The Centr concert:
Megan had for some reason bought a cd of a rap group from Moscow named Centr earlier in her stay. We then found out they were coming to Yaroslavl and decided to go to the concert. Before the concert they were playing American rap music, so Jaime, Megan and I sang along loudly and drew stares from the Russians around us. We ended up hanging out with the opening act, a local group from Yaroslavl off-stage, and traded numbers with them at the end of the night, but never did end up hanging out with them.
But then on the train ride back from Moscow, Jaime turned around and shouted “No way!” We looked back and saw that it was one of the guys from the Yaro rap group, so we went over and said hey. He was riding third class like us so his group could clearly be doing better. He did have a different groupie on his arm than the one we saw at the show so apparently there are still some perks when you’re struggling to make it.
The Communist Rally:
After buying the tickets for the circus we left the building and noticed a small rally going on across the street. We went to check it out and it turned out to be a communist rally in honor of the October Revolution of 1917 (that actually took place on Nov. 7 ) that thrust the Bolsheviks into power. The rally was a little underwhelming in number, but more than made up for it in spirit. We got free flags, but Jaime was charged 3 rubles (12 cents) by a dirty capitalist for a communist newspaper.
Nadia was the in-country CCS director for 8 years. At the end of my first week she announced that she’d be leaving her post at the end of October to move to Atlanta with her fiancée. On her last Friday, we had a little goodbye party. Her replacement you’ll see in these pictures as well. Her name is Nathalia.
We went to a soccer game between the Yaroslavl Sheeneek and the Kazan Rubeen one Saturday afternoon. It was freezing, as always, but still really fun. Sheeneek is similar to the word for tire in Russian, and since 1957 the team has been sponsored by the tire factory in Yaroslavl.
There's a picture in this album, the only picture of any of us volunteers, with a man we befriended named Nik. We were walking around the stadium to join the crazy Yaro fans when Nik stopped us after hearing our English. After a few weeks of people staring at us whenever we spoke English, we were able to anticipate when those stares were going to result in a conversation. So Nik approached us and in his own broken English he informed us that his daughter was studying English and asked us to talk to her on the phone.
He handed me the phone with his daughter on the other end and we talked briefly. She told me to ask her a question, and I asked her about the weather. She said it was fine. I disagreed and told her it was quite chilly. Clearly finding me disagreeable, she asked to talk to her dad again.
Megan then talked to her for a while later while Nik told us about his life. Turns out he was a member of the 109th Airborne Division with the Soviet army and served in Afghanistan from 1982-1985.
Last Saturday night, as a last hurrah for Liz and Virginia (a middle-aged British volunteer who came here for two weeks) we went to the circus. It was a ton of fun. I was disappointed to miss out on kangaroos and bears riding motorcycles which apparently were in the last circus.
The Halloween Party
The night before Halloween we were the special guests at an English language school’s Halloween party. It was fun, if a little strange, due to the fact it was more a cultural lesson on Halloween in America as opposed to an actual Halloween party. We mainly judged contests. The teacher also corrected her students on the pronunciation of “witches,” inexplicably telling them it was witch-ers instead of the right way they had been pronouncing it.
Finally, here are other random pictures from my 7 weeks in Russia.