a big beautiful mess

Posts in category Travel

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 […]

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 […]

The Power of Place

The Power of Place

I traveled to Smith last weekend, ostensibly for Commencement, but in truth to see some friends who would be there, also using Commencement as an excuse. Despite my tightening budget, it was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Smith has always held a certain power for me; it was the place I […]

The Last Leg: Abakan to Kyzyl

The Last Leg: Abakan to Kyzyl

This is the second installment in my riveting Great Siberian Adventure. In this episode, my colleague A. and I make it from the train station in Abakan to our final destination in downtown Kyzyl. When we got off the train at the crack of dawn the next morning, Andrei the lawyer helped get us into a marshrutka […]