Friday, August 13, 2010

Northern Exposure and Home

I feel as though I owe you guys one last entry, you who have suffered through a summer of inconsistent posting and my lackluster writing skills, riddled with misspellings and and poor grammar. So here it is. First of all, I'M HOME!!! After 3.5 days of traveling, and nearly 52 hours without sleep I arrived home on Tuesday morning. Being home has been a quite a change, and I've had a big case of reverse culture shock. Whether it be my willingness to not shower for days on end (I've been told not showering for two days is unacceptable) or having to consider that the police man walking down the sidewalk in DC might actually have no interest in extorting me has been a bit of a change. I'm happy to be home. The week before we left was spent in the Republic of Karelia, a region of Northern Russia known for its stunning beauty, and a lot of churches. Our week of travels brought us to different sites over more than 1500 kilometers. We saw some truly beautiful things. The Solovetsky Monastery on the White Sea, where we ate seaweed and swam in/drank from the White Sea (apparently I will now be sore throat free for a year) to the city of Petrazavodsk, a beautiful, if not slightly rundown and melancholy city, perched on the shores of Lake Onega, the churches of the island of Kizhi, two huge churches (one with 28 onion domes) built without a single nail, and whose island is apparently home to a rather vicious viper population. We went white water rafting, rowing, and hiking through the mine shafts of a marble quarry. All in all the trip was a success, and minus the suffocating smog from Russia's raging forest fires, highly enjoyable. But once again I am home, 16 pounds lighter and with a potential case of rabies, but home nonetheless. Thank you guys for reading my blog and following my adventures, and make sure to keep reading in the Fall when I head back to Russia again!