My duties at the university are over; I gave my last lectures and final exam last week. So, we are enjoying the opportunity to walk around Ufa and see the sights. The weather has been great the last few days, so we went for quite a long excursion yesterday. In front of the university, the tulips are blooming. The picture to the left is only about half of the flower garden; my camera just can’t handle all of the different colors over a long distance, and all photos turn out blurry. But you get the idea.
Its hard to believe we are looking at just 2.5 weeks left in Russia, then its time to head off for another adventure. Ann and Jake are going to hang out in London for a week, and I will be there for a few days. While they stay in London I am heading off to a conference in Singapore called, “Unlearning Cold War Narratives.” There are literally scholars from all over the world participating, and I am very excited.
So, I’ve been thinking about what this journey has meant for me, personally. I think that I have learned a tremendous amount about Russia, its people, and its culture, but the “take-away” is a little different. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Russia, but I’ve missed home also. And I’ve missed my family. My older boys are looking to start their lives and soon they will not have too much time for me. I need to embrace the time we have before they start their own families. No job is perfect, but mine is pretty good at MN West. When the Apollo 8 crew came back from orbiting the moon, they took a picture of the earth that sparked a growing interest in where we live. The irony was that the crew went all the way to the moon before people took an interest in the earth. I guess I had to come all the way to Russia to appreciate home.
While we were out and about yesterday, I took quite a few photos of places that were covered with snow in January and February. Look for a number of “Before and After” examples over the next few days, and the post below.