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Showing posts from October, 2009

Using One's Noggin'

Translation:  V. P. Nogin


Sveta, or full name, Svetlana, was born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan.  She looks back on her youth in the Caucasus as some of the best years of her life.  Like many Russians of her generation, Sveta looks back fondly on her years as a child in the Soviet Union, agreeing that "life was better then."  She misses these old days, and is never pressed for a story about life back in the good ol' days.  This makes for continually interesting conversation, but an even more mysterious, and surprising woman.  For a few weeks, I lived life by her side, understanding more fully her values, her priorities, her goals, her dreams.  What a wonderful example and friend.  Thank you, Sveta.
She takes after her Dad in every imaginable way, from the tip of her nose to her feisty and exuberant character.  She grew up swimming, as her Dad managed a sports' facility in Baku, and eventually wound up at Moscow's prestigious sport's institute on a scholarship for synchronized swimming…

Happy Birthday Dan!

October 9th was a big night at 173 Bolshaya Cherkizovskaya.  The little apartment rang with good conversation, games, and a thundering round of Happy Birthday, half in English, half in Russian.  Birthdays are a big deal in Russian culture:  one spends all day preparing food and desserts for all of your guests to enjoy, cleaning the apartment, and thinking up toasts and happy wishes for all invited.  We were no exception!  I started preparations at 10:00 am, and finished up as guests started arriving at 7:00 pm!  But the caviar and crackers, chicken fajitas with homemade tortillas, fresh salsa of all natural ingredients, sliced $6 avacado (a rare find here, but worth every rouble!), pan seared Kubanski peppers and onions, hot tea with sugar, lots of local cookies and treats, and a double decker chocolate chip cookie cake (courtesy of our teammate Kim,) made the day very memorable for all.  Here are some moments from the evening.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!The boys (from l…

Dasha Cherripasha

Meet Dasha, our youngest roommate, at just 8 years of age, known as Daria to her teachers and acquaintances, Dasha to her friends and family, and Dahsa Cherripasha (Dasha Turtle) to her Dad, Slava.  Quite the bubbling ball of energy and excitement, like most 8 year olds, she's eager to try anything that looks fun or entertaining, with unending commentary for any adventure.  She's a constant chatterbox, full of stories ranging from lunch in the cafeteria that day, to finding dragons' eggs at show and tell.  We've enjoyed helping Dasha with her homework this semester; she attends an American Christian school here in Moscow, so actually speaks both English and Russian very proficiently.  Her spelling and vocabulary lessons are much more fun when we reverse roles and Dasha teaches us, well, much more fun for her anyway...  We're so thankful for Dasha, and have enjoyed our days seeing life through her eyes here.  Please pray for Dasha, that she would listen and obey her…