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Encounters International Spring 2004 Party in Gaithersburg, MD
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Spring Party in Gaithersberg, MD

EI March Saturday club social hosted by Ken Myers was an enjoyable event. As usual, Ken was a perfect host. He has this wonderful ability to create a very relaxed atmosphere, so that everybody feels comfortable. On behalf of the entire family of clients I want to thank Ken again for his social job well done!

Our family of clients keeps getting bigger. We have learnt at the party that March social would be the last party for John and Julia Goping that they attended before they would become parents. They expect a baby before April social. View their picture on the slide show below. John and Julia, if we do not see you at the party April 24, please accept our congratulations!

April 2004

Ah, April...it marks to arrival of Spring. April is also an exciting time for seven wonderful Encounters International couples.

During the 2003 holiday season (Thanksgiving to Christmas) six of our clients became engaged to ladies in Yaroslavl, Russia. Also during that time, one client became engaged to a lady from Kiev, Ukraine.

After months of paperwork processing and waiting for governmental results, two of the ladies, Elena Tsilinko and Olga Mahrakova will all be arriving in the Washington, DC area on the same flight on the same day! It will truly be a love bird instead of an airplane. At the airport will be two equally excited and in love Encounters International clients; Frank and Neal.

Frank and Neal live in Maryland, just outside DC. During this process, they have become friends and mutual supporters. Of course, both men will be at the airport with flowers, and "Welcome to America" balloons. Knowing these warm gentlemen, I bet there are some tears of joy involved as well.

April 24th is the big day for Irina Solovieva as well. She will be on the same flight as Elena and Olga. After a brief layover here, Irina will board another flight to Atlanta, Georgia. There, she'll be greeted by her fiancé, Mark.

Fast forward ahead just two days. On April 26th, Julia Goriacheva will be accompanied by her fiancé Paul. He is from a Maryland suburb as well. From the beginning of his quest, Paul has been dreaming of personally escorting his Russian lady into the United States. This dream (and many others) will be fulfilled as Julia takes his arm to cross the US border.

Olga Eremeeva has her fiancée visa in hand. Soon she will be boarding a flight to Texas. Jeff, her fiancé will be waiting to welcome her to the great state of Texas.

Irina Pavlicheva could have joined her girlfriends from Yaroslavl in April. Instead, she decided to stay behind and complete her driving lessons. She'll complete her lessons and take the final exam in May.

Irina will join her fiancé Francis in Silver Spring, MD. Silver Spring has access to the extensive DC Metro service. However, the couple felt it a good idea to get a head start on getting Irina adjusted to her new life in
America. She will be able to drive and not have to rely exclusively on public transportation.

Svetlana Tkachenko will have a great trip from Kiev to the US. Sam, her fiancé, will travel to Kiev to make the flight here with her. The couple will settle in Pennsylvania where Sam is an attorney. He knows well the stress of travel from there to here so he decided to help Svetlana make an easy transition to the American life.

It's not only our overseas ladies that have become engaged. Two wonderful ladies from the local area are also engaged. First, Svetlana Hickman, from Virginia became engaged to Tom from California on St. Valentine's Day. Tom
has relocated from California to Virginia to be closer to his fiancée.

Second is professional violinist Tarlana Isaeva. She lives in Maryland. Tarlana enchanted the audience by her performance of Fiddler on the Roof tunes during the Encounters International 10th Anniversary Party . Last month, Keith, a construction engineer also from Maryland proposed to her. She said, "yes."

I am so happy that the Encounters International extended family is growing. It is my sincere pleasure to welcome these friends into our family. I am honored and humbled to have played a part in bringing together these eighteen people together. Now, I am off to update the Encounters International statistics page!

Congratulations! Mazel Tov! Pozdravlyayu!


Useful tips for newly weds-to-be.

There are many books and brochures written on how to meet and date a Russian Woman. This stage is behind you now. But that does not mean that the challenges of this process are over. Now that your Russian ladies are about to arrive you need to start thinking beyond the excitement of your honey moon time. You need to be prepared for an adjustment period of the first six months. I am in the process of developing a handbook of useful tips for EI clients who are engaged and ready to get married. I try to summarize my 10 year experience of communication with happy, not so happy and even unhappy couples. Below are some "rules" that every American man marrying a foreign woman should be aware of..

1. Prenuptial Agreement

Most of the clients who have been through a divorce before report to me that they will never contemplate a marriage without a prenuptial agreement. Yet, some of you are getting married to your Russian brides for the first time in your life.. Discussing prenuptial agreements seem like discussing divorce proceedings before the marriage. It is very uncomfortable for most of the people. Still I believe that the rule of thumb in respect to prenuptial agreement should be "better safe than sorry". If you haven't done it yet before the arrival of your ladies, it is still not too late. Most of the ladies do not have any problem with signing a prenuptial agreement on your terms. If she does have a problem, you need to find out the nature of her problem and address it before the wedding.

2. Work as a good adjustment factor..

Your Russian brides in their majority are accomplished women, often bread winners in their households in Russia who take pride of their financial independence.. After moving to your home they might feel misplaced and financially confused. Men believe that enrolling a woman in a language school is the best solution to keep her busy. It is true in part. Yet there is no substitute for making arrangements for a woman to earn her own money. Even if she does not know English, there are plenty of places where she can work. For example, flower shops, local grocery stores, local department stores, baby-sitting for American or Russian families, et. There are multiple benefits if a woman is employed as early after the wedding as possible. She will learn the rules of family economics; she will be proud to have her own money rather having to ask for it; she will learn English faster than otherwise and finally, she will not be bored and home sick.

3. Cultural activities

Your Russian bride used to live a fast pace life of large city. Even Yaroslavl that Muscovites consider a small provincial town has one million population. It is hard for your lady to slow down. Plan to make this lifestyle change for her as smooth as possible by taking her places of interest, nature walks, cultural and community activities as often as possible. There are some things that are not fun to do by yourself without sharing your impressions, thoughts and views with somebody close to you. Now you may start doing things that you have rarely done before: go to the Opera house, amusement park, go to the farm to pick your own berries (Russian women's favorite activity), take a ride on a hot air balloon. That will fill your life with lasting memories and your Russian lady will not feel cut off her cultural life.

4. Immigration procedures

All of us are seeking happiness and security in the marriage. Unfortunately divorces do happen . Fortunately for our clients the divorce rate among EI couples is much lower than national average ( compare 13% Vs 50%). Yet, if your marriage is on the rocks, you need to be aware of some immigration procedures. These procedures apply to the first two years of your marriage when the legal status of your wife depends on her staying married to you and divorce translates into loosing her legal status and deportation unless... she claims that she was abused by her husband. In this case she is allowed to "self petition" and obtain her legal status without her husband's involvement, free immigration and divorce representation, free shelter and job referrals .

It is important to be aware of these and other "rules" that will make your marriage more secure and happy. After all and above all, your happiness is our asset.

Saturday Club Social Announcement.

Our April party is hosted by Josh Shandler, a young Maryland lawyer and a DJ in McFadden's restaurant in Baltimore in his spare time.Although everybody loves the beauty of private home setting of EI socials, an occasional change of parties' format is always welcome. In the past we have had our socials in Clyde's Restaurant in Chevy Chase in August of 2002 and Summit Station Restaurant in Gaithersburg last September. Those of you who missed these socials can judge how much fun we have had by viewing the slides taken during the parties.

This will not be the very first time for us to have EI event in Baltimore. In April 2000 "the Bottom Line" Baltimore TV talk show invited Encounters International's couples, single and engaged clients to participate in that show. . After some heated discussions there nobody wanted to leave and we headed to one of the restaurants in Inner Harbor . What a great time we had!

Also, I know that almost half of our young ladies live in Baltimore and make arrangements to drive to Washington, DC suburbs each month to attend EI socials. This time EI party is going to come to Baltimore. Josh is going to be available to play Russian CDs together with his regular dancing music. That means, if you have your favorite music, do not forget to bring it with you for all of us to enjoy.

Also, put on your dancing shoes, I assume there will be a lot of dancing music. And if you become tired of that, the good news is that McFaddens is only one of six or more restaurants in the Power Plant Live court yard. If you meet somebody special at the party you can always move to a piano lounge in the restaurant next door or explore other options of this fun place.

EI April Saturday Social is 24, 2004 from 7 PM to midnight at
McFadden's Restaurant in Baltimore

Address: 10, Market Place/Power Plant Live
Baltimore, MD 21202

All EI members and Get to Know Us members are invited.


From Washington, DC and Points South (I-95)
Take I-95 North to 295 North (Baltimore / Washington Parkway). Turn right onto West Pratt Street. Turn left onto Market Place.

From Frederick, MD and Points West (I-70)
I-70/US40 East. Take I-695 South (Exit 91B / 91A) towards Baltimore /Glen Burnie. Take I-95 North exit towards Baltimore. Take I-395 North (Exit 53) towards Downtown. Continue I-395 to Downtown / Inner Harbor. Turn right onto West Pratt Street. Turn left onto Market Place.

From Philadelphia, PA and Points North (I-95)
I-95 South (portions toll). Exit I-395 North (Exit 53) towards Downtown. Follow I-395 towards Downtown / Inner Harbor. I-395 becomes South Howard Street. Turn right onto Pratt Street. Turn left onto Market Place.


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