|View from my office window at the |
Institute of Volcanology and Seismology
It's the deep of winter in Kamchatka (in Russian we would say "on Kamchatka" because it's a peninsula, or logistically an island) so it's hard for me to say "in" Kamchatka). This is my third winter here, the prior two being sabbaticals (2001 and 2010), this current one sponsored by the U.S. Fulbright Program
"The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries."
My two primary objectives during this six-month (!) visit are to conduct research and writing with colleagues, particularly Tanya Pinegina, and to work with students and young colleagues on their technical English, likely using examples from natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. And of course to represent the U.S. and learn more about my Russian counterparts.
|View of my departure terminal from my hotel room.|
Back to Starbuck's, it had its familiarities and its differences, particularly all the drinks written out in quite fancy cyrillic, except for one board in English. The coffee-master, Olya, had been to Maryland for training; she and her baristas seemed very excited to hear that we had been to Pike Place Market (what is it like?) and to the original Starbucks. We had breakfast there and also stopped by in the afternoon for a latte. I am afraid I am something of a Starbucks "snob" -- I bought some coffee to bring with me to Kamchatka.
|from Vera's cell phone--JB breakfast|
|Vera choosing a pastry at Starbucks|
|Baristas at Sheremetyevo Starbucks|
I've been here on Kamchatka a week as of today --we are a day ahead of the U.S, my flights took 24 hours, I had 24 hours in Moscow, and I lost time flying east... I left on Sunday 8 Jan and arrived Weds 11 Jan! This blog will say it's 17 Jan because my computer is on Seattle time, but it's 18 Jan here.
|View along wall outside my flat.|
I arrived just before a snowstorm, with strong cross-winds at the airport leading to a very exciting landing. I have great respect for Aeroflot pilots! It was warm the first few days, now it is colder than -10 celsius (that's about 14 fahrenheit, not bad at all). Tanya took me to buy snowshoes and we went snowshoeing in fresh snow with another colleague, tectonic geomorphologist Andrey Kozhurin.
Snowshoeing on Kamchatka by Tanya Pinegina
|I got this image from the web; it IS Kamchatka|
|Typical birch forest, near Lesnaya|
cross-country ski area
Tasks for this week include organizing my papers for working on paleotsunami and tsunami records from Kamchatskiy Bay region, and getting set up with teaching/advising students in technical English.
And some more winter sports and time outdoors. Did I say I love snow?