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samanthasmithletter

Hello dear readers! I know many of you voted for me to travel to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, but unfortunately finances are tight and airfare there too expensive. So, in a week, I'll return to my beloved Maine and go on another road journey to New England. During the trip, I plan on meeting with Samantha Smith's mother in Boothbay Harbor. What questions do you want me to ask her?

I've had no time for the blog recently due to a hectic work and life schedule. :(  However, next week I'll show you "good Russia," with stories about Kazan and Ples from the winter journey. In the meantime, please let me know what questions you have for Samantha's mom. I'm happy I can finally leave the office for a week, meet with her, and relax in the beautiful surroundings of cozy New England. Does the younger generation in Russia know about Samantha's legacy? How do they learn about her? Or, is she mostly known to those who grew up during the Soviet period? I think her mother will be interested in knowing these facts. :) Have a nice weekend!

Comments

( 122 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 02:41 pm (UTC)
Re: о помню эту девочку
Almost all children are naive. This is part of their beauty and innocence. They see only people, not policy or nationality. It is for this reason that I always gravitate toward them in my travels.
real_marsel
Jul. 31st, 2015 02:29 pm (UTC)
I remember her and had stamp with her pic.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 02:40 pm (UTC)
I don't think many people in the USA know about her, esp. the younger generation. I only learned about her from my Russian friend during one of his visits. I was amazed when he told me the story of this little girl.
fesma94
Jul. 31st, 2015 02:52 pm (UTC)
Please ask, if Samantha said about living conditions in Artek , if were something no comfortable for her .
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 02:55 pm (UTC)
I remember seeing photos from when she visited this camp. :) I will ask her mom if Samantha shared impressions about her visit there. It's a good question, thanks!
(no subject) - jon_quille - Jul. 31st, 2015 05:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - narcolog59 - Jul. 31st, 2015 06:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
theodorexxx
Jul. 31st, 2015 02:53 pm (UTC)
Адвокат жалуется на нехватку денег - видимо в США совсем кризис в экономике :)
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:04 pm (UTC)
You think all lawyers make a lot of money? This is a huge stereotype that is entirely wrong! Most lawyers working for the government or in small firms don't earn very much (around 50k - 60k). On top of that, they have huge student loan debts to pay off. Do you know how expensive a doctorate in law is? Usually well over 100k. The only way to earn a lot of money is to be an ambulance chaser, or work in a huge law firm like me, representing corporate clients. You can read a good article about lawyer's salaries here http://thegirlsguidetolawschool.com/09/law-school-myth-1-lawyers-make-a-lot-of-money/. However, the cost of living in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC is very, very high! When you're paying over $2,0000/per month for a one bedroom apartment, plus student loans and other bills, the high salary is moot. This is why I moved back to the boondocks, to try to save money. Now, I have a horrible commute each day, but I can't live without travel in my life. So, I had to make sacrifices to pursue my dreams. :)) For me, this means sitting in traffic almost 2 hours each way to work now.
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Jul. 31st, 2015 03:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 31st, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Jul. 31st, 2015 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 31st, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jul. 31st, 2015 10:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2015 02:03 am (UTC) - Expand
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theodorexxx
Jul. 31st, 2015 02:57 pm (UTC)
Она не знала русского, а русские английского, как они общались?
И вопрос лично тебе: в совем письме она написала "русские не надо начинать войну". Что, в США тогда русских считали супер злодеями? А сейчас? Ты достаточно старая чтобы помнить то время :)
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:07 pm (UTC)
I never thought of Russians as the "enemy," not during my youth or even now. Ordinary people can recognize that people are almost always separable from the policy of their nation. I assume Samantha communicated with the young Soviet girls through an interpreter. I can't even remember fearing a nuclear war with Russia during my childhood. I think this was a more real and serious threat for those who lived during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was before my time. I'm old, but not that old!! :)) I remember my parents having nuclear drills in school, where they prepared for the dropping of an atomic bomb. This definitely must do something to a young person's psyche and fears.
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jul. 31st, 2015 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
anna_sollanna
Jul. 31st, 2015 02:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, I thought you would go there later... I wanted to read Samantha's book she had written about her visit to USSR and the fictional book "You Are One of Them" by Elliott Holt that is based on Samantha's story but has the different ending...
As for questions for Samantha's mother... I am not sure whether it is good to ask her about her long ago deceased daughter... But if it is possible would you please ask her what she thought about the USSR the time she visited it and whether her opinion has changed from that time, what she thinks about the USSR now?
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:09 pm (UTC)
I also have that book, but have not yet read it. Yes, I will ask her your questions and let you know the answers. I think she will be happy to talk about her daughter, and remember her legacy, although it is certainly painful and emotional. There's also a museum in Samantha's honor and a statue, but they're located in different parts of Maine. Not sure I will have time to visit all the places, but I'll try.
berdal
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:14 pm (UTC)
У меня есть книга про ее поездку в СССР. В детстве я мечтал с ней познакомиться (если бы не трагедия) -- такая замечательная улыбка у этой девочки))
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, she was a great light and spirit in the world! :) It's a tragedy such remarkable people die so early, while so many assholes live into old age and contribute only misery and hurt to the world. One of the great mysteries of life.
laughing_magpie
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, I read the book about Samantha in the library 25 years ago. That time I thought she was brave and heroic girl!)))
It is unexpected to hear about this girl again. Thank you for this post!
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:21 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! :)
yarowind
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC)

I remember her... Tell her mom that in Russia remembers Samantha!
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC)
I will! She will be grateful to hear it, I'm sure! :)
(no subject) - yarowind - Jul. 31st, 2015 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
letberg
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
Samantha is a part of my school age - a bright and clear one. I traced that story in the newspapers. It was the hope the future will be happy. I was seriously scared with risk of nuclear war, sometimes I had nightmares about it. We had trainings at school, we were taught to march to the shelter, to weary a gas mask, to use a medicine set. Mirroring Samantha I believed the American President could start a war. That time I was sure the Russians wouldn't.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:38 pm (UTC)
We didn't have nuclear drills in my school, and the first time I put on a gas mask was in Latvia, when I visited an old Soviet military prison two years ago. I could not have imagined the horrible feeling I experienced with that thing on! Such people like Samantha are very important in the world, we definitely need more of them!
jon_quille
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:47 pm (UTC)
Don't know if I can be defined as a younger generation (31 so far), but at school we had a few texts about Samanta in German lang classes. Though when I was at school the USSR had already ben over and all this stuff was like from another planet. Guess nothing changed since that time.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:49 pm (UTC)
You don't remember anything from Soviet times? You are about ten years younger than me. :)
(no subject) - jon_quille - Jul. 31st, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 31st, 2015 05:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jon_quille - Jul. 31st, 2015 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
pin_gwin
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:51 pm (UTC)
I remember her story in the development, it was great demonstration of good will and simple effort to change things for better. Unfortunately, she was writing to Andropov only. From my point of view ( well confirmed by recent decades) she should be considering of what her country was doing wrong as well. Now, her legacy - unfortunately, things did not change much. I am deeply concerned, for instance, by the activities of the organisations like this one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Endowment_for_Democracy
They are spending out tax money to support a very questionable organisations abroad with no public control over the spendings, goals and personalities receiving these grants. It is government, tax money, laundered over private fund... Soft power in action to promote democracy or corruption? What do they bring to these countries? Chaos, I think, pursuing a single world power influence everywhere, dressed in democracy suite. Leading should be done by example, not by bribing or enforcement.
After all these years, it would be very interesting to know her mom thoughts, thanks for doing it. I may also suggest to ask your reader what questions they would like to be asked...
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
Children can't begin to understand the intricacies of foreign policy and global affairs. They mostly see only good and bad. In the post, I did ask readers what questions they want me to ask. :) Personally, I'm curious if Samantha's mom follows current events in Russia, so many years after her daughter made an impact there. You don't think think any country should serve as "world" police to try to maintain stability?
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Jul. 31st, 2015 05:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 31st, 2015 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Jul. 31st, 2015 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 31st, 2015 07:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Jul. 31st, 2015 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 31st, 2015 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Value failure detected :) - pin_gwin - Jul. 31st, 2015 08:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
sineglazzka2301
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:55 pm (UTC)
I remember reading about Samantha at school (in English coursebooks, mostly). I suppose that nowadays young people don't know her name, but then, they don't know much about the USSR as well. I think, it would be almost impossible to explain this to my children, how it feels when other countries are like other planets.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:59 pm (UTC)
The Soviet Union was not so long ago. :) It seems strange that children have so quickly forgotten about it, but I guess it's common in all countries for kids to focus only on the present realities. I still feel like Russia is "another planet" sometimes, despite my numerous visits to the country. :)) But, it's good that we live in a much more open world now. I can't imagine that only a few decades ago it would have been almost impossible for me to visit there.
seadevil001
Jul. 31st, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC)
Are you driving up there? Or flying into Augusta?
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 05:02 pm (UTC)
We're driving, but staying in Portsmouth New Hampshire. :)
jenden_bm
Jul. 31st, 2015 05:39 pm (UTC)
Hi Shannon.
Planning on visiting North Carolina at some point?
peacetraveler22
Jul. 31st, 2015 05:54 pm (UTC)
Hi! I was just in North Carolina last month, because I have a client in Greensboro. Is it near where you live? I travel to this city a few times a year.
(no subject) - jenden_bm - Jul. 31st, 2015 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 31st, 2015 05:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
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