Final Glimpses: Circus Amazes, As Does The Poverty

After Chaos At Airport, A Quiet Flight Home

July 10, 1991|By Adrienne McCray

Editor's note: Adrienne McCray, a 16-year-old track athlete at NorthCounty High School, recently returned from a 10-day trip sponsored by Pangaea Inc. to compete in the Soviet Union. McCray, the Anne Arundel County Sun's Female Track Athlete of the Year, kept a daily diary,which details her experiences on her first trip outside the United States. This is the fourth of four parts.


June 27

This morning I think that Erin Gramm just about lost her mind. She woke us up at 5:45 a.m. I was having a good sleep, the kind of sleep that if you are awakened suddenly, you can't get it back.

Then, she went into the boys room and woke them up to wish one of them a happy birthday. She then came back and told us that we weren't going back to sleep, and at this point I was ready to kick her out. I got up because I knew that there would be no point in trying to sleep as long as she would make noise.

After I got up, I sat down outside with two of the boys that Erin

had awakened. After about a half an hour, "Ms. Wake Everyone Up At 5:45 In The Morning" was knocked out asleep. I decided to leave it alone, though.

Around 8 we got off of the train in Moscow. They took us shopping along this long strip of souvenir stores.

There we also got a little taste of the poverty in Moscow. We saw a little girl, who was about a year old, allby herself in an underground passageway used to get across the street. Our coaches stopped and tried to ask where her parents were but itwas a little hard because she was scared of us and they were speaking English. I couldn't look at it anymore so I kept walking.

Later on we were walking around and saw a man with a baby on his shoulders.He had no shoes. He came up to us so Ray gave him some money.

Then there was a little boy who was no more than 6, wandering around with no shoes, ragged clothes, and dirt covering him. Ray had given him some money earlier so he was back and wouldn't leave him alone. He followed him everywhere, pulling his clothes and begging him for more.

People tried to get the little boy off by pulling him and holding

him, but he would just wiggle away and come back to him. Ray kept pushing him away and finally he pushed the boy and made him fall over. He then got up and ran away. I didn't know what to say. I felt terrible and I knew that Ray had to be feeling even worse.

When we finished shopping we all got onto the bus and went back to the hotel that we had gone to when we first arrived in Moscow.

When we got there I was so relieved. I was happy to be there. I remember in the beginning I wanted to go home. Well, now I was happy to be there. Everyonetook showers and got ready to go to the circus.

On our way to thecircus we witnessed rush hour in Moscow. The streets were a mess. There aren't any dividers in the streets so people make their own lanes. There were cars broken down everywhere, along the sides of the street and even in the middle of the street. The gas station we passed was packed. The lines went down the streets. I felt like I was in history class and I was seeing the depression.

Finally, we got out of the traffic and got to the circus. The building was one of the nicer buildings in Russia and the circus was incredible.

I hadn't been toa circus in a long time but I remember it was bigger but it wasn't that good. They had magicians that did tricks that really made me wonder how in the world they did it. They had elephants and bears do things that even I couldn't do. The acrobats were just amazing. I would recommend to anyone having the chance to see the Moscow circus to go see it because you won't be disappointed.

At the circus we saw other people from America. After the circus we got back on the bus. One of the Russian girls had fallen in love with one of our boys while we were here. Since this would be the last time that she would see him, she began to cry. On our way back we asked if we could go to McDonald's but after a while I stopped because I figured that we wouldn't.

We went back to the hotel for dinner. There they served cold pancakes and butter with blue eggs. This time, I ate the cold pancakes. Theyalso had cake that I didn't like, and as the main coursethey broughtout sardines and some type of reddish colored fish. Other than the pancakes, I didn't eat anything.

Our coaches said that we had to have our things ready by 3:30 a.m. to leave for the plane the next day,so I decided to stay up again because I knew that if I was awakened from a good sleep again I would be upset and have an attitude. So that night our little group stayed up and talked again.


June 28-29

This morning was very hectic. First of all one of the coaches got sick and had to be carried to the airport. Then we had to stand inline at customs for a long time with people pushing past me to get by.

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