Almost the half-way point!

Trip Start Aug 22, 2005
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Trip End Dec 08, 2005


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Flag of Russia  ,
Monday, October 10, 2005

Hello again everyone!

The end of this week marks our half-way point here in Russia. In some ways it's gone by so very fast...then in others, it's been a very long time... :O)
So, for the most part, I've gotten used to things here...but this weekend we will move in with our host families...so that will mix things up a little bit! I'm excited and a bit nervous at the same time. But I hope I get a good family and that it goes well.

We've been doing a lot of reading lately. We're in the literature seminar right now, so we've been reading a lot of the classic authors of Russia....so far I really like Pushkin and Dostoevksy...some Tolstoy. I really don't like Gorky all that much. Right now we're reading Bulgakov's Master and Magarita. It's an interesting book...especially when looking at the context in which it was written and then later released. We have a paper due on it on Monday....so I have to finish ASAP and get that done!

On Friday, we (myself and the other two in my group) taught our first "lesson" at the Lyceum (high school). We were to inform them of the U.S. political/government system. We did this by way of a "mock government" that we constructed with the class. This was interesting, trying to get through the language barrier and talk about something as complex as our system of government! It was fun though...our "president" didn't quite understand when his bill was passed by Congress and then denied by the Supreme Court as being unconstitutional...lol. But it was cool to see the Russians "grab hold" of the democratic idea. This would never have been done say, 20 years ago....so that was kind of cool, to see change in this way.

The weekend before last we had a scavenger hunt. We played with Russians on each team, which helped a lot. I will put some pics on here later...

I saw a movie this last Sat. night at the October movie theater here in NN. I went with two others RSP girls. It's called 9 Pota (9 Rota). We're still not quite sure what the name means, and it was all in Russian (w/ no subtitles), but it was good nonetheless! It's a pretty popular film right now, here in Russia...about the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Very interesting....I've read several articles on that war and what it was like for the Soviets, but have not "seen" anything on it. Very brutal....very sad. War is very ugly and nobody wins. Speaking of that....something that I've come across often with Russians is a difference in opinion on who won WWII (here, the Great Patriotic War). Russians feel and were taught that they alone won the war.....I was always taught that the Allies won....but I've been told by many Russians that "I'm greatly mistaken"...at first this put me off a bit, but then I realize the recent history here and then what the people went through during that war. While I still don't believe that they won it all on their own...(obviously, they were never on the Western Front, or in the Pacific)...I understand the sentiment.

Anywho, I want to get some of those pics online here...so I'll let you go now.

Happy Monday!
Shauna
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Comments

pulliamjj
pulliamjj on

HI, finally!
Hey Shauna,
I would have written sooner, but I just finally figured how to work this site. As you know, I am not the most computer literate. Anyway...I read all your entries and saw the pictures. Wow! It sounds like you are really having quite the experience there. I loved your entry about bathrooms and convenience stuff. It brought back memories! I was also amazed at the conditions of the places we stayed. Even the great tour attractions had terrible bathrooms. We do take a lot for granted here. Thanks for the reminder. Have you experienced a Sauna yet? I would think you would while staying at your host home. I am so excited for you and all that you are able to see and do while you are there! This travel log thing is great---now that I've figured it out!! :) I will be praying for you as you go to your host home. By the way...do you know if you are ever going to be in Smolensk?? I have a wonderful friend who teaches there, and I think she is also still at the University. Just curious.
I look forward to your next message.
In Him,
jennie

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