities General Meeting


Wednesday, March 28, 2001

10 am -  12 Noon

At the Canadian Embassy, Canada Room Starokonyushenny Pereulok 23. Nearest Metro: Smolenskaya.

Our Charities meetings are held the fourth

Wednesday of every month..

All IWC Members Are Welcome



News From The Charities Group

To all our IWC Charities Volunteers:


The year of 2001 is the UN year of the volunteer.  It is heartwarming that the hard work of all volunteers is recognized in this way.  I do not, however need any convincing as to their importance.  The foundation of the Charities Group is the many ladies who donate their time and energy on helping.  Some donate a lot of their time, others a little once in a while, this is equally important: it is the mountain of work we pull off together that matters.  We also have a network of helpers: our husbands and families, our husbands’ companies and their employees, members of NGOs, our household staff, members of various religious congregations who are also trying to help the needy, many corporate companies, and the list could go on.  Thank you to all our volunteers and helpers.

                In February the Charities Steering Committee said good-bye to three of its members:  Siska Rooze, our Donations Coordinator, Liz Henderson, the writer of IWC Newsletter Charities pages, and Natalya Olin, our Foster Family Coordinator.  Thank you for all your work and dedication to the IWC Charities Group, and best wishes for the future. 

                We welcome Yasuko Naka, who will take over as Donation Coordinator and Alison Adams, who has volunteered to help.  

                Please keep volunteering as we have a very high turnover of helpers all the time when people move from Moscow.

                                                                      Inga Lís Hauksdóttir


Help Needed With French Course

A request from the Russian Orphan Opportunity Fund - One of our post-orphanage college students, Larissa Androskina, needs help with her French course for 2 hours a week (she is studying linguistics in an institute). We were wondering if one of the French speakers from IWC would like to help out - think she really needs the help so her schedule is flexible and she is willing to come to somebody’s home if that is more convenient. Please call Georgia Williams if you can help, at 229-5100.

Continued from page 8

where a baby house for their children up to age three has been installed. When they are not at work, their mothers may visit their children. This nursery gets support from the Swedish, the Skaraborg assistance, and other foreign sources. They have just restored a new section for the children in the baby house. The children were well kept and seemed healthy and relaxed. Sometimes the fact that they have children leads to a shorter and lighter punishment for the mothers. But the personnel also mentioned that some mothers refuse to contact their children. Nearby is a prison for about 350 young men, 14 to 18 years old, exceptionally up to 21 years old . They prefer to stay here as the food and other conditions are better than in an ordinary prison.

The prisoners have five classes six days a week with what seemed to be very good teachers. They are better paid in a prison than in an ordinary school. Some of the prisoners are illiterate, so they attend classes in accordance with their level, not their age. They also have some vocational training in a machine room, where working on car engines is the most popular activity, and are trained in workshops making fire brigade ladders and helmets. The prisoners receive a certificate upon leaving which does not mention their training was in prison. Three months before leaving they attend a special life-skills course.

They all have suffered through traumatic life experiences, many come from hard family experiences with child abuse and drug addiction. They receive psychological counseling in groups and individually. We met a very understanding and professional psychologist and a sympathetic doctor at the small hospital. Some of the interns suffer from tuberculosis or are HIV positive. They are anemic and underfed on arrival. It is hard for them to develop normally, some try to commit suicide. But they spoke openly with me, and were telling me what they were learning in Russian history and literature. I saw one class having a mathematics lesson.

The director would like computers for the classes. I managed to get them some outdated ones from Swedish companies. The prison sometimes gets food supplies trucked in from Sweden, but they still need vitamins, so I bought 1200 liters of juice and 5,000 vitamin pills for them.

Street Children’s Shelter, “Way to home”
The third center I visited, together with Inga Lis Hauksdottir and Kari Rady from the IWC, is a street children’s shelter in southern Moscow organized by a non-governmental organization which opposes drug and alcohol use. It was started when the Russian law still would let such groups take care of children whose parents were unsuitable. They manage to continue this activity and even accept children without papers, thanks to good relations with the Moscow government.

Presently there are 36 children between four and 16 years old. Most stay six months to a year. Some come on their own initiative, others are brought by parents, other grown-ups or child welfare workers. On arrival they spend two weeks in quarantine.

The institution has lawyers who work on the children’s behalf. These sometimes are complicated cases such as defending the child’s right to live in his or her flat which has been sold by an alcoholic parent.

The director of the shelter has a warm relationship with the children. They attend classes there, not yet being at the level

required for ordinary schools. The director said they want help with clothes for the children, which will be provided by the IWC Charities Group with Swedish Radio funds. They also asked for medical help for a child who needs a back operation.


Note: the IWC Charities Group supports the first and third institutions described by Marianne Hirdman, but not Mozhaisk Prison.





The following members are either new members of  the club, have renewed their membership or have had corrections to the directory printed in October. If you are a member and not in the Directory or on this list, please call Susan Henry at  961-3358, Fax 961-3358 or email her at 



















(attached to and made a part of the IWC STANDING RULES, effective April, 2000)

In addition to the responsibilities outlined below, the Standing Rules provides, in part, that, “…each Steering Committee officer and group leader is required to attend monthly Steering Committee meetings,… attend one Newcomers meeting during the Club year, serve as a “greeter” for one general meeting during the Club year, and work in the IWC Office for a two-hour interval every other month of the Club year, except when that office is closed…  Each Steering Committee member shall also be supportive of the Club’s fund raising activities, charitable activities, and other Club events…”


·         Officer of the Club

·         Represents the IWC to the public

·         Presides over all IWC Steering Committee Meetings, IWC general meetings and other IWC events.

·         Maintains positive relationship with the foreign affairs offices in Moscow (i.e. UpDK, MID)

·         Maintains positive relationship with the Embassies in Moscow.

·         Works closely with Nominating Committee to fill vacancies when necessary.

·         Assists the Vice President in finding venues for IWC meetings and coffees.

·         Works cooperatively with all members of the Steering Committee

·         Sets the agenda for every Steering Committee Meeting

·         Maintains communication with the entire Steering Committee regarding their individual responsibilities.

·         Coordinates the hand over process at the end of the Club year.

·         Reviews the annual audit

·         Maintains an archive of the written treasury reports

·         Determines which Steering Committee member from the diplomatic community will maintain a bank account for the Club.

·         Attends every newcomers’ coffee, if possible.

·         With assistance from the officers and other Steering Committee members, solicits sponsorship for the newsletter, directory and any other IWC publications

·         Maintains a calendar of all IWC activities as well as diplomatic and community activities in Moscow


First Vice President

·         Officer of the Club.

·         Assists the President of the Club as necessary.

·         Presides over the Club’s business and meetings during the President’s absence.

·         Plans the Club general meetings, including the program and location.

·         Serves as liaison between the Club members and the President.

·         Reviews the annual audit.


Second Vice President

·         Officer of the Club.

·         Assists the President and the First Vice President.

·         Presides over the Club’s business and meetings during the President’s and First Vice President’s absence.

·         Assists both the President and First Vice President in the events of the Club.

·         Serves as liaison between Club members and the


·         Reviews the annual audit.

Recording Secretary

·         Takes minutes at the monthly Steering Committee meetings, and any other IWC meeting if requested by the


·         Publishes the monthly Steering Committee minutes, photocopies and distributes them at the following meeting to be read and approved.

·         Maintains an archive of all Club publications including monthly minutes, newsletters, directories, fund raising files and other IWC publications.



·         Keeps a record of all Club income and expenditures.

·         Reimburses all Club purchases and expenses against

        proper receipts.

·         Maintains bank accounts on behalf of the Club.

·         Reports orally to the Steering Committee monthly.

·         Presents a written report to the President monthly.

·         Presides over the Steering Committee budget meeting if necessary.

·         Receives and deposits membership dues from Newcomers Committee, Membership Coordinators, and Steering Committee members.

·         Receives and deposits money from the Winter Bazaar, IWC Charity events, and IWC fund raising events.

·         Distributes funds in accordance with Steering Committee decisions.

·         Reviews the annual audit.


Liaison Officer

·         Ensures Club activities conform to the Constitution and Standing Rules of the Club.

·         Issues decisions regarding the Constitution and/or Standing Rules as requested by the Steering Committee members or members of the Club

·         Acts as the parliamentarian for all Steering Committee meetings and other Club meetings if requested to by the Officers of the Club.

·         Supervises all written ballots and voting procedures and other matters as requested by the Officers of the Club.

·         Maintains an archive of Steering Committee membership for eligibility in accordance with Article 5 B.3 .

·         Reviews the annual audit.



·         Works with the Officers and the Steering Committee to coordinate the general meetings of the Club.

·         Previews the general meeting venue and coordinates details with the venue staff.

·         Sends information to the newsletter editor regarding the location of the general meeting including the complete

        address, nearest metro, identification required, and any special information required for entry.

·         Confirms arrangements for the following items in advance of each general meeting:

1.        Security  (badge check)

2.        Attendance

3.        Tables

4.        Sound system and equipment

5.        Food and beverages, if necessary

6.        Transportation of cups, plates, spoons, napkins, thermos

7.        Preparation and Posting of Notices regarding the next general meeting and newcomers coffee

8.        IWC Bulletin board

9.        Flowers for the hostess and entertainers for the meeting

10.     Personal thank you letter to the hostess as well as thank you for the newsletter

·         Maintains Club office and coordinates the steering committee members who work in the office.


Newsletter Editor and Assistant Editor

·         The IWC Newsletter Editor and Assistant Newsletter Editor produce 10 issues of the Newsletter each Club year.

·         The Editor and Assistant Editor work cooperatively with the Steering Committee to ensure that the Newsletter reflects the concerns of the Club; however, the Steering Committee gives the Editor and Assistant Editor discretion to make case-by-case editorial decisions, in accordance with the Standing Rules of the Club.

·         Report on developments at the IWC Steering Committee meetings that are of interest to the membership.

·         Inform members of upcoming IWC events in a timely fashion.

·         Select material to be published in accordance with the IWC Constitution and its stated policy that members may not benefit financially from the services to the Club..

·         Edit material to be published in the newsletter with sensitivity to the Club’s international membership and diverse religious and cultural sensibilities.

·         Assign IWC Steering Committee coordinators articles from time to time about specific activities in their groups.

·         Create an e-mail version of the Newsletter that can be sent to members wishing to receive the Newsletter electronically.

·         Respect publication deadlines so that the paper edition of the Newsletter can be distributed at the general meeting.

·         Assist Steering Committee members as needed with other publications that the Club wishes to produce.



·         Keeps membership database up to date.

·         Staffs a table at each general meeting for anyone to renew their membership, update their information, or get a temporary badge.

·         Provides mailing labels/lists for the newsletter distribution committee.

·         Prepares and prints directory of members, annual or more frequently if directed to by the Steering Committee.

·         Provides membership news to the newsletter editor for each publication.

·         Checks the IWC office every month for new membership applications.


Interest Groups

·         Recruits and assists new interest group leaders.

·         Answers questions and helps to solve problems for newcomers, group leaders and group members.

·         Updates the interest group section of the Newsletter.

·         Explains interest group procedures at the monthly newcomers’ coffees.

·         Prior to September of each Club year, contacts each group leader to confirm their group’s participation and organizes the interest group displays for the September general meeting.

·         Prior to June, contacts each group leader to confirm their group’s participation for the summer months.

·         Organizes interest group participation and displays at a general meeting held during the winter or spring of each year.

·         Organizes a luncheon in the spring of each Club year to thank interest group leaders.

·         Ensures a representative attends every newcomers coffee.



·         Coordinates the welcome of newcomers at the general meetings and newcomers’ coffees.

·         Prepares and distributes to newcomers a welcome folder about the Club and its services and about life in Moscow.

·         Assists newcomers at Club meetings and handles telephone inquiries from newcomers.

·         Works in close cooperation with Hospitality.

·         Sends a personal thank you note to each newcomers coffee hostess.

·         Sends thank you notices to the Newsletter editor and to Public Relations

·         Purchases flowers and gifts for the Coffee hostesses.

·         Before each Club year, prints membership cards and welcome folders.

·         Coordinates with the Steering Committee member’s materials to be included in the Welcome folder.



·         Organizes a monthly coffee morning for new Club members to inform them about the Club, the interest groups, the Club’s charitable activities and about Moscow.

·         Informs the newcomers coordinator of the location, hostess name and nearest metro of each monthly coffee.

·         Coordinates and assists the hostesses as required.

·         Coordinates attendance at the newcomers’ coffees of members of the Steering Committee to ensure that at least one of the officers, interest group coordinators, and newcomers committee attends each coffee.


Winter Bazaar

·         Organizes and implements the Club’s annual winter bazaar.  The team shall be headed by two co-chairs serving staggered two-year terms.  Preferably, one of the co-chairs will represent the embassy community and the other the business community.  Effort shall be made to have representation from different parts of the world the bazaar team.

·         Organizes the bazaar team that will consist of sub-groups responsible for the following functions:  raffle sales and set-up, silent action set-up, bazaar participants, publicity, administration, solicitations, and any other functions determined by the co-chairs.  Treasury services will be provided by the Club treasurer.

·         Sets date and organizes the venue (Spring or 1 year in advance).

·         Writes letters to embassies inviting their participation (June and August).

·         Staffs bazaar table at the September general meeting.

·         Solicits and trains volunteers (throughout the Fall).

·         Holds a tea for embassy participants (October).

·         Writes articles for the Newsletter and works closely with Public Relations for IWC and outside publicity (Fall).

·         Maintains a list of donors to the raffle and the silent auction.

·         Runs the bazaar, makes announcements at the bazaar, “trouble shoots”.

·         Writes thank you notes and holds coffee for the embassy participants. (December, January).

·         Publishes thank you advertisement in local media.

·         Conducts follow-up meeting to explore ways to improve future bazaars (January).

·         Conducts meeting to identify the next year’s bazaar team. (March)

·         Maintains a notebook of precedents and information about the bazaar details to pass on to the successor (throughout the Fall).


Public Relations

·         Acts as liaison between the Club and the press (including print and broadcast media covering Moscow). 

·         Coordinates “press kits” for all Club activities.

·         Prepares and submits notices of general club meeting and newcomers’ coffees to the community calendar section of the English language newspapers two weeks prior to each meeting.  Follows up with telephone calls to each newspaper.

·         Works closely with the Winter Bazaar team and with the fund raising coordinator to publicize all events.

·         Meets with representatives of the press who attend any Club event and arranges meetings with Club Officers and members.


Newsletter Distribution

·         Ascertains the proper number of Newsletters to be printed.

·         Arranges to receive the current Newsletters as soon as they are available.

·         Coordinates receipt of Newsletter labels with Membership

·         Attaches labels to Newsletters and sorts Newsletters for distribution

·         Distributes Newsletters as soon as possible after printing (if available before general meeting, they should be available at such general meeting).

·         Distributes Newsletters so that all members have access to each Newsletter; however, it is ultimately each member’s responsibility to receive their Newsletter.

·         Provides for current Newsletters to be available to the members at each general meeting.

·         Provides for extra Newsletters to be available at the IWC office.

·         Prepares a group of unlabeled Newsletters for each newcomers’ coffee.

·         Responds to groups who have not received Newsletters, changes distribution, as necessary.

·         Coordinates with the Newsletter editor about distribution problems

·         Coordinates with Membership about distribution problems.

·         Maintains notations on membership status changes and reports these to Membership.

·         Receives all calls from members with questions, complaints or comments about distribution.

·         Reviews distribution procedures to improve member access to the Newsletter

·         Before the May general meeting, determines the distribution points for the following Club year.



·         A chairman and co-chairman shall be the designated leaders of the IWC Charities interest group, with final responsibility for all the decisions made and actions taken by the group.

·         Coordinates with Charities’ group leaders to oversee each IWC Charities’ project.

·         Convenes and presides over a monthly Charities’ meeting.

·         Serves as  ex officio member of all Charities’ committees.

·         Signs all Charities’ documents.

·         Serves as liaison with the Steering Committee for Charities.

·         Reports monthly the to the Steering Committee regarding the status of Charities.

·         Prepares and presents to the Steering Committee each year a list of potential recipients of the Winter Bazaar proceeds and assists the Steering Committee to select the final recipients.

·         Serves as a liaison to other charitable organizations operating in Moscow to ensure cooperation, non-duplication of efforts and discussion of common concerns.

·         Ensures that thank-you notes to donors are written timely.

·         Ensures a Charities representative attends each monthly newcomers coffee.


Fund Raising

·         Coordinates all fund raising activities for the Club except the Winter Bazaar.

·         Determines what fundraising activities will take place for the Club year and schedule each activity as approved by the Steering Committee.

·         Selects a chairman for each activity, if necessary.

·         Coordinates with public relations for publicity of each fund raising activity.

·         Ensures thank-you notes are written for each activity as appropriate.

·        Maintains files for each activity for the next Club year.













Travel Tips By Linda Montgomery

Athens, Greece


My husband and I went to Athens, Greece, hoping we would find enough to do there for five days. We weren’t disappointed. Our trusty guide book on Mediterranean Europe by Lonely Planet said that two days were enough for Athens; then it continued on the glories of the Greek Islands. Since we were there in January, very off-season, a lot of the tourist attractions were closed. But those were things that attract tourists interested in the beach, sun and tans. We wanted pure, unadulterated history.

Once established at a hotel in Syntagma (heart of the modern city, just one block from the old Royal Palace, now housing Parliament), we happily looked at our options and found that five days weren’t nearly enough for all we wanted to do.

Athens’ early history is so mixed up with mythology that no one knows where one begins and the other leaves off. Mythology credits a Phoenician, Cecrops, with finding the Acropolis (a natural high rise that is easily fortified, becoming the citadel of a Greek city). The gods of Olympus then decreed a contest to name the city after the deity that gave the most valuable gift to mortals. Poseidon (Neptune to the Romans) offered a horse, symbolizing his strength and warlike qualities. Athena, goddess of wisdom, gave an olive tree, symbolizing peace and prosperity, which won “bez problema” (without problem). So the capital of Greece is Athens and not Poseids, thank goodness.

Archaeologists agree the Acropolis has been inhabited since Neolithic times (10,000 BC). Steep slopes on three sides are natural, and by 1400 BC a well-developed Mycenaen city was located there. Its power peaked in the 5th century BC, the “Golden Age of Athens”. Then, defeat by the Persians, followed by defeat to the Spartans in the Pelo-ponnesian War sent Athens into decline. It rose again during Roman times as a center of learning, particularly under the emperor Hadrian, who had many buildings erected during his reign.

After the Roman Empire split into east and west, power shifted to Byzantium and Athens was little more than a forgotten village at the end of the Ottoman Empire. The Bavarian King Otho began to rebuild the city along neo-classical lines when it became the modern, independent Greece in 1834. After 1923, thousands of refugees from Asia Minor flooded the city and the first concrete apartment blocks that ruin the looks of the city today were hastily built. Now, the roads along the major routes into the city look like sleazy Florida slums -- concrete blocks with no trim, no rooflines, no style, and a plethora of faded awnings that keep out the intense sun in summer.

But, once inside the city’s center, the squares and tree-lined boulevards developed in King Otho’s day take over, and the city is again beautiful. Many of the streets are lined with small trees that resemble orange or tangerine trees, and they were loaded with ripe fruit. It was very picturesque, but the fruit is bitter and inedible. One sardonic tour guide said that was the only reason they were still there for us to see.

Downtown in the Syntagma Square (where we stayed) you see many nice hotels, expensive boutiques and beautiful government buildings. Next to the downtown area is the colorful and eclectic Plaka, reminiscent of its Turkish past and filled with cafes, markets, small tourist shops, nightclubs and restaurants hidden behind dark alleyways. At night, men stand out in the streets luring tourists into their clubs, and we fell victim to one of them. Actually, we just followed the guy to a restaurant and had some of the best food I can recall.

They also claimed to have a show of Greek singers and dancers, but we were put off by the cavernous room and stage. It was old and dilapidated. We had an idea it was a real tourist trap by observing three long tables set with bread, water and plates, all ready for the bus to come. Just as we finished our meal, the door opened and what seemed like a thousand Japanese tourists came in, cameras flashing all at the same time. On stage, four ancient men (aging Lawrence Welks) took their chairs and started playing Greek Muzak. It was awful. I can’t imagine making Greek music sound dull, but they did. Then, we saw an aging Greek hussy swing by, tossing her enormous red hair over a black lace dress, and I knew we were in for it. This had to be the Torch singer, and I wasn’t sticking around for that. I beat a hasty retreat and left Dave with the Torch singer and the bill. I told him I’d meet him back on the street (actually in the tourist shops) and felt perfectly safe doing so.

I lingered inside the well-lit stores until Dave finally arrived. He decided to stay and listen to the singer -- a real tribute to his upbeat attitude, while I searched for the perfect souvenir. Despite rummaging through four stores full of junk, I finally found it -- a beautiful spice cabinet that was “aged” enough to look like a real antique. Unfortunately, it weighed about 30 pounds and I knew I could never convince Dave to haul it through three airports on the way home. We made our way back to the hotel and I drooled in the windows of the closed jewelry store next door until time to go to bed.

The next day we joined a city orientation tour by bus which took us past the Temple of Olympian Zeus; Hadrian’s Arch (Roman architects at it again); the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where Evzones (the Greek honor guards in their traditional costumes -- short skirts, white tights and pompoms on their shoes; the Prime Minister's beautiful residence, with more Evzones outside the iron gates; a Byzantine Russian Orthodox church; the National Library, Academy, University, old and new Parliament buildings; Omonia Square and Constitution Square (where we got off the buses to go to our hotel); and the Theatre of Dionyssus (he’s the god of wine and good times, and our airplane was named after him).

Our last stop was the Panathinaiko Stadium, site of the first Olympic games in 300 AD, as well as the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. It was a stunning horseshoe-shaped stadium of white marble stands surrounding a circular black track. I tried to get Dave to run around the track, but he was shy...later he came back in his running gear and made two laps before the local police ran him off. He said it was one of the greatest runs he had ever made. I can understand why in that setting. It was marvelous, and felt very important. I wanted to raise my arms in victory myself.



The Parthenon is not the only building on the Acropolis. This was the first of several surprises on the top of Mars Hill, where the Apostle Paul preached to an audience of about 500 Athenians in the early part of the 1st century. The climb was a bit wearing, especially to those of us who don’t worship exercise, but there were breaks and interesting things to see on the way up.

There are ancient olive trees, some as old as 2,000 years, they say, and rocks even older than that (just had to throw that in). An imposing old theater close to the top of the hill is acoustically perfect, and many opera singers, including America’s Beverly Sills have performed there. I would love to have heard her sing here, but the ancient stone seats would have been pretty uncomfortable. It’s still spectacular to see the beauty and style of the buildings left from ancient times. It’s also interesting to see the number of things devoted to the arts, rather than forts and defensive edifices...a real tribute to the Athenian people centuries ago, showing that they were peaceful and cultured, unlike many of their war-mongering neighbors.

Most of the buildings on the Acropolis were built in the 5th century BC, commissioned by Pericles. The site was cleared by the Persians who had destroyed an earlier Temple complex. The entrance to the Parthenon is through a Roman arch added in the 3rd century BC, named the Beule Gate. After passing through that, over the steep steps of granite blocks, you enter the Propylaia, a huge gate that was the entrance in ancient times. It was damaged by Venetian bombing in the 17th century, but has been restored. Once through these monumental gates you are on the level of the buildings -- the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike (a graceful temple to the left of the Parthenon, not open to the public), the Erechtheion and the Acropolis Museum.

The biggie, of course, is the Parthenon, and it is impressive, to say the least. We all know it by sight, but its appearance is deceiving. Completed in 438 BC, the Parthenon was built to avert optical illusions. Its base curves upwards slightly towards the ends, and the columns are slightly narrower towards the top. The overall effect is to make them look straight, but the knowledge of its structure made it look curved to me. I’m sure that’s the trick played by the mind’s eye, but it still bothered me a bit. I wanted it to be perfect, and it just isn’t. Part of the problem now is that its restoration is being restored and the scaffolding is very distracting.

When it was originally restored after the Venetian shelling in 1687, iron rods were used in the middle of the columns for support. After being soaked by rain, the iron rusted, ruining the gleaming white marble, and disturbing the purists. So, they decided to replace the iron with titanium rods, and are replacing every tiny fracture with the original white marble. What’s left is a jigsaw puzzle of white, rusty orange, and old off-white stone. It looks strange, and I would have preferred to see rusty columns, thinking the iron was a natural part of the stone. This just looks odd. I hope it is more uniform when the project is completed. Above the columns is a Doric frieze, which was also damaged heavily by the bombing. Good old Lord Elgin took the best marbles in 180l and “stored” them in the British museum. The Greeks are still hacked off by this and do not forgive or forget.

The small Temple and lovely Erechtheion with it’s six Caryatids, the maidens supporting the southern portico, are less mangled and more pleasing to the eye. The current maidens are plaster casts, with the originals stored in the museum (except for the one Lord Elgin carted off to England). They and other beautiful sculptures in the museum are exquisite. I think their lines are more graceful than anything we saw in Rome, and it makes you understand the fragility and temporary illusion of beauty. My favorite frieze was one of three horses pulling a chariot and I risked the wrath of the guard to get a picture of it. She yelled, “No flash” and I said it was automatic after it went off (which is true), so she said, “NO PICTURES!”

In the afternoon we took another tour to Cape Sounion to see the ruins of the 5th century BC temple of Poseidon. It’s incredibly tall Doric columns are built on the top of a sheer cliff with a 197 ft. drop to the sea. The temple itself is magnificent, with little more than a base and columns standing open in the sky, overlooking a panoramic view of the Saronic Gulf and seven islands (visible on a clear day). The trip itself was like a drive on California’s Route 1, only more spectacular and beautiful due to the characteristics of the Aegean Sea. Its water is the most incredible color I’ve ever seen. It’s more green than blue, but a deeper color than turquoise...maybe an aquamarine describes the color best. It is also incredibly clear. I had always heard that, but never quite believed it because it just doesn’t make sense for an ocean filled with fish, foliage, rocks and debris to be clear. Well, there is no debris that I could see, but the rest was there -- as clear as day.

I couldn’t take my eyes off the water, and was astounded to see how far we could see the bed of the ocean. And this was on a cloudy day. I wonder what it looks like on a sunny day. Probably blinding.

Our next trip was another delightful trip through orange groves, sea ports and little villages to the Argolis region, home of the Mycenaen civilization. Settled as early as 6,000 BC, Mycenae was the most powerful influence in Greece for three centuries, until about 1200 BC. It was described by Homer as “rich in gold.” It’s entrance through the Lion’s Gate is the oldest monumental sculpture in Europe. Located high in the mountains, the ruins of a palace complex and royal tombs have been excavated. Six shaft graves, known as the First Royal Grave Circle, were uncovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1873. This German gentleman is credited with important archeological excavations all over Greece, and his home in Athens is on the tourist map.

He found plenty of gold treasures in these graves, including the famous Mask of Agamemnon, a primitive mask of hammered gold that is now in Athens’ National Archaeological Museum, the depository of some of the greatest archaeological finds in the world (including loads of gems and gold jewelry which made my mouth water).
Schliemann also found several strange tombs in the side of hills built in the shape of beehives. The interior was round and wide at the base, and smooth blocks of stone built up high, narrowing at the top gave the impression of being in the interior of a beehive. They were bizarre and haunting. So many questions, so few answers.

On the road to Mycenae we passed the ruins of Corinth, one of ancient Greece’s wealthiest and most wanton cities, according to modern assessments. Corinthians were famous for making business deals and for worshipping Aphrodite in a sacred temple filled with sacred young prostitutes. The apostle Paul was here, too, but must not have made too much of an impression. There’s little to see now, just rock foundations in between green grass and weeds.

Another stop on this trip took us to Epidaurus, where a huge and well-preserved theater with incredible acoustics stands, and is still used during summer festivals. It, too, is in the mountains, and its natural setting in the side of a hill must have something to do with the perfect sound system. Microphones are not needed to hear sounds from any part of the stone stage or orchestra pit. One of the guides said the perfect acoustics were a mystery, but some thought an underground spring must have something to do with it. We met an Australian family whose five-year-old daughter sang a kindergarten ditty that could be heard in every part of the 20,000 seat stadium.

Our last, but most memorable trip was to Delphi. Overlooking the Gulf of Corinth from the steep slopes of Mt. Parnassos, this mythical legend is well worth the trip. The trip to Western Greece from Athens was long, but beautiful. Greece is a rugged, hilly country with more rocks than dirt. I never knew how sturdy olive trees were, but they must be incredible to grow in this terrain. They are stubby, little shrubs with trunks as thick as some redwoods. Those are the ones that have lived thousands of years, so we hear. Their dusty, gray/green leaves look old and it’s a wonder something like an olive can come from them. But they grow naturally all over the hills and mountains of Greece. Often they’ll look like an orchard, and you know some industrious farmer must have planted or transplanted them in neat rows, but usually they grow in uneven patterns over some of the most unwilling-looking soil in existence.

The long trip to Delhi took us past millions of olive trees, orange and lemon orchards heavy with fruit, empty resort towns on the water, and small towns with little inhabitation. Only one town built on the side of a mountain by archaeologists when excavating local ruins held any interest. It was modern and interesting, with a tourist town catering to skiers and climbers just around the corner. It had lots of appeal, and reminded me of the woodsy look of Aspen, Colorado. That’s the last place I expected to see anything familiar, but it was very inviting, and we all wished we had time to stop and play.

Delphi, however, was waiting, and no one wants to offend the Oracle. The story of the Delphic Oracle is thought to have originated in Mycenaen times when the earth goddess Gaea was worshipped there. We’ve all heard of the Oracle of Delphi, but I didn’t know the real story behind it.

“By the 6th century BC, Delphi had become the Sanctuary of Apollo and thousands of pilgrims came to consult the oracle, who was always a peasant woman of 50 years or more. She sat at the mouth of a chasm which emitted fumes. These she inhaled, causing her to gasp, writhe and shudder in divine frenzy. The pilgrim, after sacrificing a sheep or goat, would deliver a question and the priestess’ incoherent mumblings were then translated by a priest.” Her prophecies (as interpreted by the male priests) were the basis of wars, voyages and business transactions.

The real power of Delphi, however, is in it’s ruins. Located at the top of a high mountain, and against a sheer cliff, the ruins of many city states’ temples lie untouched by the ages. Big marble temples built by Greek cities to hold their gold and wealth, while appeasing the gods at the same time, have withstood centuries of wear and neglect. Their ruins are spread across acres of mountainous terrain and are surrounded by the mists of clouds they tower over. There is something very spiritual and mysterious about the place, reminding me of the pictures I’ve seen of Mach Pichu, the Incan ruins of Peru.

I absolutely bathed in the ruins, running my hands over ancient columns and blocks of cut stone. Dave kept climbing above the major temples to a stadium overlooking the ruins, and had an incredible view of the area. I was satisfied to stay and commune with the gods on the middle level. We got along just fine, and I felt a reverence I haven’t experienced in a long time. It was quiet and mystical, unlike any place I’ve ever been. I was entranced by the place and didn’t want to leave. Other people’s voices irritated me, and I wanted to shout at two women who stood at a podium clearly marked “Don’t touch” in four languages. They were leaning on the precariously-balanced marble, just taking in the view and ignoring 6,000 years of untouched history.

I felt like it was my private playground and I didn’t want to share it with anyone but Dave. The others there just seemed like tourists, but I felt like a history worshipper at prayer. It’s rare to find something you admire so deeply, and want to commune with on a spiritual level, but I found it there, and wanted to be transported back in time to know those incredible people who could build such phenomenal structures in an inhospitable environment.

Fortunately, you can carry those feelings home with you. I can still close my eyes and transport myself back to the peace and serenity there. That’s a souvenir you’ll never find in any store. Thank God I’m lucky enough to be here in this part of the world at this peaceful time to be able to take advantage of some of the world’s best education.

Our only other tour was a run (almost literally) through the National Archaeological Museum. We had only 45 minutes before their government workers wanted to close it down at 3 p.m. and go about their mundane duties in everyday life. To say it was incredible is an understatement. Every room was magnificent, and held more options for education than any school book ever written. I was especially enthralled with the room full of gold treasures and jewelry found in various archaeological digs all across Greece. What incredible beauty the ancient jewelry makers put into the gold and gems they had available. I was awe-struck by their precision and attention to detail. Some of the most interesting items were tiny -- you really needed a magnifying glass to see the details.

I am ready for a return, if the gods allow.


Something To Share

Winter Depression


When days get shorter and colder, do you get gloomier? Do you have trouble waking up? Controlling your diet? Focusing on work and relationships? If so, you may be one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).


What is SAD?

SAD, also called winter depression (getting the blues) is a seasonal disorder that mostly occurs in the Northern Hemisphere during wintertime due to the lack of light. About 10-20 percent of the populations in the North are diagnosed with SAD whereas 75 % of these are mostly women between 15 and 45. Why it happens more often to women is still a mystery, but perhaps it is because women are more likely to go and see a doctor when they feel something is wrong.


How does it affect people?

¨              Sleep Problems: Oversleeping but not refreshed, find it difficult to get out of bed, often feels the need of a nap in the afternoon.

¨              Overeating: Carbohydrate craving, thinking blood sugar is low.

¨              Depression: Despair, misery, guilt, anxiety, normal tasks become frustratingly difficult, hopelessness

¨              Family problems: Avoiding company, irritability, loss of feeling.

¨              Lethargy:  Too tired to cope, everything an effort

¨              Physical Symptoms: Often joint pain or stomach problems, lowered resistance to infection.

¨              Behavioral problems: Especially in young people.

The symptoms tend to start from around September each year, lasting until April but are at their worst in the darkest months.


What causes it?

The problem stems from the lack of bright light in winter. It is known that the nerve centers in our brains controlling our daily rhythms (the inner clock) and moods are stimulated by the amount of light entering the eyes. During the night, the pineal gland produces a substance called melatonin, which makes us drowsy. At daybreak, the bright light causes the gland to stop producing this melatonin. However, on dull winter days, especially indoors, not enough light is received to trigger this waking-up process. More recently good evidence has been found to link exposure to bright light with the increased production of a substance called Serotonin , or 5HT. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, ie it carries signals from the output of one nerve to the input of the next inside the brain. Lack of serotonin is known to be a cause of depression, and indeed this maps well onto what people say: tasks which are easy when you are well become frustratingly difficult when you are depressed. Serotonin is the substance made more plentiful by the now well known drug Prozac, and the similar “SSRI” drugs. It is tempting to note that melatonin is made from serotonin within the brain, but there is no evidence to say that this link plays a part in what happens.


Can it also affect children?

All people, especially those living in the north, can develop SAD, but unfortunately, in children it is often misdiagnosed as bad behavior, as having learning difficulties or simple laziness. The effects of SAD on a child’s life can be catastrophic including severely disrupted education, careers and relationships. Undiagnosed SAD can ruin a child’s life and ultimately their future.


SAD have also been connected with pre natal disorder, so if you are suffering from SAD and want to have a baby, please, please, please, plan so the child is born in late spring when the days are longer and you are feeling a lot better.


What treatment is there?

As the cause is lack of bright light, the treatment is to be in bright light every day by using a light box or a similar bright light therapy device. (Going to a brightly lit climate, whether skiing or somewhere hot, is indeed a cure). The preferred level of light is about as bright as a spring morning on a clear day and for most people sitting in front of a light box, allowing the light to reach the eyes, for between Ľ and ľ hour daily will be sufficient to alleviate the symptoms. The user does not have to stare at the light, but can watch TV or read or similar, just allowing the light to reach the eyes. The light must be suitably bright. At least 2500 lux (lux is the technical measure of brightness) is needed, which is 5 times brighter than a well-lit office (a normal living room might be as low as 100 lux); brighter lights up to 10,000 lux work quicker. The prize for a light device varies from $ 100-$525.


SAD sufferers or people who think they have SAD should seek the support of their doctor before starting to treat themselves.


Beauty Tips For (un)Certain Age

By Tania Mikhailenko


¨              Foundation. If you skin is no longer as taut as it once was, you'll want a light touch when you apply your foundation. Too much foundation will accentuate facial creases. Also, you should probably reevaluate your choice of colors - your skin tone may have changed over the years.

¨              Cheeks. When your hair color becomes lighter, so should your cheek color. Avoid applying any color to the hollow of your cheek. It'll weight down your face.

¨              Eyes. As far as your eyes are concerned, less is definitely more once you pass a certain age. The only exception to that rule is mascara. Apply two- three very light coats rather than one heavy one. Neutral eye shadows are the most flattering.

¨              Lips. Generally speaking, it's best not to modify your lip shape. But now, more than ever, it's important to outline your lips to help keep the color from bleeding into the tiny creases around your mouth. Opt for relatively clear, medium-bright lip colors.


But remember that make-up will look beautiful only on a well-groomed skin. Pay special attention to your skin-care program.


If you have any questions about beauty, please call (971-1140) or send an email to Tania (


If you have something you would like to share with other members of the club, please call Giancarla Bonotto on 290-1224, or email her at


Female Quotes

·         A male gynecologist is like an auto mechanic who never owned a car. -Carrie Snow

·         I think--therefore I’m single. -Lizz Winstead

·         The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy. -Helen Hayes (at 73)




Advertising and Announcements

Do You Want Your IWC Newsletter On Email?

Again, this year we are offering our members the opportunity to receive the IWC Newsletter on email, the same day as the IWC General Meeting. All members who wish to receive the IWC Newsletter on email have to send an email to Birthe Rasmussen ( Be sure to write “IWC News” in the subject line. You will receive a confirmation that you are on our email list. If you move or want to cancel the newsletter, send an email with “Unsubscribe IWC News” in the subject line. We will send you a confirmation that you are off our Newsletter listing.


Cleaner/Nanny Available As We Are Relocating

Sveta has worked in my home for 5 months and has proved to be an excellent cleaner/nanny. Her attitude to work is very manageable, she is willing to change her ways to suit yours. She is not only honest and accurate but also fast, efficient, organised and reliable. She has a lot of initiative! She has worked before at a Dry cleaners and her ironing is impeccable! She speaks Russian and has some knowledge of German. She is competent and responsible with children. You may contact her at: 418-9757. She lives in Barvija on the Rublova-Uspenskoe shosse.


Car For Sale

Lincoln Continental 1995  - 4.6 l -  264 hp -  leather, full options, Canadian version, metallic gray, 81,000 km,   Air bags,  ABS, JBL music 6CD changer,  climat & computerized driving control. For more information, contact John tel: 415-4434 e-mail:



Good Driver Available

Dima has been our driver for 2 1/2 year, he has taken our children to school with safety and patience. He has used our company car, but also owns a car, always timely and has basic knowledge of English. Call Jane 418-7293

Ice Skating Teacher Available

Gulja is a great ice-skating teacher. We skate in the closed ice-skating rink “Kristall” in Luzhniki. Gulja is a professional sports teacher, she is good both with kids and grown-ups and is very attentive to your style and ability to learn. Gulja speaks Russian and English. Recommended by Natalia Bykova. Call Natalia at 203-4006 or Gulja direct at 564-9183; 946-1220, cell.766-8532


German and Italian Teacher Wanted

Looking for a native German and Italian teacher for private lessons. Call Natalia Bykova at 203-4006, 737-5298

Advertising Policy

The IWC Newsletter accepts advertising from IWC members only for personal goods for sale, domestic employees for hire and other items of interest to the IWC membership. The Newsletter cannot accept ads from businesses or from IWC members offering goods or services for sale for commercial purposes. Advertising rates are $10 for ads containing up to 35 words, $20 for ads with up to 80 words and $30 for ads with more than 80 words. Payment must be received prior to publication. All proceeds benefit IWC charities. For questions, please contact Birthe Rasmussen 931-9047 or go to the “Knowing Moscow” table at the General Meetings.








News From The Interest Groups

Cristians Corner

Welcome everyone to this third Spring General Meeting 2001. A special one, since we have a lot of Russian Artisans selling their crafts. Last months Sign Up meeting was a success, hope you found what you were looking for. In case the group leaders have not contacted you yet, just give them a call yourselves. Find out yourselves when and where the group meetings will take place and enjoy the company of like-minded friends.


I have updated the Interest Group Directory with the information you have given me, but there could still very well be mistakes in it. Please contact me if we need to change anything else.


Keep me posted,


Interest Group Coordinators


Cristian Ernsting  720-5107

Sharyn Finch        940-5815

Bee Yan Walsh      201-3296


Icon Painting - Intensive Course

The icon painter Sergei Tarasjan and his wife Natasha are organizing an intensive course of Icon painting. The course is for beginners (without any previous experience) and those knowing the basics of orthodox icon painting. The course will go from Monday April 23, until Friday 27th and again Thursday May 3rd. Each day from 10 am until 6 pm. For further information, please call Sirkku Huttunen 961-3341 or Iris Töndle-Braun 961-3204.


Special Indian Cooking Demonstration

"Neeta Galani, leader of the Indian Cooking Group, is planning a SPECIAL INDIAN COOKING DEMONSTRATION at the Indian Restaurant "Talk of the Town". She would like to get a group of 15 ladies together for the demonstration, planned for late April. You will enjoy the prepared food (starter, main course, dessert) afterwards and take home all the recipes. Please contact her to sign up for it on 238 6585 or via email:"


Spotlight On Red October Chocolate Factory by Linda Montgomery

To many people, the name Red October signifies the Russian Revolution of 1917, but this moniker has a new significance: Krasni Aktabr (Red October) in Moscow triggers dreams of chocolate.

Russia's 131-year-old confectionery, the Red October Chocolate Factory, is located on an artificial island on Bersenyevskaya, an embankment across the Moscow River from the Christ Our Savior Church. The legendary candy institution has concocted tons of sweets for Russians and Soviet citizens since its inception.

Ferdinand Ehmen, a Russian of German ancestry, began making chocolates in 1867. His recipes and techniques were soon popular enough to be mass produced and were sold and advertised throughout Moscow. Even theater programs from the late 1800's carried ads for Ehmen candies, including cough drops which were promoted at cultural events to suppress "hacking" interruptions of the music.

The factory's museum, said to be the only museum in the country for a consumable product rather than art, has displays of these programs and advertisements, as well as 100-year-old candy tins and fabric-covered boxes. It also includes a brief history of the factory, developed by Ehmen and his partner on the current location more than 100 years ago.

But before visiting the museum, our group walked about two blocks past the factory owner's family home, private church, and company store with the inviting aroma of chocolate wafting through the air. We were hungry before getting in the doors. Once inside, we donned white coats and caps before entering the food processing areas. Looking like a group of interns or lab technicians, we followed our interpreter into the loud but delicious looking and smelling workrooms.

The tour guide led us past machines full of molds and cutting apparatuses, sorting and wrapping devices. She also made sure we didn't miss a single one of the many bins of rejects -- small pieces of pure chocolate -- dark as well as milk chocolate. With both hands, she grabbed pieces and handed them out until we lost what little reticence we had and dug into the vats, too. While passing many points on the assembly line, we were amazed at the lack of "people control" since everyone was encouraged to pick up candy off the moving lines and to stick our faces into the works to see how the machines operated. (This certainly was no typical "hands-off" American operation!)

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Spotlight on Red October Factory

In addition to the bars and smaller pieces being poured and molded from tubs of hot chocolate, we saw the wafer presses and then the assembly of chocolate and wafers to make one of their most popular candy bars, wrapped in a "Three Bears" paper design. Once the products are molded and pressed together, all candies are put through freezers to cool before being wrapped and packaged for shipping. Only six percent of the Red October's products are exported, but the tour guide explained that the demand inside such a large country was so huge that there was simply not enough to go around.

After leaving the production side of the factory, we removed our "lab coats" and hats, but were told to put plastic bags over our shoes, or to remove them. This seemed a little curious, since we had already toured the food production area, but we complied and were led into an air-conditioned, carpeted room where the one-room museum is maintained. No one explained why we were to protect the floor here, but were allowed to track our muddy boots through the food area.

In the museum, Mrs. Galina, a 22-year-veteran of the chocolate factory, divulged the glorious history and benefits of working for this company. Mrs. G, wearing a dark green cut-velvet gown, told us that the company was renamed "Red October" in 1922 in honor of the anniversary of the Revolution. She also said that most of the 3,200 employees in Moscow come from a school where employees begin training as children, or from family "dynasties" that have worked there for generations. There are currently 11 dynasties working in the plant. The president and director of the company is from the ninth "dynasty" and has worked there for 42 years. Red October has two other factories, bringing the total to 4,500 Russians employed by the company.

Salaries vary, but the average unskilled laborer earns 800 rubles a month, plus benefits. Each employee gets 24 days a year off, and takes trade union vouchers for recreation in two different areas owned by the company -- one near Moscow, and another resort at the Black Sea. There is a full pension for retirees and a free clinic. Other benefits include theater tickets provided free by cultural events. Mrs. G quickly pointed out that the Bolshoi is the only theater that does not provide free tickets.

If a person from outside the industry wanted to work at the Red October Chocolate Factory, he wouldn't have a chance, according to Mrs. Galina. No one ever quits there, and there are just never any vacancies, she added. After privatization occurred in the early 1990's, Red October "gave" its stock to employees, so it is still owned by its workers.

From the museum we were led into the “White Hall”, a dining area where concerts and theater productions are sometimes held. With music written by one of Red October's own composers playing in the background, tea and chocolates were served. The samples from the factory were diverse and plentiful. There were enough to satisfy everyone, with left-overs to fill everyone’s purses. The half-hour tea party passed quickly and we left the factory in chocolate overload. A few of us stopped by the factory store to see what was there, but few bought any more chocolate. We had enough samples to last a week or two, and we now know what to buy when the chocolate cravings return.


IWC Special Offer:


Music for Women

The Chamber Orchestra KREMLIN in conjunction with the IWC has produced a new CD entitled “Women of the World.” First available at the 1999 IWC Winter Bazaar, the CD features the work of composers from many different regions of the world. It is an ideal gift for a friend or family member, or yourself. Founded and led by conductor Misha Rachlevsky, the Chamber Orchestra KREMLIN has earned widespread recognition, nationally and internationally, as one of Russia’s leading ensembles. Proceeds from the sale of the CD will benefit IWC charities. The CD can be purchased at IWC General Meetings while supplies last.