This is an exciting day as this evening will be the first session for Apply!Kazan, however, there is a very pressing issue to cover first.
It is still surreal that I am sitting in Sasha’s appartment in Kazan, partially because the last three days of travel have taken me half way around the globe through a whirlwind of experiences that have all been absolutely new to my life. More importantly though, this opportunity is due in no small part to the accumulation of family and friends that each offered their support and contributions that together have created the single most significant gift I have ever recieved. I truly have felt over the past two weeks a kind of collective love that I now realize has been a piece missing from my life.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, the short version is that in the two weeks leading up to my departure for Kazan my levels of stress and utter discouragement peaked as our primary funding sources for this project were postponed one after another. What quickly became clear was that I am totally unprepared to travel across an ocean, and that the financial situation that presented itself and had been looming for some time was that of despair. Despite my aptitude for problem solving, I finally understood the phrase, “Sometimes stuck is stuck!” So in the face of failure and with no clever whims to explore I did something against my deepest nature, I asked for help.
Your response was overwhelming. Not to suggest that I was surprised by the outpouring of positive reinforcement that was recieved, because of course I know you are all truly kind and uniquely wonderful individuals. The difficulty for me was emotional and derived from the simple fact that I was on the receiving end of something special in a capacity that I was not accustomed to, nor prepared for. This is all supposed to be leading to a much deserved thank you, but as I realize there is no way I can articulate the tremendous impact this event has had on my spirit, there is no way I can properly express the extent of my gratitude.
In the final week before getting on a bus, the financial gap was daunting. The goal I set was severely conservative and would enable me to purchase bus and train tickets, and maybe cover the eating expenses for the duration of the trip. By Thursday morning, the day I was scheduled to leave I awoke without a bus ticket, but with a smile none-the-less. Your collective contributions amounted to $5 over what was necessary, which was no small sum. My motivations behind mentioning this are simply that, for everyone who spoke the words “I wish I could give more”, I need you to understand that every single dollar that was donated for this project is as important as the next. The total amount raised was the exact amount needed, and the timeline was so narrow that the final dollar litterally came in mere hours before I was supposed to leave. The circumstances were so uncanny that I would almost be inclined to say that the universe was smiling on me, however it is clear now that the universe was only creating barriers, and it was your collective resolve alone which made all this possible.
Financial assistance aside, equally important is the ongoing emotional support. The importance of your encouragement cannot be overstated, and it is an intergral piece to my effective delivery of this project. The love I have felt recently is so extreme that it will not be reciprocated by anything short of kidneys and first borns. If I had not told you this already, I am forever in your debt. If I have mentioned it before, I will say it again, I am forever in your debt. By this I mean I will be spending a lifetime expressing my appreciation not only for your support, but the warmth I feel just knowing I have you all as a part of my life.
Thank you, thank you, thank you all for everything, from donations and conversations, to pizza and pints. I am grateful this season first and foremost for friendship, and have been imbued with a spiritual extension that I do not have the capacity to understand yet, but I can only express as what is the lasting love of family. So from Sasha and I in Russia, and the Recrear family around the world, again I would like to thank you for, and welcome you to, Recrear Apply!Kazan.