Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Problem #1 - The Russians come through for us!

Apologies for the delay between updates but the last couple of months have been pretty hectic with work, Xmas and getting Albert on the road again (not that I was actually doing the work myself).  So, if you recall I couldn't cross Russia in the number of days available on a tourist visa and so I was looking at a number of option and those least likely to meet with success were;
  1. Find someone who has a friend or relative in Russia who could invite Sarah and I over to visit them and get a private visa for 90 days.
  2. Ask someone I know from the train into work whose husband works for a Russian bank to ask the bank to sponsor Sarah and I for a business visas which again gives us 90 days in Mongolia
  3. Get SOS Children's Villages (a charity we intend to support) to get their Russian operation to invite us to visit a couple of villages in Russia and take some 'stuff' over so we apply for an Humanitarian visa which gives us 90 days in Russia
So number 3 wasn't a goer as SOS Children's Villages policy isn't to help with visas.  Understandable I suppose so option 1 was never pursued because I don't actually know anyone who has a friend or relative in Russia.  Number 2 on the other hand was based on the fact that I actually did know someone (sort of) whose husband did work in Russia.

So buoyed by the possibility I may actually succeed in this I spoke to the lady on the bus (who I now know is Laura) and asked her to have a word with her husband (who I now know is Eddie) to see if he could get Sarah and I a business visa. Well,Laura had a word with Eddie who had a word with me who had a word with his company (a Russian investment bank don't you know!) and guess what? They actually said yes to sorting out a business visa - Result!

But this doesn't end there.  When Eddie said he'd ask his company about the business visa I naturally asked him who he worked for when he said it was an investment bank I did what any one would do and asked whether I could have some money (tongue in cheek of course).  Guess what? Eddie spoke to someone who spoke to someone else and to quote Eddie ' Moscow have agreed to supporting you J they will also provide hospitality on route for you J '  - Unexpected Result! 

So, who are these sponsors I hear you ask.  Well Otkritie are one of Russia's largest independent financial groups and they support a number of social projects and Sarah and I are both happy that they feel that our adventure is worth supporting.  So thanks to Otkritie, Eddie and all the people he spoke to in particular Laura for introducing me to him.