Above: The Road to Kharkhorin
Taken while traveling in Mongolia. October 2010.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Things of note:

A visit from my friend Resti, who I studied with in Irkutsk, and
who was on her way back to France. I have no idea who the guy
to my right is...

Karina turned 21!

My flatmate Tania and I being hooligans

Victory day is FUN!

Tverskaya Street on Victory Day

Near Red Square on Victory Day

Monday, May 23, 2011

Republic of Belarus

It's strange to think that summer is right around the corner when just a couple of months ago it seemed so far away... The academic year is coming to an end (I'm done with 4 out of 5 classes but still teaching twice a week), friends are starting to leave or talking about leaving soon... A fairly strange time of transition, but I can't say it's anything new. Ends and goodbyes seem to follow me wherever I go, be it in California, Clermont-Ferrand, Middlebury, Irkutsk, or Moscow, but no matter how many times I go through them, they are impossible to "get used to".

I forgot to write about our group's trip to Belarus a couple of weeks ago... It was a great trip to a country unlike any other I've ever been to.

Moscow - Brest - Minsk (with day trips to Mir, Nezvizh, Khatyn, and Dudutki) - Vitebsk - Polatsk

Here are some pictures in no particular order:

Outside the Mir Castle

Oktober Square in Minsk
"The feats of the people will live on for centuries"

Nothing wrong with a little friendly propaganda...

Saint Nikolay Church in Brest on our first day in Belarus

The main entrance to the Brest Fortress

Brest Fortress

The Courage statue, gazing down at the eternal flame

A WISENT looking dapper at the
Belovezhskaya Pushcha near Brest

Getting ready for Victory Day
Thousands of these artificial flowers all over downtown

The Gates of Minsk near the railway station
(Thank you, Stalin)

Men at work behind the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit,
Old Town Minsk

Khatyn Memorial. This monument represents what is left over when
a wooden house is burnt down: the foundation and the chimney.
There is one of these representing every house in the
town of Khatyn before it was burnt down by the Nazis.
Bells ring every 30 seconds to commemorate the rate at which
Belarusian lives were lost throughout the duration of the Second World War.

A windmill at the Dudutki ethnographic
museum of Belarusian rural culture

Wooden church at Dudutki