So my last blog left off with me moving into the great unknown of the city with few local friends and a world of unknown possibility. I’ve only been here a week, but so far, it has been awesome. With a combination of better Russian skills, warm weather, other PCVs, working in a youth organization, and living in a city, I had an amazing introduction to life here.
Last Friday night, I went with fellow PCV Hanman to see live music at a local club with some locals dancers that he knows. The band wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. It played mainly danceable songs in both Russian and English. But live music at a club! You don’t get that in the villages.
The next day we woke up and rode out to his village with some of the dancers from the night before to meet one of his colleagues. Yes, after hearing about picnics for months now, I was finally going on one. This one was complete with horseback riding (his colleague had two of his fourteen horses out for us to ride); kielbasa, tomato, and cucumber sandwiches; frisbee throwing; and a dip in the river. When I got back, I was supposed to go to a concert with a guy from work, but he got the times mixed up. It was okay; I was exhausted.
Sunday I woke up to go on my second picnic of the weekend. My work had organized a trip with a local dance school to go to the mountains. We played mafia, ate noodles with meat, and then went on a three hour hike on the hills around our site. Aidos and Acel and I got separated from the rest of the group but we climbed three of the hills ourselves. Of course, I forgot my camera, but it was awesome nonetheless. Then we got back and threw the Frisbee in a circle for about half an hour before packing up and going. On the way back, we stopped at a historical city with warm stones and sung old Russian songs on the bus.
So if you’re comparing this with the first perfect weekend, there are some similarities: friends, Frisbee, and singing on car trips. Mix those things together, and I’ll probably be happy.
I doubt that my life will consistently be as exciting as that, but that was a wonderful way to get acquainted here. I’m really excited to be here in the city and at my new organization. I’ll post more about my first impressions soon.