We “loobloo” Bobroosk, Belarus

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February 22nd 2015
Published: February 22nd 2015
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In front of the flatIn front of the flatIn front of the flat

Ready to meet the family
We “loobloo” Bobroosk, Belarus

We traveled 2 and a half hours by train

from Minsk to Bobroosk

to see Irina in her hometown.

I still feel giddy riding a train

wanting to see the scenery passing by

not knowing which side to look out

for fear of missing something interesting.

train ticket and platform finding

are no longer stressful events –

thanks to Julia, Kevin’s co-worker at QSI

She bought train tickets

and gave us the bus time schedule

to get to the station on time.

Now it is a calm routine.

Irina is our new friend from Pullman, Washington

who grew up in Bobroosk, Belarus.

She later moved to Elk City, Idaho

persevered there and has a lovely daughter, Dasha

and they now live in Pullman with David,

a WSU mathematics professor.

Irina met our train

We hopped a trolley bus through town

to Irina’s sister’s flat

We were greeted by nervous sister, Tanya, and mama.

We still don’t speak much Russian

and their English is about the same.
Ttouring downtown BabrooskTtouring downtown BabrooskTtouring downtown Babroosk

Cool, but sunny day.

Many smiles and handshakes.

Minibus downtown with Irina

walked through the market

bought two Tajikistan scarves;

one for Kevin and one for Irina

three hats – one for each of us

continue through old town

past tank square,

pictures with the beaver mascot statue

on to Lenon Square

-skate boarders doing their tricks

at the feet of Lenon’s oversized statue

A visit to an art exhibition

of exotic ceramic art pieces

then on to an amazing gem collection

from many former USSR republics.

a quick stop at the candy store for

locally made zephyr – a marshmallow like confection

then a bus back to the flat for dinner

children on the bus

overheard our English conversation

start practicing some English they have learned,

first with themselves, then one brave boy

asks “What is your name?”

I reply and ask him his name

He needs some translation from the others

Then blurts out his name

and returns to the group.

They work with a cell phone translator

to develop another question

I hear snippets of “where: and “from”

but finally the leader asks,

“How old are you?”

We all start laughing

and it is our bus stop

Many friendly “good byes”

I went back out with Tanya

to find some local Babroosk beer to try.

located 2 – Bobrov and Jeegooli

Passed mama on our way back to the flat

She was on her way back to her flat

to pick up some of her homemade hooch

or samagonka – from sugar, yeast, bread

very good with borst (beet soup)

beer tasting – we liked Jeegooli

conversation filled dinner

with translation by Irina to include everyone

included polendretsa – smoked pork tenderloin

sero voolooniya (salami)

and caldune (magician) – meat filled potato dumplings

Tim, the teenage son of Tanya and Volva

showed up resulting in

typical mom and dad concerns

filling the Russian side of the conversation

Tim deflecting their worries with

uncomfortable smiles and clipped comments.

Mama and Irina provide moral support for Tim.
The Babroosk beaverThe Babroosk beaverThe Babroosk beaver

Scratch him anywhere for luck. Oh, not there!

Volva rang his brother

to see if he could take us to our hotel

He could – Irena shotgun

Tanya likes to ride in cars so she came too.

Hotel check-in is done through

a small window in the dark lobby

It takes about 30 minutes to register,

so we leave our passports (old hat by now),

get our key and check out the room

Irina does a mock white glove test.

It passes and they leave.

I check on our passports

Still not ready – “10 more minutes”

One more trip down to the lobby

at about 11 pm and passports retrieved

Time for bed

The room reverberates with the lounge

rock and roll music until 3 am.

Irina, the most amazing host,

meets us in the lobby next morning

and helps us get to the bus station

with plenty of time for more conversation.

We settle in for the 2+ hour journey

seats this time –

yesterday we were in a sleeping car

Eastern orthodox churchEastern orthodox churchEastern orthodox church

The front used to be a swimming pool during soviet times.
were only passably comfortable.

Tanya packed us a yummy snack for the train

cheese filled crepe pancakes

salami and polendretse sandwiches,

dumplings and tart

– it all hit the spot

and was a fitting end

to an incredible weekend outside Minsk

Our new family in Babroosk is the best!

Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


There goes our wagonThere goes our wagon
There goes our wagon

Minsk train is a few minutes late so we had to run to our wagon note to self – wagon 2 is in the front! Kevin, always practical, says, "Not always."
Goodbye for now!Goodbye for now!
Goodbye for now!

Final goodbyes through the train window.

22nd February 2015

Good Times
Sounds to me like you two are having a ball. We do enjoy the updates. Stay safe and stay well.

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