March 2013 Volume 10

Meet two Fortis brothers studying in Russia

Basil Waite
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Meet twin brothers – 26 year old Dwight and Dwayne Stephenson. Both are third year students in a five year dentistry program at Belogorod State University. The university is situated in the little city of Belogorod, near the Ukrainian border, south of Moscow.

 I got to know these twin brothers through my son Oji who informed that three fellow alumni were studying in Eastern Europe. Two were studying in Russia, and the third in Serbia. He gave me their e-mail addresses, but only the twins in Russia responded. These two were very willing to grant me an interview for the KC Times. They also informed me that a third Fortis - Roger Dillion, was also studying in Russia, but at the Peoples Friendship University in Moscow. There, Roger is a fourth-year dental student. I followed up by sending the latter an e-mail and am awaiting his response.

Dwight and Dwayne were born at the University Hospital in Jamaica and lived in Spanish Town, St. Catherine all their lives. Both attended Harrison Preparatory School in Hampton Green, Spanish Town before entering the hallowed portals of KC in Michaelmas 1997. In 2002 and 2003, both tried out for the Schools' Challenge Quiz team and were made reserves. In sixth form both were part of the Tourism Club, with Dwight holding the office of vice president. They were also part of the Student Council where Dwight was appointed deputy head boy and Dwayne a senior prefect in 2004.

The twins completed their four-year undergraduate degree programs in chemistry at UWI in 2007. Having a first love for medicine from a very young age, both wanted to apply for med school but also wanted to study abroad. The brothers and another KC old boy, set about searching on various websites for scholarship offers. They got word that some scholarships were available in Russia, and applied for those through the Scholarship and Assistance Unit in the Ministry of Finance. Both were awarded scholarships, and went off to Russia in 2009. They did six months preparatory work in the city of Tula. There they learnt the Russian language. Upon completion, they were placed at the State University of Belgorod. They indicated that most of the people they met were friendly but as always, there are exceptions – the fascist/racist ones. The Russian people they say, love their Vodka and cigarettes. Fortunately for them, the twins have not had any problems to-date. Now in the third year of their studies, they are both doing extremely well academically, and ranks among the top echelon of the class.

Since their sojourn to Russia, they have visited Moscow once,  where they toured Red Square, St Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's mausoleum, sighted the Kremlin , They have also visited the lower house of assembly called the Duma, the State History Museum, the People's Friendship University, the Saviors Spasskaya Tower and the Monastery of Epiphany. They have also visited St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), where they witnessed the May Day Parade.

 St Petersburg is regarded as the cultural capital of Russia, and because of the city's large number of canals and bridges, it's known as the `Venice of the East'. It was also at St Petersburg (then called Petrograd), where on the morning of Wednesday, November 7, 1917, Trotsky led  the Red Guards to storm the  Winter Palace, where they seized the Duma and toppled Prime Minister Kerensky. Trotsky then headed a provisional government in the name of the Bolshevik Revolution.

The Stephenson brothers also visited the former Tsar's Winter Palace, Palace Bridge, the State University of St Petersburg, the statue of the Bronze Horseman, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, Palace Square with the Alexander Column at its the centre, the House of Books, and the Senate Square.

Their hobbies include playing football, reading, listening to music, going for nature walk and hanging out with friends.

On completing the course, they hope to contribute to the improvement and revolution of dental care in Jamaica.

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