At first they wrote on it, now they demand its removal.
Ten years ago Vladimir became a brother [sister] city with Bloomington-Normal (Illinois, USA). With the Americans resources, builders from across the ocean along with Russian volunteers built an American home near the Golden Gates. And before the crisis came to Russia this fall, we lived together with representatives from another country in peace and harmony.
The director of the home,
Galina Petrovna Altonen, explains [the changes that have recently
Its always easier
to break than to make. I have no idea why the organizations that call
themselves patriotic see the disruption of partnership
ties as their main goal: We consider our moral obligation to
use all possible ways of pressure against the U.S. government, including
through U.S. citizens
Who are they pressuring? Six young
men and women who came from the States to teach English to Vladimir
citizens? Or their fellow countrymen [i.e., the Russians] who work
at the American Home?
With the assistance of the American Home, cardiologists from the regional clinical hospital have been able to visit the U.S. several times. Having visited 7 hospitals in Illinois where American specialists shared experience and technologies, they are now striving to abandon bloody surgery. We are 5 years behind America.* American surgeons perform heart surgery under local anesthesia in a few minutes while in Russia doctors chill their patients body to the temperature of 16 degrees Celsius (the temperature of a corpse), use an extracorporeal circulation system, stop the heart and saw through the breast bone. Such heart surgery takes from 6 to 12 hours and other body organs may not recover their viability after this serious intervention. Those who survive have to go through a painful rehabilitation process.
Our sister city has already donated diagnostic equipment worth 2 million dollars to hospitals in the Vladimir region. I have a question for the members of the Russian National Movement, Russian National Party, and the Vladimir branch of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia: Are you concerned about the nations health?
At the suggestion of the stars-and-stripes country our enterprises have entered the international market. VNIISIMS from Alexandrov supplies artificial diamonds to the U.S. With a loan of 10 million dollars, Anopino glassworks doubled its output and its workforce and increased salaries. Regional budget revenues have increased. The Joint Stock Company Polimersyntez beat Japanese competition to win a tender for the supply of their products to one of Bostons nuclear stations. Our product quality turned out to be unrivalled. The Japanese competitors said: This just cant be done. But the Vladimir company did it. The Joint Stock Company Alko [a vodka distillery] is having success abroad, too. It is quite probable that in the third millennium well teach Americans how to drink Dear comrades from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation who signed the statement, have you forgotten how working people benefit who are employed by prosperous enterprises?
But the main activity of the American Home in Vladimir, according to its owner, Dr. Ronald Pope, is its non-commercial educational activity. With funds allocated by the U.S. Congress, faculty from Vladimir State University traveled across America for a month. The aim of the trip was to establish professional ties. Groups of Russian students have visited the U.S. more than once.
The American Home is a happy hunting ground for those who wish to improve their English. The main teaching principle is language immersion, which is seldom the case in Russian schools. After two semesters of study a graduate takes exams and gets a certificate which is highly respected not only in Vladimir, but also in Moscow universities (MIFI, MGIMO). Dear ladies from the All-Russia Womens Union, United Womens Union and Congress of Soviet Women, do you care about your childrens future?
Among the American Homes numerous charity projects are the construction of playgrounds for two orphanages [sic. an orphanage and a boarding school for deaf children], donation of basketball uniforms and equipment to a sports school and basketball team Burevestnik, childrens clothing and food to families with many children, English books to the Law Institute And the work goes on
Three years ago a cat from the neighborhood lost his owner: the old woman died, but it only became known a week later. The cat was her only mourner. After the funeral he was the cold winter in a manhole. The Americans adopted him. When he was struck by a car, they took care of him and fed him out of an eyedropper. He is a nice, sociable and smiling creature, just like his new owners Dear sirs from the eighteen organizations: are you against love in principle? Or its manifestations in a specific house or neighborhood or community?
We used to build walls, remember? Nothing came of it. Should we really repeat that history?