Established in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Trip Start Oct 27, 2008
Trip End Mar 2009

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Flag of Russian Federation  , Far East Russia,
Friday, November 7, 2008

 Well my relocation is complete - after a week in Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, I have officially moved into a private apartment rather than remaining in the hotel.  To me, it is always preferable to have one's own place rather than be situated in a small hotel room where patrons are flowing back and forth.  Plus, an apartment allows a kitchen and one's own cooking if so chosen.  I looked at about 10 places, and was astonished at the prices charged for what I would deem ratholes.  Of the 10, there was one nice place and ultimately I decided to rent it for the next 3 months.  You will see some pics of the inside of an apartment within this blog link - thats generally my place.

The warmer weather certainly did not hold up that long.  Yesterday I awoke to rain and by early evening the temperatures had dropped and snow was coming down.  While light, the ground is slowly being covered and the ice is forming on the roads (as I understood in crossing the street and nearly 'eating' it on the pavement).  Hopefully within coming weeks there will be enough snow on the slopes (within maybe 2 miles of my place) to begin the ski season.  I am not that anxious to see -20 or -40 degree weather, but I knew that was part of the deal in coming.  At least there are winter sports.

The infrastructure of the city is pretty decent.  There are good stores which basically sell everything I need - including, for those of you who have spent time in Kazakhstan, CHECHEL cheese.  Really - the grocery store near my house may be about 1/10 of the size of a local Kroger or HEB, but it has everything I need for my cooking.  Plus, in reality I wont be cooking much at home anyways.  My big meal will be served on the client's dime where I am working on a daily basis.  And evenings, I just eat something lighter such as soup or cheese and bread, etc.

Work thus far is good.  Challenging, but good.  I find myself in front of a computer 12 hours a day for now.  That could be the result of my masochistic decision to not only participate on this consulting engagement, but as well start the process of training to become an Online Adjunct professor with a US-based university.  I figure I can deal with anything for 4 weeks, and thus after hours from my regular job am online several hours per day participating in online dialogues and discussions with fellow trainees at the university.  I think by the end of this 4 month assignment my hope is to 1) have options to go elsewhere or do something potentially with this O&G client, 2) Start to try teaching full time online for this US university, and/or 3) Take a vacation (haha - well deserved maybe, but not sure I will be able to swing time away from real responsibilities of my existence). 

More pics will follow of this town and my life as I know it.  Just wanted to get something out to you guys. 
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