How to Prepare for Her Arrival
All that you can do in advance of your lady’s arrival will shorten her process of adaptation and improve her comfort and confidence in her new life with you. Included here is a list of various things you can do prior to her arrival. Some things will need to be done several weeks prior and others can be done just shortly before her arrival. Although some items on the list can be done after she arrives they have been listed here so that you can be even more prepared and avoid taking time away from her once she is here. Think strategically when reviewing this list so you can identify all the ways you can maximizing her comfort and minimize future work for either one of you that would be a distraction from your time together. She will be grateful and very appreciative for all the care and effort you show in preparing for her arrival.
Improve her English language skills. Most Russians learn a second language during their education. English and German are the most common second languages learned. If she is not confident in her English skills then it would be beneficial for her to receive English lessons before she arrives in your country. Emphasis should be placed on verbal English skills. Being able to speak and understand English will be necessary for her to not only communicate with you but function outside the house with more confidence. If she has time then proceed with studies to improve her written English skills so that she can read and write.
Planning her travel experience may mean more than just buying her an airline ticket. If she has never flown on a airplane before she may not be familiar with the unique procedures of the airline industry. If she is nervous about flying or prone to motion sickness she will undoubtedly be physically and emotionally uncomfortable during her long trip. You can help her by providing her with a step by step guide of what she will need to do once she arrives at the airport until she lands in your city. If she is making one or two connections along the way she may need guidance on how to get from one plane to the next especially if this involves changing terminals. You can approach these issues in several ways. First you can personally fly yourself to Russia and escort her back with you. If this is not possible or desirable for you then it would be helpful if you schedule her flight itinerary so that there are a minimum of connections with short connection times (avoid airlines whose connections requiring an overnight stay). If you are not personally familiar with the connection procedures for her itinerary then contact the airlines involved and find out what the connection procedure will be so that you can explain it her. Provide her with these procedures in writing (translated if necessary) if they are rather complex.
If she cannot read the signs she may have to ask for help. You can give her some written English statements that can help her communicate if necessary. Chances are that she can ask for help from someone on her first flight out of Russia since most people on board will speak Russian.
Schedule Time Off from Work
Try to avoid having her arrive one day and you leaving her at home alone the next day to go work. You need to help her avoid feeling isolated and abandoned in a new place. She will welcome your presence as her protector and cherish it as a symbol of your love.
Plan her arrival day and time when you can arrange some time off from work for the first few days of her arrival. After your recent trips to Russia you may not have many vacation days available to use. If you have a typical Monday through Friday work week consider having her arriving just before or during a weekend then take as many days off from work as you can. This will enable you to maximize the number of days you can spend together when she arrives. For example: if she arrives on Wednesday night you can use 2 vacation days and take Thursday and Friday off and have 4 days together before you return to work on Monday. Think ahead and don’t exhaust all your vacation time too soon since you may want to take some time off for a Honeymoon in a few months.
Keep in mind the first few days of her arrival she may be exhausted from the long trip and need time to adjust to your time zone. If you live in North America her time zone change could be as much as 12 hours. The first few days of her arrival she may want to sleep in during the day and be more active during the night. If this is the case you may find yourself keeping yourself busy during the day while she sleeps in. Plan in advance so that you will have something to do while she is sleeping. If you are in a position that enables you to take work home instead of taking vacation time off consider this as an option.
It would be ideal if your lady could obtain familiar Russian products in your city. Look for stores in your area that sell Russian food, books and videos. If your city has a large enough Russian population there may be several stores that cater to their needs. If you don’t live in a place that can provide you with such products then look at nearby cities that might. Even if you have to travel a long ways your lady may find considerable comfort knowing she is not too far away from familiar Russian things. She may cherish the idea that she can buy some of her favorite foods, buy a Russian language book to read or rent a Russian language video.
Russian Language Publications
Subscribe to or obtain a copy of a Russian language paper. There are several Russian news publications available on the internet but your lady may find it more helpful to read a Russian language paper that is published in your country for Russian speaking residents.
‘Russify’ Your Computer
Set up your computer so she can type letters or emails in Russian using the Cyrillic font. Soon after she arrives she may want to type a letter or send and receive some email correspondence with friends and family back home. If you have your computer already configured for Cyrillic fonts she will be able to do this without having to wait for you to set it up. She may even be impressed that you are able to do this and she will certainly be grateful that you were thoughtful to her needs.
You can suggest that she purchase and bring with her a Russian Keyboard for the computer. The cost will be small and she may like having the Russian letters printed on the keys to look at. As an alternative you can take any English keyboard and write the Cyrillic characters on the keys with a fine-tip felt pen.
Her Own Email
Set up an email account for her. Although you may be able to set up a free email account with services such as Yahoo or Hotmail you may run into difficulties if she wants to read and send messages in Cyrillic fonts. Check with your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to see if they can provide you with an additional email account for your lady. This may be more effective and efficient than using a web based email service such as Yahoo or Hotmail because you can download and save your email off line. Create an address that will be easy for her to explain to others. An easy name would be to use her name in the address such as ‘OlgaPetroglov@hotmail.com’. Be sure to tell her the email address so that she can give it to her friends and family.
Russian TV and Radio
Set up a computer to enable her to watch Russian TV and Radio stations through the internet.
If you don’t have a cable or satellite system that broadcasts Russian language TV programs you can easily use your computer to display internet broadcasts of Russian programs.
If you have an extra computer or laptop available you may want to set it up as ‘her computer’. This will enable you both to use a computer at the same time if necessary and you can protect your private information. If your lady also has a child you may want to set up a special computer for them so they can surf the internet, play games or use educational software without jeopardizing your own system. As an alternative you can set up your single computer to enable multiple users to log on with each user having their own desktop and settings configured. If you are sharing a single computer make sure you have backups of your important data.
Have a Calling Card for Russia
You lady will want to call home to tell her family she arrived safely. She will be concerned that her family is worried about her. She will be grateful of your thoughtfulness if you enable her to call home as soon as possible. If you have a calling card with you when you meet her at the airport she can call from a payphone or from your cell phone. This will probably only be a short call just to tell them she is safe. Afterwards she will be able to focus her attention and affection towards you without having to worry about her family. She will want to call home frequently during the next few weeks so have calling cards available for her to use when she wants. You will have to teach her how to dial the call since this is the first time using a phone in your country. If you write down all the numbers for her this will make it easier for her to dial on her own.
Get a Cell Phone
Depending on your circumstances you may want your lady to have a cell phone when she ventures out of the house. This might be especially useful incase she gets lost or has a question for while she is away from the house. She will appreciate the extra sense of security knowing she can reach you quickly and easily. If you feel the cost of providing a regular cell phone is too high then consider providing her with a prepaid cell phone like the Tracfone. The Tracfone is a very cost effective tool for occasional use and doesn’t require any long term commitments. You can request a free Tracfone referral which will provide you with 60 minutes of free access time and up to 2 months of connection service.
More valuable information can be found in the Advice Guide:
How to Prepare for Her Arrival (part 2)