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Showing posts from August, 2010

Medical Exams - Russian Style

Right now we're in the process of transferring out visas over to official work permits. It's a lengthy and convoluted legal process that I have no hope of understanding. Praise God for Keith Beyar, Sergei Volkov and some of the others who are dealing with all this.
However, I do have a part to play. In order to get a work permit, I need to be medically certified as healthy and able to work by the Russian government. That makes sense. They don't want me spreading crazy diseases through their work force. The fun part comes in actually acquiring said medical permissions. Here's a little run down of what we've had to do (by “we” I mean everyone on the team except the wives who don't actually get permits but “accompanying spouse visas”):
Day 1: We came into the country (from Ukraine) on a pre-work permit visa and get it registered with our organization. Then go and start the medical stuff in the afternoon. We didn't realize that the part of the medical o…

Up in Smoke.

Hopefully the brunt of the national emergency has passed and life, as we knew it, has returned to normal. Yesterday, Dan and I watched perhaps the most spectacular downpour outside our windows for over 45 minutes. This thunderstorm was not particularly special, but simply came as a sign of relief from the intense smoke and heat plaguing the city this past week. Moscow's been affectionately titled "The Cauldron of Hell" by reporters sent to cover the record-setting summer here and we were affectionately beginning to agree. We've never seen rain with more grateful eyes.
Moscow has been shrouded in smoke from forest fires raging all over Russia due to combustible peat moss igniting during the hottest summer Russia's seen in hundreds of years. This smoke seeped into the city somewhat imperceptibly. I remember waking up early one morning a few weeks ago convinced something in the apartment had caught on fire. After a quick walk-through and closer examination of …

Top 10 Ways to Survive the Moscow Heat Wave!

Moscow hasn't seen the likes of temperatures like these is over 130 years! July 2010 has just become the hottest month on record for the city, EVER! So how do we beat the heat? In short, we don't. The heat is currently winning the battle, but we'd like to share some of our tactics in living in the midst of it!
10. Orange juice popsicles! Just like when we were young, we fill our ice cube tray with orange juice, yogurt, or any other tasty liquid we can get our hands on and just hours later enjoy a moment of cool, sweet, frozen goodness. It's a great treat to help pass the long afternoon hours.
9. An ice bath! Filling the bath tub with cold water and taking a dip for as long as I can bear has become a new favorite past-time. Usually I set up my computer to play an episode of the Cosby show and I'll simply settle into the cool waters for a few peaceful minutes of brisk refreshment. I've found it best to actually not dry off afterwards - this prolongs the…