Final week in Yuzno Sakhalinsk

Trip Start Oct 27, 2008
Trip End Mar 2009

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Flag of Russian Federation  , Far East Russia,
Sunday, February 22, 2009

Though hard to believe that four months have passed since my arrival in Yuzhno, it is in fact my last week prior to finalization of this consulting engagement here on Sakhalin.  I must admit, the assignment itself has been challenging and rewarding in many respects, and it will be strange to disassociate myself from what I have considered to the norm for several months.  During my tenure here, I have had the opportunity to meet some great folks, see some interesting and different places than those in past journeys, and build my skill set and professional tools that hopefully will lead to another set of challenges in my career. 

Sakhalin, for the most part, has not been what I would classify as the most beautiful of places.  It is not what I would consider the most interesting in terms of cultural offerings or experiences.  There is a simplicity to the place, however, which makes life here palatable.  There are humble and genuinely nice Russians on this island, decent and boisterous bars to keep the nites (and glasses) full.  And the work - well, the work is what you make of it...  I am not certain I can really sit here and recommend that anyone who has not been to Sakhalin should come for a visit to what is somewhat of a run-down, degenerated environment.  In reality, I would probably would recommend against doing so.  But this 4-month experience living in part of Russia has added value to my personal and professional life, and I am thankful for the opportunity that was presented me. 

Now all the hype and concerns about the weather of Sakhalin - some have been legit and justified, but mostly the weather is bearable.  In December, as some may recall, the temperatures up north were about -28F during my last visit to Oxa.  Since my return to Sakhalin from the US over the New Years holiday, snow has continued to pile up and for the most part the temperature remain below freezing but not too bad.  As of the past week, there has been literally around 30-40 inches of fresh powder dumped on this city.  Intermittent temperatures reaching -5 to -10F have ensure that I am pretty cold, but at least here in Yuzhno I have reliable power supplies, electricity and heating.  Lets just hope a blizzard, typical for this time of year, does not cancel or delay my flight on March 2.

All this being said, I welcome warm, sunny day and golf over the current conditions at present.  For those of you in Texas, prepare for my return.  I am not certain how long I will be around, or even where I will base myself, but paths will cross most likely!

Best regards.


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