I have safely arrived in Khabarovsk. Thank goodness it was an uneventful flight. I couldn’t sleep on the plane so I caught up on bad American movies (Date Night and What Happens in Vegas).
Upon arrival we have been keeping busy. After initial introductions of the group we had a mini city tour. I was surprised at how picturesque the city is. There are many monuments, lots of parks, and a huge WW II memorial listing the names of all the victims from this city – 30,000 in total. The Amur River curves in and out of the city and provides pretty views. See the picture of the River. I am staying at the Intourist Hotel a relic from Soviet times. I do have a great view of the main cathedral in town. One of the interesting things is that even though people drive on the right hand side of the road, the majority of them have cars with steering wheels on the right hand side. The cars are imported from Japan.
There is a Russian saying that says, “if you have been to Moscow, you haven’t seen Russia.” Even though I have been living in Moscow for 7 months, it is such a different world here and a whole other side of Russia. The people look different, the city has a different rhythm and there are all sorts of cuisines that are almost nonexistent in Moscow, most notably Chinese restaurants.
This afternoon we met with the Jewish peers who we will be partnering with over the course of the week for service projects and we started to learn about the Jewish community in this region. More on that in a later post.
From Russia with Love,