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July 26, 1998

Up and at them this morning.  May Adair and Terrie wanted interviews with the 4 pilots for the documentary so we went out to the air field.  Everyone got theirs done but me.   We ended up running out of time because we needed to film Marina Ossipenko's memorial plaques where their ashes are in the walls of Red Square.  Then we went to the cemetery where Valentino Grizodubova is buried and filmed.  Flight Safety International has been wonderful.  They have hauled us all over the place and taken care of us totally.  Our reception in Moscow has been incredible!!  In the press conference, a representative from the Intrestate Aviation Committee told the reports that "our women pilots, and I call them "OUR" because they have worked so hard on this flight, that they are now ours"... (Does this mean we have to stay here?)   They are great.  Now, when we get into Siberia, things will be harder, but they already know we are coming and we will have support onboard.  (Plus, we have Nikki and her skootching) (That skootching has gotten us this far!)...  After all the cemetary stuff, we ate and went back to the air field.  I did my interview and Nikki sat in the AN-2 trying to get comfortable with the panel.  Some of our crew took naps.  Doug, Terrie, Mikey, May Adair, and Jeremy got up early and went to church in Red Square.  Nikki and I slept in.  So basically today was a "tie up loose ends" kind of day.  Tomorrow morning, we will start our flight through Siberia.   In preparation Nikki had Flight Safety take her to the store to look for Werthers Candy and Pistachio nuts.  If you know Nikki, you know she can't fly with out a sack lunch.  Right Tyler?  We are having to ship all kinds of things home before we leave.  The region of Orenburg gave us gifts of onyx jewel boxes and babusus (finely woven shawls).  This region is in the Urals.  We have berets and shirts from the Airborne Services of Russia.  The list goes on and on.  Russian people are very generous, we have found.  Anyway, we are packed.  Nikki is going in the AN-2, I'm in the Maule, Mikey and Jeremy are in the support AN-2.  Off to an adventure of a lifetime and wondering how we pulled this off so far.  Khalides mechanic told us that we were very strong to have organizes this with the Russian government.  I told him that it took us and many others to do it.  We feel like we have just been hanging on for the ride here at the last.  Let's see how the next 2 weeks go.  I will try to fax updates if I can.  If not, I'll send from Alaska.  Time Zone - We're 12 hours away from Fairbanks.  Sure, 12 hours and 2 weeks.  Later guys......

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