Tied Through Time

Personal statement.

This past summer, like many previous summers, I spent in Russia, or what my friends jokingly refer to as "the motherland." To the surprise of the most sheltered of my acquaintances, I returned neither Communist nor raped, but enriched and aware. I spent two weeks in St. Petersburg, city of dreams, returned to Moscow for over a month to visit my grandfather and volunteer at a camp for disabled children, and discovered that I am a part of this clearly heroic, and yet mysterious land, and this land, its religion, culture, and history, is a part of me.

Several times Petersburg's early evenings bloomed overhead and the horizon, pearly behind the buildings, refreshed my eyes with aquamarine tints just when I thought it should have turned to darkness. From our ninth story balcony, I saw only a small portion of the city, heard only the distant echoes of music and honking, and sensed only the tiniest of raindrops hitting my hand, but I felt at home.

As opposed to the slightly unemotional, detached, Moscow, a city full of rapid hustling and a certain tangible coldness in its manner that is almost obtrusive, St. Petersburg is welcoming, vibrant. The days themselves seem to be in harmony with the city's people, as if the...

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