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Letter from the President Happy New Year once again to our AWO members and thank you all for choosing to join this wonderful organization. I welcome you all to step into a new year of togetherness and growth with the AWO. This organization has brought us here together in this new home away from home, a support unit, to share our knowledge, learn from each other and grow from our experiences. We have so many women of different backgrounds, interest and needs in our association, making us a strong diverse group with so much to offer. Our organization has and will always depend on our members support, which makes it possible for us to exist today and it is now up to us to leave a notable foot print for members to come.  We welcome your suggestions, feedback, time and energy and we continue to thank those who are already sharing these with us. There is so much to do and many ways you can contribute to our association:  • Continue to support our raffles • Start an interest group

• • •

Be a friend to someone new Continue to donate items for Spread Sunshine  Share something of interest with our members in our Newsletter  • Donate items needed or your time for our upcoming fundraisers or social events • Come out and enjoy our coffee mornings, socialize and have fun! Let us make our time in Moscow one not to forget. Whether it is our home forever or another assignment we have taken with our families, we now live in this unique vibrant city together. Don’t treat your time here just as another assignment, enjoy what this country has to offer, bask in the opportunities of living and traveling as an expat, create memories, create friendships and if you need help along the way the AWO is here to help you.  Thank you for this wonderful opportunity! I look forward to my time as President, creating a home away from home for our members and to sharing this awesome experience and journey with you my AWO family.  Michele

List of Contents

3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11

Notes from the Editor

Events of the Month

Save the Date for the Upcoming Events

Invitation for the Annual General Meeting

Review: Christmas Bazaar 2017

Review: Spread Sunshine and the List of Items Needed for the Next Visit

Interest Groups in Spotlight

List of 2018 Interest Groups

13 14 15 18 19

Introducing our New Board Member

Valentine’s Day Offers for AWO Members

Special Discounts for AWO Members

Your 2018 AWO Board

Photo Credits and AWO Online

February 2018 / 2 !

Six Minutes… Have you ever thought about what you can do in six minutes? Let me give you some ideas. You can call a friend and chat about the weather, pile a sack of potatoes, wait for your turn in a restroom line, stare at the refrigerator and think about what to cook for dinner, read an article or run some errands in the house. The list can go on like this as six minutes, when you think of it, is not a big deal in one day, let alone in one month. But in a completely different universe, for the sake of this argument let`s call it Moscow, six minutes in December 2017 had a totally different meaning. As you may spend your minutes recklessly, this figure was the only time Muscovites could enjoy a shred of sunlight the whole month! Check out the official weather channel if you don`t believe me. It makes you think, huh? No, I don`t mean that you should think about questions like “How did I agree to move here?” No. I definitely don`t mean that! Since you’re here, think about how many amazing events you can enjoy in Moscow, with or without the sunshine! 

This is the month of Maslenitsa, for example. Also known as the Pancake Festival, Maslenitsa will not only lure us with Russian delicacies -mainly blinis as a symbol of the coming sun- and entertain us with wild tricks and games, but also put a blaze of hope in our hearts that the spring will soon be here. February is also the time for Valentine’s Day! Our sponsors provide AWO Members exclusive opportunities, so if you want to have a magical night with your sweet Valentines, check out the related pages below. If you want a change of scenery -or even an erayou may visit the exhibition of the famous American photographer Douglas Kirkland, who exquisitely captured “behind the scenes” of many iconic Hollywood movies and figures from 1960s. It is hard to feel the winter blues when you have so many things to go to, isn’t it? Besides, rumour has it, there might even be 20 minutes of sunshine this coming month! Irem

Events of the month Maslenitsa Festival-February 12 -18, 2018 // Various Locations Maslenitsa is another amazing opportunity to enjoy the Russian festive mood. Visit the main squares at the centre, to enjoy blinis, parades of Russian fairytale characters, open-air theatre, dancing, fireworks and folk songs. Each day of the week-long celebration will have a specific theme around which the activities revolve. The celebrations will be held in various locations, including Red Square, Revolution Square, Manezhnaya Square, Novy Arbat Street, Tverskoi Boulevard, Kremlin in Izmailovo, Tsaritsyno museum, Victory Park on Poklonnaya Gora, VDNKh and more. Follow the Municipality’s website for the event schedule before the festival dates: Douglas Kirkland’s “Behind the Scenes” Photography Exhibition - until April 2018// The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography The exhibition of Douglas Kirkland, the award-winning American photographer, lecturer and author of several books, will cover the entire 60-year career of the photographer and will focus on its brightest stages. In the Great Hall of the Center photos will be presented revealing the backstage of Hollywood filming from the 1960s to 2010s, Marilyn Monroe in 1961 and a a photo chronicle of 3 weeks from the life of Coco Chanel, For more information, visit: “Impressionists in Moscow” Exhibition - until February 25, 2018 // The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts The exhibition includes more than 100 items from the 19th and 20th centuries, including paintings and graphic works by French and European artists, collected from the largest museums of Russia. For more information, visit: index.php “We are Stars” Show - until March 2018 // Planetarium Time for some family fun! The Moscow Planetarium is hosting a new show where you can explore the secrets of the universe. While you’re waiting for the film to start, you can visit the Urania Museum as well. The science center also offers other shows that you might enjoy and the good news is all the films can be watched in English language! Check out their website for the monthly schedule of events: “4 Seasons” Valentine’s Day Market- February 3-4, 2018 // Artplay Design and Architecture Center Don’t wait for the last minute to get a nice gift for your sweet Valentines! Artplay offers you a nice opportunity to find unique handicrafts, decoration items, handmade cosmetics, and clothes at the “4 Seasons” Market during the first weekend of February. For more information about the event and how to get there, visit:

February 2018 / !4

February 14, 2018, Wednesday: Valentine’s Day Celebration at The Ritz-Carlton (see page 13 for details) March 28th, 2018, Wednesday: AWO Annual General Meeting (see page 6 for details)

COFFEE MORNINGS All AWO Coffee Meetings are held in Cafe Russe, main floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Tverskaya Ulitsa 3 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

February 14 & 28 March 14 April 11 & 25

Thanks to our Sponsors!

February 2018 / !5

Invitation for the Annual General Meeting You are kindly invited to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Café Russe on March 28, 2018. The event is open to associate as well as full members and includes a complimentary plated lunch. Invitation will follow with menu selections.  During the meeting Full members will vote for the 2018/2019 Executive Board.    Also, this year’s financial report will be presented and Meeting minutes from last year’s AGM and will be approved.  We welcome any candidates for the Executive board to submit their names before February 28, 2018. Executive Board positions are President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.  Thank you to the AGM Nominating committee Dawn Biyashev, Salma Nurmohamed, Dayra Conrado, Eugenie Tsesarenko, and Rini Judy.

February 2018 / 6 !

Review: Christmas Bazaar 2017


by Wendy Soucy

The AWO was invited to participate in the British Women’s Club Christmas Bazaar this year and together we were able to raise money to share between our charities. The success of the event was due to the contribution of many our members who prepared cookie jar mixes, and all kinds of delicious baked goods, volunteered as organizers, volunteered time on the day, took crazy, happy photos, decorated, and shopped of course! The AWO is grateful to the British Ambassador and his wife, Fiona, who opened up their beautiful home for this event. It felt magical with the Christmas decorations and tree, as well as the lovely smell of hot wine to make us feel festive. The event was a great success enjoyed by many of our members and friends.

February 2018 / !7

Spread Sunshine

by Danielle Kuznetsov

We had a great visit on the 25th of January with a few of our Spread Sunshine volunteers. Michele Kuhlen, Connie Wachsmann, Ai Tilman and Danielle Kuznetsov brought greetings from AWO to the children and parents of Nastenka. On this visit, we saw 45 children in total with most of them well enough to come out and greet us and even pick a gift of their own. This time however, a few of them were a bit weak from ongoing treatments and some just not strong enough to share their usual welcoming smile with us. One such patient was our dear friend Patima, who has been doing treatments for a few months for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. She didn't look well at all and did not have her usual smile which completely broke our hearts as we then found out she was battling with pneumonia. During our last visit she had asked for a choker and many ladies responded with donations of various necklaces and earrings. We brought them all and Patima found a pair of earrings and a necklace she liked. In fact, other girls found a few pieces they liked as well. We also gave out all the airplane bags which we have been collecting over the months to the parents. The gifts were well received especially by the fathers as a few were present that day. We have also spent some time talking with some girls who promised to make us some bracelets from the elastic band kits, which were given out as gifts during the visit.  To all who responded so generously to the needed items posted in our Monday updates for Spread Sunshine THANK YOU! All of the new donations have been given out. Move on to the next page for some tips and lists for future donations.

February 2018 / !8

QUICK TIPS for SHOPPING: For those traveling to the States any time soon, these needed items are so much more affordable from stores such as Michaels, or Hobby Lobby (always a 40% coupon available), or ordering from Oriental Trading Company, which has super sales on these kinds of things and free delivery in the States. In Moscow, check out the sales in Ashan and on end of season items at Decathalon and SportsMaster. If the gifts have any writing on them, please ensure it is written in Russian. As the items we give out go home with the children, we want to make sure that these are different from what is available for group play in the common playroom area. Getting two or three of the same gifts also works, especially when two 8-year-olds share a room.

LIST OF ITEMS NEEDED FOR FEBRUARY VISIT: For our February visit, please see below a list of items we are seeking for donations. Drop off can be made at our next meeting on February 14th. Boys (ages between 10-18): Hip T-shirts with art or logos, hoodies, cool socks, headphones Boys (ages between 8-14): Legos and transformer type toys Girls (ages between 14-18):  Inexpensive jewelry like chokers and earrings from stores like Claire’s, Forever21 and  H&M.  Intricate craft projects like Mosaics as they spend a lot of time in bed resting. This helps pass the time.

SOME OTHER IDEAS: Extreme Dot to Dot Books Stationary Colored pencils Contemporary young adult literature - books Like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson in Russian Adult coloring books Adult maze books Rubiks Cube Russian Ad-Libs books Card making set with a stamp for girls Temporary tattoos Stickers with a nice album to put it into Glow sticks Light up toys Fidgets Emoji stress balls/stamps Slinky toys Mindteaser games Little plastic dinosaurs (young boys) Card games like Go Fish etc (only in Russian) Card Games for Teens in Russian Hand cream for those kids with dry skin. No fragrance preferable. Stay tuned for more news on how we can continue to make an impact at Nastenka and brighten up the day of the children!

February 2018 / 9 !

Interest Groups in Spotlight:


This month, we’ve talked to Stephanie who gave us some nice insight on two AWO interest groups she has been coordinating.

The International Women’s Bible Group is a very welcoming and refreshing group that meets every Tuesday at Arbatskaya.

PRESCHOOL PLAYDATE GROUP: As a busy mum of three, I know how challenging it can be to find time to meet with friends and to feel part of a group. Our little ones are sometimes real little monsters (that we love!) when it comes to taking them out somewhere and it is hard to get motivated especially during winter in Moscow. So I came up with the idea to find a nice coffee place with a soft play area where we (mums of AWO) could meet once a month. Every month we discover a different place, drink some coffee and have breakfast together, while our little ones run and play together.

It’s a time where we come together, enjoy a nice warm cup of coffee or tea with some snacks. After warming up with our chit-chats and beverages, we begin by reading the Bible together which is guided by a leader who assist us in better understanding the text. We learn a lot about the historic context as well as how this still speaks to us today and how powerful God’s word is, even nowadays! So if you want to learn more about the Bible, you are invited to join us on a Tuesday morning, 10am. We would be very happy to see you! If you want to join any of these groups you may contact Stephanie over our coffee mornings or via mail:

So if you want to catch up with other mums, feel free to join us once a month. You don’t need to have a baby with you necessarily. Looking forward to see you all soon!

February 2018 / !10

2018 Interest Groups AWO Interest Groups (Members Only) CLUB






Healthy you! 10,000 Steps

Park walking

Mondays 10:30am 12:30pm

free or cost entrance


Judy Peacock & Wendy Soucy

Go Moscow

Visit interesting places in Moscow


cost varies


Alena Chovanec

Neighborhood Walks

Explore Moscow’s favorite neighborhoods

Monthly Friday (Starts October)



Valentina Markusova & Susan Partridge


Learn, inspire, create photography together

Bimonthly Thursday 10:00am - 12:00pm or 11:00-1:00pm)



Judy Peacock & Debbie Hoehner

Spread Sunshine

Help with activites for Nastenka children's hospital

Monthly - 3rd Thursday



Michelle Kuhlen


Wine tasting and fun with other couples


cost of wine


Perla Pando

Lunch Bunch

Visit new restaurants with AWO members

Monthly Wednesday

cost of meal


Ai Tilman

Cooking Club

Share cooking and recipes and enjoy lunch together


cost of meal


Dawn Biyashev & Michele Kuhlen

Book Club

Read books and share with friends


cost of book

Starbucks on the old Arbat,19/2

Julie Britton

Friends of AWO (Open to AWO and nonmembers) Nordic Walking/Cross Country skiing

Walk until the snow comes and then put on the skis!

Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00am - 12:00pm

600 rubles/ session

Various parks

Judith Lindfield

History-Art- Design

See the best Moscow sights in the context of Russian history (Excursions, lectures and workshops)

Mondays & Fridays 11:00 - 1:00pm

depends on visit, from 500 rubles


Anna Schipper

I Can Paint!

Inspiration and gentle guidance for those eager to explore acrylic and oil painting.

Thursday mornings

1500/rubles/ class (materials included)

Metro Park Kulturi Art-center Masterclass

Anna Schipper

Preschool Play & Pray group

Moms and young kids welcome for a fellowship coffee and playtime.

Thursdays 10am-12pm

free, shared snack

Metro Smolenskaya

Stephanie Viguier

Kurry Korner

Learn Indian cooking with lunch

Mondays & Wednesdays 10:30 2:00pm

1500 rubles/ lesson

Metro Kievskaya, Kutuzovsky Prospekt 7/4k1

Vidhya Velangi

Russian Textile doll making

Learn to make traditional Russian dolls, no sewing

Mon,Wed, or Fri 10:00am - 1:00pm

2500 rubles/ lesson & includes materials

Central Moscow locations


International Women's Bible Study

Join women to study the Bible, book of Acts

Tuesdays 10:30 12:00pm


Metro arbatskaya Kalashniy Pereulok

Katie Coyle

February 2018 / !11

Introducing our new Board Member

Danielle Kuznetsov / our new Spread Sunshine Coordinator! Hello Fellow AWO members! My name is Danielle Kuznetsov and I am taking over the Spread Sunshine charity project. This charity is a long standing (15 year) AWO commitment that leaves a mark in the local community and directly benefits children with cancer. It is a privilege to be a part of it and to see how we can continue to make this contribution. I love using resources of time and talent to invest in the lives of others. For the last 18 years my family has lived between Russia and the States. I met my husband here in 1990 and we married in 1991. We spent the first few years in the States as Alex was learning English being "Americanized" and then we followed an opportunity to live and work in Perm, Russia, in 1998. We spent 3 great years in Perm and grew our family through the adoption of our youngest children, twins. We moved back to the States for a few years, moved back to Moscow, and moved back again to the States which allowed us to settle our older children as they grew up and moved on with their own lives. In 2015, my husband's job brought us back to enjoy all the beauty Moscow offers. Our family has grown also in the last two years with the marriage of our older children and the birth of our grandson- HE IS SO MUCH FUN! I look forward to getting to know you all and enjoy your company at our coffee mornings and AWO excursions. Thanks so much for this opportunity.

February 2018 / !12

Valentine’s Day Offers for AWO Members

At Café Russe, spend a lovely romantic evening accompanied with classical live music and a special menu from Chef Pavel Belyalov. Our regular menu at Café Russe will also be available. O2 lounge will offers couples the best Kremlin view with a Special set menu from Mikhail Tolkachev Bottle accompanied by a bottle of Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial will make this evening even more magnificent! The price 20 000 rubles for 2 persons. There will also be an Anti-Valentines Party in O2 lounge the day before with DJ, Photo zone, Black & red cocktails and a lot of fun! Reservation is required.

February 2018 / !13

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel CafĂŠ Russe Valentines Day Menu Specials

February 2018 / !14

February 2018 / 1! 5

The top choice among expatriates, US Dental Care’s English-speaking staff provide the highest level of dental care in a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest in dental diagnostic and treatment technology. Visit their facility and receive 15% off the first visit and 5% off thereafter.

Located in Patriashiy Ponds, Expat Salon offers 10% off services to all AWO members, including nails and hair using Wella, Paul Mitchell and OPI. There’s also a 20% discount at your first visit.

February 2018 / 1! 6

Your 2018 AWO Board

Michele Kuhlen

Becky Zenkevich

Nori Minnis

Michelle Rowe

President, Charity Liaison

Vice President, FAWCO REP, Facebook



Irem Sunar - Ozat

Dawn Biyashev

Susan Partridge

Rini Judy

Monday Updates



Interest Groups

Eugenie Tsesarenko Membership Monday Updates

Wendy Soucy

Danielle Kuznetsov


Spread Sunshine

February 2018 / 17

PHOTO CREDITS: Page 2: Blinis by Bearfotos / Freepik Page 4: Vladislav Falkov
 Page 10: Freepik

Find Us Online! awomoscow/

February 2018 / 1! 8

Profile for The American Women’s Organization of Moscow

The American Women's Organization of Moscow - Newsletter for February 2018 (redacted copy)  

The American Women's Organization of Moscow - Newsletter for February 2018 (redacted copy)  

Profile for awomoscow