I lived in Russia with my grandma for 4 years until my green card was approved and it was the time for me to finally reunite with my mom in the United States. I got really close with my grandma throughout those years and did not want to leave her nor the city, but I wanted to be with my mom, and the reason why she left in the first place was because she wanted only the best for me and she knew our family would be more successful in the U.S than in Russia, that is what I greatly appreciate. With my departure, my grandma decided to buy some souvenirs that I could bring with me to my mom, and also one for me--the one I would get to keep. My grandma did not want me to forget where I came from, so she bought the souvenir that showed Baikal seals. I used to live 3 hours away from the deepest and clearest lake in the whole world, but I never got a chance to visit this beautiful and unique place known as Baikal. It was my dream, still is, and my grandma knows it. By giving me the souvenir as a gift, she wanted to make sure that I do not forget the place where I am originally from and that one day I would come back and make this dream come true. Every time I look at it, it reminds of my caring grandmother, the beauty of where I am from and where I will be someday in future.
– Malika Mirova