Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Finally, an Update from the States!

Finally, as promised, an update from Stateside. After several days of train travel and a stop to visit the Siberian cities of Novosibirsk and Tomsk, Molly and I reached Vladimir. We had twelve hours to say some final goodbyes, repack our things, and gather the stuff we had left behind in a closet at the American Home. (Also: to eat good pizza!)

A middle-of-the-night drive to Sheremetevo and a couple of hours of waiting found Molly and I on separate flights to separate cities in Germany and then to the States. Suffice it to say, we made it safely, but we were exhausted. I've never been so exhausted in my life! As bad as this picture looks, I felt worse!

A whirlwind couple of days in New York City with my sister was followed by a few more days with my parents at home in Indiana. Finally, I arrived here in Chapel Hill, NC last Thursday. I begin my graduate career tomorrow, on the first day of class here at UNC. I'm excited about the chance to take three history seminars and a Russian class at neighboring Duke in Durham, a few miles' bus ride down the road.

Since I'm no longer in Russia, the best I can do is find news and talk a little about what I'm learning. The first installment is about something many take for granted that can never be assumed in Russia: hot water.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Long-Delayed Update

It's been at least three weeks sense I've had a chance to write anything. Two of those weeks we spent living in a tent in a forest on a hill near Lake Baikal. The other week we've been traveling around in the area and enjoying the beautiful area. This is a place very rich and beautiful in nature, if not always in other ways. I will try to write more and show what I mean with pictures when I get back to the States next week and have more consistent Internet access. Between now and then, we are beginning the long journey home with the first leg of our train trip from Irkutsk tomorrow even1ing. Then end will be a week from today when we fly from Moscow to our respective destinations and families. I'm having a great time and it's been a wonderful experience, but I can also honestly say I'm ready to come home!