After several not-so-subtle hints that I should update my blog, I finally decided to do so. I'm currently in Mongolia: the land of cheap internet and food that hates me. Luckily we're (me and 2 friends from school - Claire and Anna) heading back to the luxury of Russia tonight by train. While Claire had her turn being sick she made the very astute comment "I just want to go back to Russia!!....wait, WHO SAYS THAT?". However, it's true. Mongolia is a very interesting place, and we're all glad we came, but for the sake of everyone's stomachs, it's time to go back to Mother Russia.

As far as Russia goes, there have been several noteworthy experiences.

About a month ago we finally got to go on our extended trip on/around Lake Baikal. Unfortunately it's winter (spring now..but at the time it was winter) so the view was not quite as breathtaking as usual, but it was still very pretty, and in lieu of warm weather, we got to drive around on the ice for a couple of days. This experience would not have been made possible without our fearless driver/real Russian man: Misha. He single-handedly rescued the car when it almost went through the ice, and retrieved/assembled all the parts of the wheel when it finally succumbed to the trials of Russian roads (which I now know are not the worst roads in the world after a 5 day trip through Mongolia...let's just say my prayers here generally involved "Please God let us hit pavement soon, or else I might throw up"). Basically, he's my new hero.

2 weeks ago we went spelunking in a large cave (whose name I've forgotten) in a city (whose name I've also forgotten) about 2 hours outside of Irkutsk. I've been IN caves for geology field trips and a couple of touristy excursions as a child, however this was my first extended stay in one. My general impression is that that was probably the dirtiest I've ever been, and I'm sure Ludmila Vasilievna was probably mortified when she saw my dirty laundry. I'm really glad we went, but I don't think I'll repeat the experience too many times (sorry Kendra). It's rather creepy.

Perhaps most interesting of all is that the afore mentioned tutor and I have been dating for a few weeks now. There are some hefty benefits that go along with this, for example: I don't have to pay for busses anymore, and he has internet. (Don't worry Dr. Preslar, I promise I won't run away with him and overstay my visa).

I'm feeling pretty comfortable with life in Irkutsk now. I've got a pretty set daily routine, and it's hard to believe we'll only be there 2 more months. I'm getting a little homesick though, so I think I'll be ready to go home by the end of May.

Well, that's all for now, the wrath of Mongolia is striking again (but seriously, it was a good trip, and $400 total for a week is pretty good).



Good to hear you're still alive. Hope your stomach settles down once you're again in mother Russia

That's okay I guess since I've had my own experience with a cave here. I almost died - twice, but it was really fun!


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Good news: no more required disclaimer!
Bad news: I'm really lazy about posting when I'm not in Russia