Little Russian snow baby. I wish I had an outfit like this for my son.
The snow sculptures in Ufa are truly awe inspiring.
This makes me shudder. Palmeni was not my favorite. Especially for breakfast.
My students, minus the two boys.
We spent time at an orphanage a few times while we were there. The kids were so much fun.
The first semester I lived with a host family, this was my little sister, Adela.
Two of my fellow volunteers. We had too much fun together, and we clearly didn't fit on this slide well.
Now this was something that was truly delicious. It's hard to go wrong with so much deep fat fried goodness. Paroshkee, yum.
My Americans, second semester: Me, Stephanie, Heidi, Rachel, Megan, Nicole. This was after we had gone cave spelunking with a crazy guide named Oleg.
One of my students. This was the most advanced class. We had kindergartners on up. This was the whole group except Tiger, who was taking the picture.
And no trip to Russia would be complete without seeing St. Petersburg, this is Catherine's Palace.
And also Moscow. This is St. Basil's.
Sorry for the picture overload. I would love to share a million more, but perhaps I'll save it for another day. My time in Russia was amazing. Though it was difficult to be a 19 and then 20 year-old away from home, family, and my own country, it was an amazing experience.
So why am I sharing all this today? Well, today happens to be International Women's Day. Which happens to be a really, really, really big deal in Russia. I found Russians to be rather reserved for the most part, except on this particular day when total strangers would congratulate me for being a woman. My students showered me with gifts. The entire city of Ufa was in celebration of the women in their lives.
On this day when I was in Russia I truly felt like it was pretty awesome to be a woman. Not that I feel contrary to that on other days. The truth is, most days I don't think about it. That's just what I am. But on March 8th I like to remember how great it is to be a woman.
So. . . to all the amazing women out there: Happy Women's Day! I hope you feel special today because you truly are. If you don't have someone to buy you flowers today, go get yourself some. Because you are a woman. And today is our day. Make it special.