Sorry for the delay in blogging. It's been busy here. I had gotten sick a week or so after posting and now I'm sick again, this time with the flu. Wonderful isn't it? Not.
Anyway, a couple weeks after posting I went with another branch of IGLU to Olhon Island on Lake Baikal. It is the most famous and most beautiful island on Lake Baikal. I seriously wouldn't mind living there for awhile. We left the school around 8:15 am Friday morning and arrived there around 3 pm. Ate lunch and then we went on a boat tour of the lake. Got to see Shaman Rock from the water. it was beautiful!!! (you'll see that that word is most often used here, cause it's true.) Oh boy... Russians sure know how to party!!! Friday night the supervisors (the бабушки-grandmothers) made us talk about ourselves and play games till midnight around a bonfire! it was fun the first hour but after that we were tired (we meaning the Americans) and wanted to go to bed. We sneaked away feigning that we had to go to the bathroom. lol. then Saturday morning after breakfast, we went on a mini-van tour of the island. Our driver was a dare-devil. he took us on a logging road away from the others and raced up hills, past the other vans. it was both thrilling and exciting. Asians in the other mini-vans, as soon as they got out, were throwing up! their stomachs are very weak. even on the bus to the island they were trying not to throw up! but the island is absolutely beautiful!!! it really is. And Saturday night they tried it again, but this time Jessi and I stayed in our room, nice and warm, and away from them. We went to bed early, we were exhausted. the town itself was really small but it was really nice. Most Russians are friendly and helpful if you just talk to them. They may not look like it on the outside, but it's true. and also, the strays here, cats and dogs, seem happier, more well fed, and friendlier than in the USA. some of the animals will just come up to you and you can pet them to your heart's content, and with cats, you can even pick them up! they'll purr and purr, love on you and everything! they're so sweet. I wish I could take all the strays home with me! there was this one puppy on Olhon that was ADORABLE!!! it was sooo friendly and lovable. and it was half husky! I love huskies. Sunday was our free day. we had breakfast and were free to do whatever we wanted until after lunch, when we were leaving. so we went and took more pictures of Shaman Rock, and then we went souvenir looking/shopping. Didn't really find anything so we just explored the town. The bus ride home was very long. took us 4-5 hours to get back. and then when we were dropped off at IGLU, this drunk man came up to us, started talking to Max and then to each of us girls individually. he kissed our hands!! it was disgusting. thank goodness I had my gloves on! didn't feel a thing. when he got to Jessi, he said that he wanted to make her his mistress!! funny and concerning at the same time. after a few more minutes Kristin's host mom pulled up and we sneaked into the car, but she had to go rescue Max cause he couldn't get out of the conversation with him. at the time it had been creepy but now that we can look back at it, it's very funny. I got back to the dorm with 15 minutes to spare, one of the бабушки yelled at me for not telling them I was going away for a couple days. I didn't know I had to tell them that! and it was the one who is very mean to me too. The silver/white haired lady... I do not like her at all.
nothing with too much interest over the last couple of weeks to report. just doing the best I can to survive Russia. hanging out with friends, going different places, learning so much, and my Russian's still slowly improving! I understand it better in written form rather than speech still...
if you want to see the pictures I've taken in Irkutsk and just in Russia, here's a link to them: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4071808747692.2150989.1056588493&type=1&l=a144b65040