a big beautiful mess

Posts in category Russia

just a little piece of paper

just a little piece of paper

This is the note I left on Łukasz’s door when we were trying to become roommates. Little did I know, he didn’t know how to read Russian. And even less did I know what incredible friends we would become.   Hello, Łukasz, I am Ruth, the American teacher who lives here in CentrIn. I knocked […]

Should You Fulbright?

Should You Fulbright?

I’ve recently been asked from a few different corners about my Fulbright experience, and I feel I have enough distance from it now to make some broad generalizations about the experience. Deciding whether or not to apply for a Fulbright is a big decision in itself. Here are my two cents. I don’t recommend the […]

The Last Great Kyzylian Adventure

The Last Great Kyzylian Adventure

This is the third installment in the Great Siberian Adventure series. A co-Fulbrighter and I spent two weeks in the summer of 2012 teaching English at a kids’ camp in Kyzyl, Tuva. The last great Kyzylian adventure was leaving. It was our last night in Kyzyl. Elena had arranged for A. and me to be collected at […]

Bus No. 53

Bus No. 53

No one was quite sure who A. Shagin had bribed to be allowed to charge less than the city norm for his bus route. But somehow he’d managed it, and an inhabitant of Severorechiya could travel anywhere along Leninsky Prospekt for just eleven rubles, fifty kopecks, fully fifty kopecks less than any other bus line […]

Returns

Returns

A year ago today, on my twenty-third birthday, I was sitting in the simmering heat outside the office of Kenin-Lopsan Mongush Borahovich, the famous shaman of Kyzyl. Beside me were my colleague Anita, and Ayanmaa, one of the summer camp student teachers. Two other Tuvan women dozed in the sun beside us on a narrow wooden […]