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Showing posts from September, 2010

The green stuff

Medicine is such an interesting concept to observe in another culture.

I don't think I have written about chicken pox on here before.

But before I get into that story, I must acquaint you with a staple of Russian first aid: the green stuff. It's a popular antiseptic here that is BRIGHT GREEN. In fact, its Latin name translates literally "Brilliant green." And it doesn't wash off right away. Before I knew this, I thought Russian kids really liked to play with markers...

I didn't want to embarrass anyone I know by taking a photo, so I swiped one off the internet...

And that brings me to the chicken pox. A friend of mine (a college student here) recently became infected, and we went to visit him after church, since we'd all had it in childhood. Hospitalization is more common in Russia, but our friend also lives in the dormitory, so that made it even more necessary for him to be quarantined. continue/-

The hospital is one of the bigger facilities in town, and…

Into the furnace

The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (I always liked saying those names) is one so familiar from the Sunday school days. But even now, I'm amazed each time I read this testimony of the Lord's power and favor.

It struck me recently that the story isn't only about what happens when we trust in God, it's also about what goes through the mind of someone who does not yet believe. And that's a perspective about which I sometimes lack understanding.

While reading Daniel 3, something made me examine the king's point of view. This isn't a fairytale-God gives us examples in the form of humans who really lived and experienced real emotions that we can relate to. It might be obvious who the "good guys" are, but the "bad guys" sometimes aren't too far off from our flawed selves. Here is a king, full of power, grasping at human answers to a problem that only God can solve. more/-

King Nebuchadnezzar has already been shown what will be in …

A new bundle of joy

A year (+ a few days) ago, I was attending my sister's wedding, and crying over visa woes.

Yesterday, my sister gave birth to her first child, a boy! His name is Benjamin. :)

Hooray for this miracle of life, and thanks be to the Creator!


The table (AKA my workspace) in my room was peeling, and I didn't really feel like repainting it...too time-consuming and boring. Then I was looking at an "IKEA hack" site and got the idea of decoupage. I liked the idea of having something personal and unique, and some scrapbook paper did the trick. Who cares if it clashes with the other furniture? :)

To paint or not to paint the legs?

The return of the red tape

It's mid-September, and that means it's time for my residency permit! Time to go from "passive" to "active" bureaucracy mode.

Last week I went to the regional authorities to try to ask some questions. I thought if it wasn't ready then I could at least get some information in advance. My prayer was to get just one bit of helpful information.

Well...does finding the building count? Thankfully, I had checked the website and it said "entrance via hotel." Otherwise, I would not have guessed that the windowless door under the hotel/cafe sign would lead the way to a government office. It surely did not look like it had anything to do with passports or citizenship. Yet, beyond those very doors, people were taking care of  important-and even life-changing-matters. read more/-

The hallway/waiting area was blissfully uncrowded. Too good to be true. As usual I was too shy to break the silence by asking who was last in line. So I played it cool and pretend…


I have a new roommate...

She is given to creative outbursts, but I guess I'm not one to talk.

When she asked me if she could post something on the refrigerator, I thought it would be fine...I like the refrigerator to display little snapshots of life.

And then she elaborated..."I have to remind myself to go to the woods to gather pinecones." :)

Back to pedagogy

Before I even had time to think about fall activities, an opportunity presented itself. Someone contacted me to ask if I would like to teach Business English part-time to some corporate clients. It seems like a good fit: reasonable pay; a reasonable amount of hours; a sound contract.

I'll be starting up at the orphanages again this week and next, and private lessons are underway.

I was nervous that I'd lost my skills over the last year as I was more of a student than a teacher. But as I begin again, I can feel inspiration rising and the lesson planning machine whirring to a start in my brain. :)

Here's to a new semester...

Not vacation anymore

I'm still here...sort of.

Unfinished repairs+the beginning of the school=CHAOS! Life is not dull at all around here.

For instance.

Saturday, 9pm

I arrive home and ring the doorbell. Instead of my roommate, a man (a friend from church) lets me in, covered head to foot in grease and grime from working on the plumbing. My roommate is at the hardware store.

 I can't find paper to print the handouts for Sunday school. more/-


My roommate arrives. She unrolls a large piece of paper to begin making a poster for Sunday school.

The other Sunday school teachers decide to start calling each other and editing major portions of the lesson. Could I type up the new version?

I found some old handouts...maybe I could print on the other side?


Our plumber friend is getting a taxi home. We have cold water, but no hot. The bathroom looks like a war zone.


It's past my bedtime. My roommate decides she isn't feeling well enough to go to church the next day, but is feeling well e…

Back to school

We did some shopping with kids from a local orphanage. I met the two oldest girls shortly after I moved to St. Petersburg in 2004. Coming up on the 6th anniversary! :)