Saturday, February 17, 2007

Blogger hates me

I know it has been an apologetically long time since you last heard from me. Besides going to Saratov and Orenburg over the last two weeks, Blogger has decided to be fussy around my presents, hence the lack of blogs. This is not a dubious complaint since I just tested my theory when Jeremy quickly finished his blog so I could go on and the site immediately recognized me and began to slow to a grating halt. Needless to say, Jeremy had to log me on which took mere seconds. Blogger, whatever I did to you, I am sorry! Should I leave you an offering of some kind to show you my sincerity? How about an orange or a cup of hot chocolate?

Moving on, I am still working on my Turkey site, so please check it out when you finish reading this post. While I am here, let me tell you about Saratov.

This city in the Volga region is about the same size as Samara and is famous for the German population that once thrived here, but has dwindled in numbers. Luckily, we experienced a Deutshe bakery before heading home. Ahh! It made me think of Nicole's mutti's specialities- yum! We worked directly with Saratov University which was having a conference that week. So while Jeremy was doing his presentations I did two both about the underground railroad to help promote Black History Month. I wish my presentations had been as successful as Jeremy's , but alas since I expected my participants to speak and move around the room with my activities, it failed miserably. I think they were expecting a lecture. It wasn't a complete loss. I learned English teachers in Russia or more self-conscience than I had predicted and next time I will have to be more demanding about scheduling and the classroom situation. A little amphitheater is not very conducive for my classroom activities.

Anyway, the ladies that had prepared our visit and helped us throughout our stay were lovely and the food was fantastic. Jeremy, who usually has tummy woes, had less intestinal grumblings, which helped him stay focused and pleasant while there. For recreation, we took a walk down by the Volga with our guide, Irina who was a great conversationalist and invaluable for learning more about the area. She also took us to the near by art museum and some healthy restaurants. The guy is the founder of the art museum. Doesn't he look snug in his blanket of snow? We really enjoyed the museum since it had a wide range of paintings and Irina could explain some of the history and more well known artists to us in detail. We could reciprocate by giving our own view of light and distance that stood out in some pictures since Irina felt at a loss when interpreting art.

Here's a pic of her and Jeremy at the train station before our departure.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Leaving Samara, heading for Saratov


Well, I have been trying all week to get somewhere with my Turkey blog, but everytime I want to log in blogger is super slow- nuts! So you will all have to wait until I get back from Saratov, the city we are heading to tonight. Well, look at the bright side. I'll have Istanbul and Saratov pics to show you when I get back! Can you tell I am less SAD these days? I hope you are all HAPPY.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

SAD in Samara

Sorry for the very long pause in my posts. Besides being in Istanbul, I was not in a very good mood last week either. Apparently the weather has finally gotten to me. Before I knew it I was cracking thinking it was due to culture shock although no definitive event sparked it. After a few days of being unable to connect my thoughts to my words, in the middle of a Shostakovitch performance, I realized it was probably SAD. I called my mom that night to get some advice since I doubt special useful bright lights are available although they should be and she suggested I raise the dose of my SSRI of choice. It has already helped thankfully so I am back to getting things done including my beloved blog. By the way, I have begun a new blog to glorify our super duper trip to Istanbul. It's called

Next week we will be going to Saratov, so there will be another few days of no new blogs, but I will do me my best to have plenty of bloggy fun for you beforehand. Toodles!