After spending two days touring Elista, Russia and watching several chess games, West and Jeff caught a bus back to Volgograd. There was a slight "glitch" to getting there though.
I received a call close to 2:00 a.m. Texas-time. West was on the other end and, in his quiet but firm voice, shared the news with me that Jeff had lost his passport with his bus ticket inside AND their bus was leaving in 25 minutes. So, he and Jeff were back in the cab, backtracking their steps to see if they could find the passport while I got on the computer to contact our company that assisted us in our documents to begin with. We weren't really sure what we needed to do at that point so we were going to look to them for direction. About 15 minutes later, I received a second call. Once again, it was West. I answered the phone "did you find it?" He stated, with a laugh, that incredibly they did and were running to catch the bus. He said he would give me details later.
An hour later, I called West back to get the details. West and Jeff decided to go back to the city center to take a few more pictures before heading to the bus stop. While there, Jeff took his phone out of his pocket to take pictures. His passport fell out when he did this. A woman walking by found the passport on the ground. She noticed the bus ticket, went to the bus station and "found" Jeff to return the passport. Thank gosh this particular woman found it and decided to take it a step farther to return it. I think the only thing missing is some sort of immigration card (or something like that) It really could have been bad.
They arrived in Volgograd after passing through one security check. Everyone had to get off the bus, passports checked and them allowed to proceed. They had a relaxing afternoon and ended up spending the evening in the lobby playing a game of chess on their chess board purchased in Elista. Tomorrow, they will meet back up with Pavel to see more sights in Volgograd. They will catch the train to Moscow on Tuesday in preparation for their flight to Houston on Wednesday.