Sakhalin: Masha grew up in a village with three residential buildings and 50 people, including her parents and three siblings. Like most tiny villages, there was no plumming, which made a lot of basic chores more difficult. The nearest school was 12 km away. She took a bus that came once a day because her family didn’t have a car. Masha got a scholarship at a university on the Russian mainland, has received another two higher degrees since graduating, is working on getting her fourth and works for one of the largest companies in the world.
When she saved up some money, she bought her mom a washing machine for clothing and her dad a snow blower. I asked how she made it out of what can be called the trap of village poverty. “It depends on the parents. My parents read a lot and taught us (children) to read.” She said her dad “got grey hair at an early age” trying to figure out how to feed the four children during the turbulent 1990s. He worked 3 jobs, she said.
Masha, 31 and a mother, said she and her husband will soon adopt a child. Masha’s mother wanted to adopt as well, but with four children in a turbulent time, it was difficult. ”We earn quite a bit and I think we should share and help at least someone else,” Masha explained her decision. ”I can not look at photos of orphans without tears.”