Caution, Squirrels!

As I feared, I have been sorely neglecting this blog. In my defense, spring is finally (finally!) here and making it very difficult for me to do anything productive indoors. Exacerbating this is the fact that this is what the sky looked like at 10:30 pm last night:

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The official sunrise today was 6:22 am, and sunset was at 9:30pm, but of course it’s been staying relatively light even later than that. This makes it difficult for me to get work done, as I’d begun using the sunset as a sign that I should maybe get started on my homework.

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I’m restraining myself from sharing with you the approximately 1 million photos I have of buds on trees. I thought I would eventually get tired of seeing these little signs of spring, but several weeks in I am still just as, if not more, excited by every speck of green I see.

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(This is pretty typical.)

I realize that it would be much to difficult to try to fill you all in on every single thing that has happened in the past… month? Two months? So I’ve compiled a list of some of the things that I’ve been up to/ have happened to me. If you would like to hear more about any of these stories, let me know, and I’ll recount the whole thing for you:

  1. 48-hour “spring break” in Riga, Latvia, where I witnessed the closest thing I have ever seen to a miracle (to read about the amazing loss and discovery of my friends’ passports and visas,  check out my friend April’s blog post here!)
  2. Weekend trip to the town of Pskov and surrounding areas (highlights: the sketchiest nightlife of any town I have ever visited, drinking possibly sacred spring water, learning way more than I ever needed to about the personal life of our tour guide.)
  3. Said goodbye to Masha and Lena, who returned to Venezuela,  where Lena’s husband/Masha’s father currently lives. I never got to actually hold Masha, but by the time she left she recognized me and smiled whenever she saw me.
  4. Saw a dead body (This I don’t really want to talk more about, but it was something that happened and I thought I should include it. Don’t worry, it was not anyone I knew.)
  5. American-Russian Easter dinner extravaganza with board games!
  6. Attended midnight Easter Services at Smolny Cathedral (did not stay until the service ended at 4am, however.)
  7. Visited my friends Russian grandparents for Easter and was stuffed full of food.
  8. Performed a scene for theater class that devolved into my lying on the floor and being yelled at/ general screaming. Also was cast in the coveted role of “Sheep #3” in one of our class scenes.
  9. A conversation with my host mom about Ukraine/Crimea  that included the phrase “Well, if America had had to survive World War II the way Russia did, you wouldn’t be so ready to get involved in another war now.”
  10. For those of you who don’t already know, I accepted a summer internship in Tbilisi, Georgia, with a human rights organization there!
  11. And, goal achieved: Got mistaken for a local! By a Russian! (That is, until I started talking… whoops.)

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Let me know if there’s anything else about my time here that you’d like me to talk about!

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