i think perhaps the most annoying thing right now is not being able to access my emails. so...anyone with anything important send it to ambotchka@yahoo.com...

this saturday i went on a picnic.... again i thought i was going to a forest and ended up going to a place that was totally flat, no trees, lots of grasses and trash. as Tanya said, "it's not the location that is important, but the conversation." --- quite Russian.
yesterday i went to Novgorod.... i really liked the monastery. i bought myself a silver ring for $2 that has something written in Russian about God saving me and the world...but within hours it turned my finger black (that's what i get for being cheap).

i am frustrated today. grrr. hopefully it will get better... at 5pm i am meeting Vlad and his friend. they want to celebrate because today is the last final exam (they're going to be psychiatrists). i'm not sure what we'll be doing, but i hope we eat somewhere. i'm starving. right now it's 2:20. i was going to go home, freshen up, etc...but i decided to check out some stuff with Kari...she wants to get a really big, expensive Matrioshka for her dad (he's paying her back). i need to look at tea sets for Claire. i don't know how i'll carry them back, but i'll find a way. tonight whenever i get home i'm going to pack up and see how much room i have in my bags. i still have hundreds of dollars left! this truly shows how much cheaper it is here. i've lived it well and bought lots of things... and i am under budget. if i had been stringent i could have probably survived off of $200 the whole month...that is, if i didn't buy lots of things. i've bought lots of books and videos in Russian so i can keep it going strong when i get back....

started dieting. these girls here.... they don't make clothes in my size. in America, i'm a 10. i don't understand. i haven't seen a babushka around that isn't fat. but the girls my age are rails. does this happen overnight?

ok. too mad about emails. i'll check this one more time before i go home, probably tomorrow... i leave Friday night.