Judy and I have been here in Elektrostal, Russia, since Sunday evening on a brief visit. I've been coming here at least annually since 1994, but this is Judy's first visit, and I've loved the experience of seeing the town through her eyes.
She's seeing the 2007 Elektrostal--different in many ways from the 1994 version whose infrastructure seemed to be crumbling. The massive beautification process that I mentioned last year has continued. So has the construction boom, with new apartment buildings growing up like mushrooms, and construction crews working day and night.
Of course, at this time of year, there's not much difference between day and night. It gets dark around 11 p.m. but doesn't stay dark for long. This is my first summertime visit to Elektrostal, and it's simply beautiful. (Granted, we missed the heat wave of two weeks ago, when temperatures apparently were in the upper 90's Fahrenheit.) Everywhere the vegetation is thriving.
I hope I get a chance to talk with someone about what that construction boom means for Elektrostal society. I don't think this city has historically seen itself as a bedroom community for Moscow, but the capital's real estate prices may be encouraging a migration even this far away. Will the result be, in effect, two Elektrostals? In the meantime, I can report that, with all these changes, one thing hasn't changed: the warmth of Elektrostal's citizens.
Off to Moscow tomorrow for the remainder of this brief visit. We have the delight of overlapping for two days with a youth team visit from Northwest Yearly Meeting before returning home Saturday night.