In the summer of 2007, a team of Russian rafters disappeared on the Yurunkash River in China. Among them was the fiancé of Olga Zvereva Alexander. There was no news from him for three weeks. For three weeks, while the rescuers were looking for the missing tourists, I did not know anything about his fate. Autumn 2007 neither I nor my husband will ever forget. It would seem that time should heal, and new events, emotions "extinguish" memories. What is it!
In the summer of 2007, a team of Russian rafters disappeared on the Yurunkash River in China. Among them was the fiancé of Olga Zvereva Alexander. There was no news from him for three weeks.
For three weeks, while the rescuers were looking for the missing tourists, I did not know anything about his fate. Autumn 2007 neither I nor my husband will ever forget. It would seem that time should heal, and new events, emotions "extinguish" memories. What is there! We weren't booked then. They put it off for later: I have a lot of things to do at work, Sasha was preparing for the expedition. On August 18, his group started from the highland village of Polar. This is in China. The last guys were seen by the guides - local residents. For 15 days we did not receive any call or news from the guys. And then a message from news agencies: “An empty raft belonging to Russian rafters was found near the slopes of the Ustyuntag ridge. Athletes could not be found. The authorities of the Celestial Empire mobilized about a thousand policemen and military personnel, connected the shepherds. The President of the Russian Federation directly appealed to the leadership of China with a request for permission to fly the Il-76 with specialists from the Ministry of Emergency Situations to the search area for our tourists.”
I never thought before, whether I'm strong or weak, what my margin of safety is. And in those days I did not think. There was nothing around, and whether I myself was, I don’t know. As if a person was left with one thought and nothing else. There is no sun, no people, no sounds, no words. There is only: “Lord, save him. Sasha, Sashenka, live. Either a prayer, or a cry that breaks both the head and the heart…
We met eleven years ago. Each with his company, having loaded backpacks, tents, guitars, left the city. The parking lots were nearby. Now, when Sasha is asked: “Where did you meet your future wife?” - replies: "In the forest." It was not love at first sight - they really got close five years ago. Not earlier. Sasha became friends with my son Misha from his first marriage. They are both nice guys and easily got along. We travel together, spend weekends by the Kazan lakes, go skiing.
I am an ophthalmologist by profession, Sasha is a chemist. PhD who works as a fitness trainer. Surprised? Oh, it is impossible to lock him up in four walls, forcing him to give up sports, tourism - he grew up in travel. A seven-year-old kid went with his parents to mountain rivers. He has a special composition of blood! I was also brought up in a family of incorrigible romantics. My mom and dad took me on camping trips from the age of six. I am also not averse to wandering along the forest paths with a backpack, to overcome a couple of rapids. When I can, I go skiing, I tried to go surfing, I flew on a paraglider once. In travels, true values are more clearly manifested and perceived more sharply - friendship, support for one's neighbor, strength of character. A life like litmus paper will hide nothing. This man is good, this one is a coward.
Usually Sashenka goes on expeditions for a short time - for 2-3 weeks. The most difficult for me were his trips to Taimyr (it lasted a month and a half) and the last one to China… …
Day, second, third… Sasha spent 25 days without food. There was less and less hope that he would survive. Where is he? In the mountains? By the river? What about him? But I believed. And waited. I decided - I will not cry, I will gather my fist. Went to work in the morning. In the evening, go to church. I prayed. I tried not to meet with anyone, not to discuss anything, not to complain to anyone. And what would other people's tears and consolations give? Would this help Sasha, his friends? No, I'm not strong, circumstances forced me to look for strength in myself. This is probably why she kept in touch only with the relatives of the members of the disappeared team. And avoided communication with journalists, colleagues, neighbors.
The search for rafters was greatly hindered by a sandstorm - it determined the pace of the operation. When the dust settled a little, our rescuers managed to land not far from the two-seater catamaran, they noticed some movement below from the air … A few hours later, Sasha was taken to Russia.
He immediately dialed my phone number: “When I arrive, we will immediately go to the registry office. You know, I've sketched out the guest list here. Looking like a shadow, dried up, skinny, Sasha was joking anyway. However, I also tried to look cheerful when he came out of the plane to me. Then she said: “Oh, I didn’t recognize you. Rejuvenated, refreshed. Well, just Tom Cruise! And I wanted to cry myself. …
After Sasha's return, we submitted documents to the registry office, started furnishing a new apartment, and bought a tourist ticket to Egypt. I wore a red dress to the wedding. Honestly, I chose on the run. After work, I jumped into the salon. I liked it - I took it.
Our witness, Sasha's friend Kostya Platov, turned the wedding into a show. He himself dressed in a national Chinese costume, ordered to decorate the garden at the registry office with balloons, hang scrolls with wishes on trees, and made riddle questions for us. Sasha was forced to answer what color I used to wear contact lenses. And for a long time I wondered how exactly Sasha's Ph.D. thesis was called. From the date when Sasha's rafting on the Yurunkash mountain river began, and until now I live with a clear feeling that they put me on a train and show me some kind of movie. This is probably a defensive reaction of the body - everything that happens seems unreal. I catch myself thinking: “Am I not sleeping? Where is reality? I wish I could turn on fast forward, like in a VCR.”
And one more thing… After that story, I endlessly ask myself: will I object to my husband's next expeditions? No. I understand him. This is his life's work. Of course, every time I wait, I worry. Where to go?