…I’d be pretty darn excited, for one

Posted: May 25, 2009 in From Arizona

A cancelled flight (a problem solved by the purchase of another, actually better, ticket about 10 minutes later) is the worst catastrophe to have ever befallen me on my travels between the coasts, from home in Arizona to school in Vermont and back. 

Negative 5 degrees (Fahrenheit) plus wind chill, I think, is the coldest weather I’ve managed to find myself in after two winters in Middlebury, Vt., and that was on the top of the college’s snow bowl camping in a cabin one nippy January night. 

Not knowing a word or two in Russian at a “Russian-language-only” table (a problem solved by my saying it in English and being understood by everyone at the table) is the worst experience I’ve had as far as cross-cultural communication goes.

So the prospect of knowing that I’ll only technically be “allowed” to speak English for 5 weeks out of the next 54 weeks (that is, speaking Russian for 4.913% of my entire life), that I’ll be traveling from Phoenix, Ariz. to New York City to Moscow to Irkutsk in Siberia and back (among other places), that I’ll live in a place where the average high temperatures won’t break the freezing point for 5 months–knowing all that, for me, is exciting beyond description. Sure, a little bit of anxiety is mixed in there. But, others’ return from a similar journey alive and in one piece is consolation enough.

Russia covers an eighth of earths land surface area and 10 time zones. Ill be a 6 hour plane ride from Moscow.

Russia covers an eighth of earth's land surface area and 10 time zones. I'll be a 6 hour plane ride from Moscow.

I’ll keep this blog over the course of the next year or so to catalogue my travels, experiences, and stories from…

  • Middlebury College’s Summer Russian Language School: Jun. 15 – Aug. 15, 2009 [strictly in Russian]
  • My 2 final weeks of American soil for a while: Aug. 15 – Sep 2, 2009
  • 2 semesters abroad in Russia
  • Orientation in Moscow: Sep. 3, 2009 – Sep. 7, 2009
  • Fall semester at Irkutskii Gosudarstvenni Universitet (IGU – Irkutsk State University): Sep. – Dec. 2009
  • Winter Recess: Jan. – Mid-Feb. 2010
  • Spring semester at IGU: Mid-Feb. – Mid-Jun. 2010

Add this to your favorites, or subscribe to the RSS feed. And please comment! I’ll be happy to hear from you, especially in those long winter months in Siberia. Otherwise, enjoy reading as much as I’ll enjoy writing.

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