Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There is a blog that I follow: Photo-Africa and its just amazing. not only do I love the amazing images, but the site's main photographer and writer, who works in the Madikwe Game Reserve near Jo-berg in SA, always shares stories about daily life in the reserve, about the animals, which they know by name, and about how he and the other great photographers got some of these terrific shots. I would totally recommend checking out his site. Here are some examples of the great images he shares daily. Enjoy!

If you like what you see, don't forget to check out the site.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

i am...

* finished reading the English translation of Mikhail Bulgakov's book, "The Heart of a Dog."

* waiting for my invitation letter for my work visa and hoping it arrives in time before I leave for the States.

* enjoying the leaves changing colors and 2 SUNNY DAYS IN A ROW!

* looking forward to seeing my family

* anticipating Autumn in Colorado

* slowly reading Psalms

* enjoying Russian salads

* happy with our new furniture set-up in the living room

* thankful for Sam and little moments

* keeping a notebook to write down new Russian words and look them up

* always entertained by Newsbeat's weekly "Odd Box" video on BBC

* wondering how you are....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Coming to America

yes, sports fans, its true. Next month I'll be in the States. my current Russian visa will expire towards the end of October and I need to apply for a work visa - which I am very grateful to be able to get for working with ALM. You can't apply for a work visa from inside the country, and its suggested that the best place (and sometimes the ONLY place) you're allowed to apply is in your country of origin. (I'm told I could apply from Ukraine, but to save me the hassle of the language barrier and figuring out the eccentricities of yet another Eastern European country, I think it'll be a perfect opportunity to visit my family and also see certain friends who've relocated West.) so...from Oct 15 - Nov 5 I'll be in the good ole' US of A in the lovely states of Pennsylvania and Colorado. Mmm....Fall on the East Coast and in the mountains of the West. not too bad, I think.

Some people have inquired in the recent past about sending packages to us in Russia, and yes, it does work. (and they are extremely well appreciated by us, believe me! I tend to get all giddy and I'm sure Sam shakes his head at my silly excitement. He gets excited too, but as previously mentioned his excitement appears outwardly something to the tune of, "yeah. that's cool.") and so far (as far as i know) we have received all packages that were sent (minus one anniversary card from my parents that mysteriously disappeared). I mention all this to say to those of you who have entertained the idea of sending something to us, that if you would like to forgo the cost of international mailing you are certainly welcome to send things to PA, in October. I'll be traveling very light in order to stock up on all the things we miss and carry them back with me!

I must apologize to all my wonderfully-Ohioan friends, in that my trip this time simply doesn't afford the time, or finances to also make a pit stop in the Dayton area. But you would be most welcome in Amish country if you wanted to make a road trip to Lititz for a visit! Sturgis Pretzels, Wilbur Chocolate, and horse n' buggys....what more could you want?

Friday, September 12, 2008

An Ode to the Marshutka Drivers*

Long are the days sitting upon your seat commanding the wheel of your minibus
Rain or shine (mostly rain) you toil -
Weaving adeptly through traffic, making change with one hand, changing "lanes" with the other
Jumping curbs when necessary, dutifully delivering your passengers to their destinations
Oh the joys of swerving to avoid pedestrians and eluding the police
Cleverly laying your seat belt across you without clipping it in place
The appearance of safety and adherence to law without the pesky bother of either
Your skill at squeezing your marshutka between a tram and oncoming traffic is to be admired
As all passengers stare amazed into each others' widened eyes
And so, Mr. Marshutka Driver, I salute you.
Drive on, my friend
Drive on.

* note: marshutkas are minibus taxis and are my predominant mode of transportation

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

and some MORE pictures

a few more favorites from the trip. This is the last batch of faves. You can see the whole bunch at my Flickr.





flowers at market

flowers at market