Blogs from Minsk, Minsk Voblast, Belarus, Europe

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Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk June 16th 2017

I will add more throughout the day: https://youtu.be/ehG4kfzmjxs ... read more
Squatting
Waiting for the medals
3rd overall

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk June 15th 2017

The flight from AMS to MSK on Belavia Air was interesting. I have never been on a plane where they have squeezed in so many seats into a small space. But what made it interesting is the flight was full of powerlifters and most of them are not small. I was seated in a middle seat and sure enough another guy the size of Carl gets seated on the other side of me. It's only a 2 hour flight but I knew I was in for a long 2 hours. It was a full flight but just before takeoff my seatmate spots an open seat in the exit row and gets permission to move quickly- thank goodness!! We were all so relieved:-). They fed us a meal which was a surprise on a short trip but ... read more
The large housing complexes
Buildings along the main road we are on
Venue seating for the meet

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk June 15th 2017

I was able to transfer Carl's pictures and he's a better photographer than me, so I'm sharing both Amsterdam and Minsk... read more
A little Americana in Minsk
Carl's new shoes
Minsk McDonald's

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk November 5th 2016

Naliboki Forest, November 2016 Josh, Jaclyn, Olga, Laura, Dominic, Meredith, George and Kevin We were 8 teachers from QSI Minsk, on a Belarus adventure with the humble, yet larger than life Vadim Sidorovich- http://www.wolfing.info/ Only 1 1/2 hours from Minsk, but a world away Vadim and Maxim met us at the edge of the Naliboki Forest They took us on a wild Lada ride through the now dark forest along a headlamp-lit, bumpy, puddled-filled road. Dinner prepared by Ira was waiting for us – potatoes, carrots and pork served in rustic ceramic pots, cooked in the ashes of an authentic peasant stove Settled into our room – stuffed boar’s head and owl over our bed, fireplace crackling, and adjacent wood-fired sauna. Oh, and outhouse a short walk down the trail. An interesting lecture about the... read more
Our room fireplace
Wood-fired sauna
My safari Lada and rubber boots

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk August 21st 2016

We have arrived safely back in Minsk for our 3rd year of international teaching. We love this city and its amazing people and we really like our school and its caring staff. Yesterday we explored some new areas of Minsk with Julia and Viki and snapped pictures of some great Soviet-era murals. I find this art style fascinating. We took an elevator to the top of the Belarus National Library for views of the city. There are not many high rise buildings as most pre-2000 buildings followed a maximum 8-story plan. Some newer buildings are 20ish-stories tall. Landmarks in this remarkably flat terrain tend to be smokestacks, radio antennae, and garbage dumps (2 distinctive mounds to the east and west of the city). I have also included photos of our new apartment building. We love our ... read more
Solidarity Mural
Apartment murals
Amazing murals on apartments

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk April 19th 2015

A very exciting day. bought two bikes today. Our dear friend Helen helped us get a great deal from her bike shop guy, Serge. We now have some freedom from public transportation. Don't get us wrong We love how easy it is to get around Minsk, but the waiting in the cold and crowded buses get old. Now we can explore more of the city off the main drag.... read more

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk April 19th 2015

Ellen, Kevin and I went exploring yesterday. I am planning a field trip learning about rocks. First, I thought of headstones, then I thought about stone used in buildings in the city. So we went city stone hunting. Found many igneous rocks - mostly granite. The red catholic church St. Simon and Helena. I was sure would be sandstone turned out to be red brick instead. Well, we toured the church, very nice interior and interesting geometric stained glass windows. Stopped by the underground mall next to the church - It's just a mall, but some good souvenir shops. Next, we went to Nemiga and wandered through the Russian orthodox church. It is a very iconic religion, many Mary and Jesus pictures inside shadow box frames, some with silver bodies and painted faces, one with a ... read more
Russian Orthodox - Saint Spirit Cathedral
Kevin and Ellen outside the cathedral
Soviet-style reliefs

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk January 25th 2015

A new teacher coming to Minsk next school year asked me to talk about some of the surprises we have had here in Minsk. 1. There are many new and modern cars on the streets; not old Russian ones like I imagined. However, we use public transportation to get around the city and find that it is easy to use and mostly reliable. 2. I expected a cabbage-smelling apartment in the soviet style. Instead our apartment is new and has very modern furnishings. It is also upstairs from the high school so our commute is very short. Kevin’s commute was one hour each way last year. 3. We expected that there would be no wine, so therefore we couldn't be disappointed. Wrong. Back home we have grown to love the rich red wines from Washington state. ... read more

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk October 24th 2014

Arrival into Minsk The Air Baltic Fokker 50 landed like a World War II bomber and taxied past the usual assortment of old Soviet-era airliners that had been left in a huge field. MИHCK written in large Cyrillic lettering above the terminal confirmed I had indeed landed in Minsk. As I stepped onto Belarusian soil, or rather tarmac, and entered the passenger terminal, I wondered what the country the Americans had described as Europe’s last dictatorship would be like. To be honest, I’d not heard many good things about Belarus, and the things I had heard were mainly to do with its president, Alexander Lukashenko, a man renowned for his poor human rights record and his fondness for rigging elections. This man had once famously stated that if any of his citizens joined in with protests ... read more
Main street in Minsk
Lenin statue
Independence Square

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk October 5th 2014

Not only is Russian a difficult foreign language to speak, it has a different alphabet - cyrillic script. It is a challenge to learn, but once you get the hang of it you can't stop reading it. As we stroll along the streets of Minsk or ride the trolley or tram from one stop to another we are constantly sounding out the words written in cyrillic script. The hope is that the word will be a cognate that we can recognize from English. The pictures show a few examples.... read more
Our Street
Main Street
Communist Street




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