When I first created my blog, I had to decide whether to keep my blog private -- viewable only by those I personally invited -- or public. As I thought about it, some people I knew asked me why I would even consider opening up about my family's life to the public at large.
"Would anyone else actually be interested in it?"
"What kind of people would read it? Are they people we would want to know about our life?"
"Do you really think you would make friends with anyone over the internet -- real friends? Wouldn't it just be a waste of time?"
Well... You've certainly proved to me that the answers are "Yes, yes, yes!"
It has been a pleasure to spend time during the last two weeks with Dina, my new friend in Moscow who found my blog while living in Niamey, Niger. My blog helped her family as they prepared for their next assignment in the Foreign Service. Through each other's blogs, I learned about an area of Africa that I hadn't even realized existed! (I had been mistakenly confusing Niger and Nigeria). Through my blog, Dina learned about aspects of life in Moscow that made their transition to life here easier.
Most importantly, through our blogs we have become friends. As I hung out in Dina's house yesterday with her husband and kids, we commented on how strange it is to meet someone through blogging: we already know so much about each other's families and lives that the day you actually meet in person is merely a formality. You immediately jump into "old friends" mode.
Dina and my friendship will have an added bonus for you, my readers; we're going to combine forces to create another blog: Daily Photo Moscow. Neither of us felt up to it individually... but as a team? Here we come! Check out Dina's "Daily Photo Niger" blog; her talent as a photographer is tremendous and I can't wait to see the city through her eyes and lens.
I took the picture at the top of this entry as Dina and I walked back to her house when we first met two weeks ago. They see this building from their front door! I wish I had taken more pictures that day; I took her on a whirlwind tour of the city by foot: from the US embassy to the Old Arbat (she laughed at Starbucks when I was greeted by name), along Nikitsky Bulvar to Bolshaya Nikitskaya (past the Chaikovsky Conservatory) to Red Square, through GUM to the Bolshoi Theater (where she bought tickets for the ballet Giselle in November), along Tverskaya to Pushkin Square (where we had an amazing lunch at Cafe Pushkin), back along Tverskaya to the Garden Ring Road (stopping at Volkonsky Bakery--where Olympic gold medalist tennis star Elena Dementeva was behind us in line) and back to the US Embassy. Whew! It was sooo much fun to point out all the little things you wouldn't necessarily know if you walked by on your own, new to the city.
I'm so glad I chose to make this blog public; it's a pleasure "knowing" all of you new friends whom I would never have met otherwise. As for you "old" friends who would have been reading this anyway, I love you, too!