Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dacha visit, new project!

In Irkutsk today, preparing for my third and final project on the Lake... helped some American ladies around the city who arrived by train this morning from Mongolia. Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting a Russian дача (dacha) with a volunteer from Angarsk.

We travelled there in a Japanese car that had been recently stolen by the Russian mafia - and therefore we were at a high risk for being stopped by the police. Nadya and I were crammed in the backseat behind a camping mattress and my airline banket, peeking out to give directions and catch a glimpse of the scenery.

Here is the dacha, which Nadya's family built themselves, about 70 kilometers south of Angarsk. The energy of the place is stunning; it's a true home.

Here is a picture of part of the garden, which was vast and bountiful with things to eat. We ate more greens than I've ever seen in my life over the course of 15 hours.

Here is Nadya and her Babushka, by the prized flower garden in front of the house. They have an incredibly close family, though it's normal for Russians to be cross-generationally close. I was amazed at everything I saw - an incredible serendipitous visit that I can't imagine missing.

Tomorrow it's back to Bolshie Koty - looking forward to sharing stories once I'm back in the U.S.!

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