The iron curtain was giving way – or at least becoming permeable – in the age of perestroika. After writing letters for over 20 years while teaching Russian at two schools in Exeter, Patricia Cockrell was at last successful in setting up an exchange with a school in Moscow, and in 1992 she was awarded a grant to establish a hospice in Exeter’s twin city of Yaroslavl.
Patricia negotiated some time off from family life and gave up her job in order to promote the growth of civil society in Russia. She retrained in conflict management, mediation, diplomacy, and other pertinent skills and in 1993 was appointed to represent Quakers in Russia and to work with others to establish a Friends House in Moscow.
At a time of challenging social unrest, Patricia lived in Moscow and traveled widely from the Caucasus to the Arctic working on Quaker concerns for peaceful relationships, as well as for the sick, the vulnerable, and the victims of violence and war. Hear her tell all in this fascinating biography-cum-travelogue.