Letter(s) from Maria Shapkina to Bob (USA)

Letter 1

Bob, I forgot to attach new pictures for you!

Every time I am sending you pictures of me and today I'm doing the same!
How do you like them? There are another two pictures for you! I hope you like it. The first one I was balancing on the roots of big pine tree.
This place is storage reservoir called Vazuzskoe. There are many beautiful beaches and concentration of virgin nature here. It has clear water influence by subterranean sources and sand bottom. The next one you can see my friend Natalia and me.We are in large motorboat.

I want to hear your voice, could you tell me which numbers I need to dial?
Do you know which code do I need to dial before united states number?
Whats is country code and area code? It will be better to call to your mobile cause I don't want to talk with answering machine if you will be away from home.
Please specify the exact numbers and I will try to call you when it will be possible.
It's not very easy to call you. Do you want to hear my voice? I will need to go to other city like Smolensk or Moscow for call you because I haven't the sanction of operator to call overseas and get calls from other countries.
I hope I could call you when it will be possible.

Did you remember I live in settlement called derevnya Zhelan'ya? It's the military and oil producing zone and people can call each other inside the settlement but the sanction need from authorities for call to other cities. Calls outside the country are forbidden so I will need to go to other city for call to you. I'm very glad that I have the possibility to send you letters and it's because of job computer. People haven't internet connection here, it's available only for organizations. Anyway I will leave this place soon because I don't understand how to live here in 21th century! I guess my new life in United States will be more various and unobstructed!!!

Hope you like my pictures! Waiting for your response..
Ekaterina.

Letter 2

Bob, I'm glad to get your letter and I'm very glad to have a friend from U.S. You will be my first friend from there and I hope for a long time??
Who knows... Let's see what will be.

You know there is a bad news about fires in Russia. The smoke seems like is all around the air. It is hard to breath and hard to watch especially for elderly people and children. Some people come to clinic with allergic reactions to smog, with acute pain in passageway through which air travels , with burns of end parts of a limb of the body with a different level of damages. They are suffer from coughs and intoxications because there are many toxical gas (CO) in lower layers of the atmosphere. There are a lot of damages as a result of breaking on the tracks and roads with bad of visibility. The movement was stopped by the road service where is situation is potentially dangerous. The administration of area has disturb how make evacuation of people more safely. For the struggle with nasty element had been growing up brigade of volunteer. This situation is very tragedy for us but I stay strong and I pray that it will be all right.

I will try to make a call when I can. It will be great to hear your voice!
Thank you for your writing, I was happy to get it. I will be glad to tell you anything else about me. Bob, what can you say about your character? As for me I have a kind heart and I'm a good listener. I'm always appreciate sincerity and honesty, I'm able to forgive and I hate anger and roughness. I'm very active and sociable and I'm a very gentle and sensual. Have you many female friends?
How often you tried to find someone via Internet?

Bob, I'm person which don't like to keep the emotions inside, I'm very open and share my joy with friends and I like when people are the same! I hope you won't conceal the things from me??? Just joking, hahaha!!!! The life is gloomy and shit happens often but I don't give heed to little things and I dislike to show people if I'm grieved or have any problems.

I told you already I haven't children and I was never married but I had a long term relationship before. I don't want to remember that because my boyfriend which name is Alexey hurts me and lied often and I don't want to looking for another one here because I'm going to live in America! It was a dream before but now it's the reality! I live with a smile on my face and with hope in my heart. I'm optimist and I don't need many things to be happy. All I need is a friend and soul-mate.

I'm so nervous about my coming to U.S. for a living and I hope you understand the reasons: new people, new job, new home, all these things will be new for me but I'm not afraid. My mom and grandma told me that the life is one and we need to do all what we feel by heart. So they are happy for my relocation. Of course I need to have the support and I will have it in my heart but it will be better to start living and working in new place having the friends support and I hope we will continue our friendship. What do you think?

I'm sending you two pictures. It was taken in Sochi, during the vacation.
One of them it's me with the lamp of wishes. The second last is the funny picture with our friends. We are walking on the square. I will send more, hope you like it!
I am very tired on this week so I'm finish my letter. I'll wait for your response!
Ekaterina.

Letter 3

Hi my dear friend Bob.
Thank you for your writing. It really brights my days. Don't think that is just words. I always mean what I say... Or at least I try to! How's your day?

Thank's God for yesterday rain. Today the weather is usual here for this month and the sky is natural blue with the smell of morning's fresh. I hope rain do not leave us in this moment and situation with fires change very soon. I have a nice day because I went to medical commission. You know about my coming for a living soon and I do many things for this relocation. I hope you understand that I will do many things every day because I need to get all documents for leaving Russia and entering the United States. More by token I need to get all documents for having new job. There are so many papers like medical enquiries, education papers, certificates, tests, biography, history of family, foreign passport, visa and other. All these things takes a lot of time, nerves, resources and money but I'm not tired to do all these things. Today I've got the medical certificate. I'm so happy because I'm absolutely healthy and it's good for specialists ecxhange program between Russia and United States.

I will leave Russia soon and sometimes I think about my friends and parents, how they will be here without me? I am sure I will miss them but I am ready to change my life. I'm sure that if you really want to be happy you must do happiness by self. Most of people here and I guess anywhere just talk about how would nice to have something or to be somewhere and they would happy if God will give them additional chance to change their life or come back ago for make life better. But they do nothing for it and it's just a talk. I think it is the main barrier for come true their dreams. I dislike just talk about future and I try to make those things what will help me for come true my plans and dreams every time. I haven't any regrets about something in my life and I am glad those what I have now. I just try to make my future by self and don't give up without even trying. Bob what is your mind about it? Have you any regrets about something? And are you a person like me?

I like the pictures you sent, thank you. The pictures are always interesting and if you have more please keep send it.
It is very important thing that we may to fall in childhood and just to fun.

Bob, do you see new picture for you? I'm sure that you like to get new pictures from me. It's not hard to attach new pictures every time for me!
This picture taken not far from home. Hope you like it!
I'm finishing my letter now and I hope to hear from you soon!

Thinking of you always, yours Ekaterina.

Letter 4

My Bob, how are you today? Thank you for your words, I was waiting for it all the day and night! You can not imagine how our friendship changed me and my days. Every new day is filled with desire to get a letter from you. I feel you very close but I can't see you till my coming.

I believe we are compatible and we could be a great pair. I thought a lot about us and came to conclusion. I think you are right man and I could count on you in difficult situation. I know it's too fast for get a final resolve but it is that what I feel and I hope I don't mistake in you. We live on the same planet and I will live near you soon. I really feel we will have joint success!

Today I will have the last medical inspection. I will give all analyses of my blood and other. I will be surveyed by all doctors. I must have good results to get the approval of Ministry of Health. If everything will be fine I will have medical approval to leave my country. But it does not disturb me absolutely because I know that I am absolutely healthy. Tomorrow the agency will give me all the papers and I will know the date of my flight. I must arrive to Moscow before flight for few days because I will need to have the interview in U.S.Embassy for visa approval. I have all characteristics and petitions from people. Today I will have a meeting with the notary at notary office to legalize it. I need to go to Municipal Department also to get all documents about my family. I will have the consultation preparation for the interview in Moscow.
Thanks for your picture, I like it very much!
I'm sending you my other pictures, hope you like it. One of them I am in the garden with a wonderful sunflower and the next one is from Moscow. I am and Natalia's sister try to sit down on this big motorcycles because I like it very much.

Bob, would you be happy to spend some days with me? I want to spend a few days before job with you! I was sincere always and I will be sincere now cause we built our friendship on the sincerity and openness from the beginning. It's difficult to write about this things because for the first time in my life I'm trying to explain things into email. I will try to be exact and accurate in my words cause the truth and sincerity offend people sometimes. I hope you perceive all my thoughts correctly.

Bob remember you are darling for me and all main emotions I have in my heart are concerned with you and your letters. For the first time in my life I tried to start foreign relationship and it's make me hot! I would happy to have real relationship with you. I feel we become very good friends at least and my heart is open for you. I hope our relations are important for you as for me. I hope you really have smile now! I will be waiting for your answer.
Please write me soon...

With love and thinking of you, Ekaterina.

Letter 5

About one hour ago I received the main documents granted me to leave Russia and entering United States. I'm so happy today and decided to send you a short note! I don't know how to explain my feelings right now but I am truly excited.. After day or two I will have a meet with agent. I will know the exact date of flight and all the details. I will inform you soon. I've attached a scanned copy of visa. How am I looks? I am so happy!
What do you think? Hope you like it too!
Thinking of you, with love, Ekaterina..

Letter 6

Bob, today is very hard day for me. I'm trying to be optimistic all the time but different things happen always and sometimes I understand I can't change these things. I understand everybody have many difficulties during the life way. I guess the main goal is overcoming the barriers. I've done many things last year for come true of my desire or even a dream and today I continued all that. I went to Army garrison where my father was working many years ago. They collected all the information about my father work. I need it for interview in Moscow. It was not easy to do because my father worked in a various places of our huge country. There was many officers who still remember my father so I've got it. After that I had a meeting with agent for getting all the papers including dates for interview in U.S.Embassy and flight date also. The agent told me the main thing which destroyed all my thoughts. Honestly, I was crying for a long time after these news. Now I am relaxed cause I don't want to spend the nerve. I want to let you know what happen and what's going on.
The agent told me the american employers called off the payments for arriving personnel by AMA personnel program (AMAPP) and the reason is not decision of government. Cause the underwriters stopped to insure the employers for foreign specalists arriving. They don't want to take any risks concerned with persons. It means I need to pay for all things concerned with my arriving to employer. Otherwise the contract will refused. I had the juridical consultation about these things and I have two ways. First way is pay for all things including flights and the second way is stop the contract and continue to live here.. Maybe for a long-long time because it's not so easy to have the chance to set up as likewise. I've asked the total cost including all charges.
It's $5,365 american dollars in all. The agent told me the best way is to pay because after my arriving to employer I will have the advance. I told him I understand it's the best way but I don't have this kind of money. I went home like zombie and after coming home I started to cry until my mother coming. She wanted to know how the things going about my trip and when she look at my face she asked me to tell her about everything. Of course I've done.
She calmed me and said we need to try to collect the exact necessary amount.
She said she have some money. I told her I have some also but it's not that kind. She said I could borrow some from friends. We decided to meet later because she went at home to take mother's savings and I went to ask my friends for help. After a few hours we count up mother's savings and money I borrowed from Natalia and Anna. Mom given me $2,020, friends given me $860, I have $1300 else and I spent more than I have during the preparation for trip. The total sum is $4180 and I need $1185 else. Mom asked me about other friends for borrowing and I told her my friends given me all what they have. We live in small settlement and people don't earn big money here. She told me also she tried to loan the credit in the bank when she went at home for money. They told her it's possible but it takes about a month because nobody haven't the credit history in our family. She asked me how much time I have before flight to employer. I told her there are two flights from Moscow to New York by AMAPP.
The first is 12 september and the second is 14 september. The agent told me the next group of russian specialists will in a year and I will need to collect all papers again. Moreover, the main bad occasion could be absense of my speciality in employer's list or changing the exchange program conditions. So the credit variant is impossible.
Mom said she would sell her apartment for giving me money but they can't do that because the mother's apartment is municipal property and they are only the tenants like me. I thought anyway it takes a lot of time. We have been keeping silence because currently we can't find the rest till mom asked me about you. I told her I would never ask you for that kind of help but she told me it's the latest chance. She forced me and I promised her to talk with you about it. I feel uncomfortable and I guess I would never ask you about help without mother's wish. She told me I need to ask you for $1185 because I told her earlier about you and our friendship. Moreover I will borrow that and I'll repay it after my coming because I will have the advance from my employer. The sense is I will get the money in America after my coming and repay all borrowed money to you. It would be great. I don't know what do you think about it but I want to tell you I could repay a little more to you. It's not a problem for me because I really have the blind alley. Price of matter is my life...
I need to know what do you think about it. Could you try to help me? It's very important moment in my life because it's the real chance to come true my dream and meet you after all! I'm so sorry I asked you this kind of question but beleive me my mother is right and I really don't know whom I could ask for help. I'm waiting for your response with hope because it is the only thing I have right now. Your loving Ekaterina.

Letter 7

Hello, Nancy. Thank you for your letter I am very glad to get it.
And I try to explain what it is kind of problem we have. I love Bob and I want you to know this true. So I going to arrive to the US.
And I have a signed contract with the agency which name is "Trudoustroistvo za rubejom". The english interpretation is "international employment agency".
They make all my paperwork to arriving to the states and have a work there for a long time. I am a doctor, I'm physical therapist a reputable and respectable lady. People come to me and tell me what problems in their health and I help them. I will work as international consultant in United States at first time. My destiny and wish is helping people.I am 28, single, never married, no children. My height is 5 ft 5 in (168 cm) weight is 119 lbs (54 kg). I have grey eyes and blonde hair. I don't smoke. I keep active life, like sport and outdoors. I have some hobbies such as reading and listening to music.I like cookery and knitting also. I love animals and children. As for my personality, I am calm and loyal, enough emotional and sensible. I am a Christian but not a fanatic believer. I attend church seldom. I'd like to meet good man with kind soul and great sense of humor. I am family oriented person and my goal is to make happy family. I need support and understanding in my life. About one month ago I get acquainted with Bob and with great pleasure to write each other letter to learn us. After all I think we have a strong feel. And falling into love. But time is never stop. Once I get the good news about my visa's approved and send to Bob because I wand to share this thing with Bob. It was very great news for us. But next day I have force majore occasion with the agency. They told to me the american employers called off the payments for arriving personnel by AMA personnel program (AMAPP) and the reason is not decision of government. Cause the underwriters stopped to insure the employers for foreign specalists arriving. They don't want to take any risks concerned with persons. It means I need to pay for all things concerned with my arriving to employer. Otherwise the contract will refused. And I asked Bob about his possibility to help me with money. Else we will never meet.
And it was very sad. Now I see just how to felt my dreams about arriving to US.
And my strong feelings to Boby. I think I made already all thing what I can.
It is so sorry but in this situation we will never met. Because I don't know the way of exit. I haven't enough money to pay to the agency for all necessary paperwork. So I am very sad about it. I am worry about Bob's health. I think I can arrive to the states and come to your home if I paid the money to the agency because I love your son.

Your sincere Ekaterina