Monday, April 21, 2014

April Showers and other Stuff

Kristen says...

Happy Easter!

Have I mentioned yet that the weather here is weird? (Oh maybe once or twice...)

Last night (this morning?) I woke up to the sound of torrential rain. This morning it was foggy and dreary. And now, at 5 pm, the sun is shining so brightly through our windows that I'm squinting writing this...crazy!

So we're settling in nicely to the new house...Pip is particularly enjoying deciding where his favorite places are. So far the clear winners are the backyard, the window ledge overlooking the bay,

and for some reason, the corner landing on the stairs...

What a silly dog! :)

So far we have had two (somewhat chilly) barbeques. Chris is definitely getting the hang of this Russian charcoal grilling:

We have also picked up a habit we seemingly left behind in Honduras...we have started practicing yoga again! The Indian Consulate offered free classes a few weeks ago and we decided, why not, it's free yoga. This time around we're practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, and boy is it kicking our butts! :) Oh well, we're burning off all the calories from the BBQs! :)

I also had the pleasure of presenting to a group of local college students a few weeks ago. They asked me to talk about American culture...I decided to narrow that amazingly broad topic down to US cuisine, and had a fun time presenting (and introducing examples of) the topic.  Amazingly few Russians took me up on my offer of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! :)

Other than hasn't been terribly exciting for us. Mostly we're just settling in and going about our lives as usual. The weird weather has been overall very nice (50s to 60s most days) and we've been able to get out and wander the city a bit more without getting frostbite.
 We even saw some (very crazy) people swimming in the bay the evening we took these pictures!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

We Moved! (And other late March/early April Happenings)

6 April 2014
Kristen says...

Surprise! We moved! (It was kind of a surprise to us too--it was decided that we were going to move on a Monday, we had our pre-packout survey that afternoon, everything was approved by early the following week, and by Friday we were packed out, moved over and unpacked (albeit messily) in our new space.
Old Space
New Space
Empty, packed up library in the old space
Half-filled "I'm tired of shelving these books" new space!

We're still in Vladivostok, just a few blocks away and in a much larger (and fire safe) space.

With a backyard!
But still with a nice view of the bridge and other interesting things. Pip loves it.

There are still a few kinks to work out...
Water on the floor. Le sigh. Luckily this one has already been cleared up!
 So moving has been keeping us pretty busy over the past few days/weeks, but we have managed some other fun things in our busy schedule.

 For example, I spent a Saturday watching other people excel at a single-elimination tournament I lasted approximately 5 minutes or so, but it was all fun and games, even though somebody else got to take home those trophies.

Photography credit Dima M. Thank you! :)
 I also got to speak to and with some young English speakers at a locally-held English language competition (the same one we went to last year) --two impromptu speeches and an interview for local TV in the span of about a half an hour...good times! :)

 We've also been having some weird weather here...the grass is trying to green, but it's awfully hard with all the SNOW we had yesterday!

Luckily most of it melted as soon as it hit the ground, but of my Russian friends says we could have snow here well into May, so I guess we can't quite count it as spring here yet?