Monday, March 26, 2012

How many rooms?

The biggest thing on my mind right now is the snow outside. It just keeps coming! It has dropped more than 6 inches in the last couple days. They haven't scraped our road in a very long time so getting in the driveway tonight was nuts. Four of us were behind the car pushing with all our might slipping and falling in the snow. Finally a very nice stranger walked by. With his help, we finally made it into the driveway. It took about an hour to get from our road to the garage! Oh good times! You know how when your normal schedule changes and it feels strange. Well, it doesn't feel like the end of March! :)

How many of you all live in apartments? We lived in an apartment while we were interning at Yakima Bible Baptist Church. It was wonderful. It had two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen/dining room. It was 969 sq feet. Apartments here in Moscow and the surrounding areas are very different. For starters, they are small. They range from about 350 square feet to around 600 square feet. Another thing is the floor layout. If someone says they live in a two room apartment, it doesn't mean they have two bedrooms. It means they actually have two rooms plus a bathroom. Some friends have an apartment that is a two room. It has 495 sq feet. One room is the kitchen, dining, and parent's bedroom. The other room is a living room and kids bedroom (they have two boys and a girl on the way). They are very organized people. I have been impressed with the creativity of those living in such small spaces. It's best to learn to make the best of what you have! That apartment is in Domodedovo and is probably worth around 50-60 thousand dollars. The next factor in all this is location. If you put that apartment in Moscow, you are looking at a million dollar apartment at the least! If we are talking downtown Moscow, we are talking more like two million dollars. If you put it on the twenty-fifth floor, you are looking at nearly three million dollars! So what happens when you put several apartment complexes together in down town Moscow? You get 500,000 millionaires living in one square mile of each other!

I was talking to someone who told me about an apartment he saw in another country he visited. He was amazed that they had one whole room just for a "restroom". This led to some confusion for a few minutes as I couldn't figure out what room he was talking about. He was actually talking about a room that you rest in...the living room. Unless you live in a house outside of Moscow, the majority of people don't have the luxury of one whole room just for a bedroom and another room just for a living room.


  1. Hi Michelle,
    This was so interesting to read, I love that you started a blog to give updates on. I love hearing how other people in different countries live, and it's eye-opening to realize just how much American's are blessed with- space for one thing. :)
    I'm from Goldendale Bible Baptist Church and I've been attempting to get a message to you and Joel asking questions for our Ladies group at church. We just are finishing up our Missions Month at church and we as a group would love to do more for you and our other missionaries, as far as sending letters and cards, packages, etc. We need your birthdates, anniversaries, special treats or snacks you enjoy, items you have a hard time getting in Russia, etc. my email address is if you could send me that information. We have another ladies meeting this coming weekend and I'd love to have your info. to share. Also, a mailing address for you too. One other question- what is the language barrier? I ask because we are starting a pen pal group for the kids in our church, with other missionary kids or kids that you minister to. So, if there are any kids you minister to that would be interested in a pen pal you could send us there info (name, age, boy/girl, mailing address) and we could set them up with an appropriate pen pal. Or if you'd like the letters sent to your mailing address and you could give it to them that would be fine too.
    Sorry for such a long comment. We're praying for you both, your health, saftey, your provisions, and that the Lord would use you mightily in Russia.
    Julianne Smith

  2. Great post, Michelle! Since we have lived in Ukraine nearly 10 years, sometimes it is hard to think like a foreigner, therefore making it difficult to think of what would make an interesting post for an American to read! You are doing a great job, and I am enjoying reading things from your perspective. Keep it up!