For the time being, there will be a small hiatus on my observations from the classroom since we are on winter break. I will be sure to share those insights when classes begin. Until then, we move on to other topics.
When you live near a popular visiting spot, you don’t visit it, right? I suffer the same thing. We’ve lived in Karakol for almost 7 months and not once have we ventured into the mountains. Apparently, Karakol has some of the best mountains for skiing in the region. People come from neighboring countries to get in a few days of skiing. We also live next to an amazing lake (which, to this sounthwesterner, looks like a sea). It is a very popular vacation spot for all types of people, yet I have not been there since we’ve moved to Karakol. As I write, I look out my window to the mountains in the distance, brimming with snow. When we visited this town in the past we always spent one day in the mountains. I was so excited to move here because that meant that we could go to the mountains more often. Alas, that has yet to happen….whether from being busy, or being afraid to ask, or just being tired.
I remember during one of our past visits we went high up in to the mountains, near where a gold mine operates. We could’ve easily sang “Over the river and through the woods,” because that is exactly how our trip went. We passed signs that said, “Оснорожно! Лавины!”which means, “Be careful! Avalanches!” We all laughed because my name in Russian means avalanche. We came up to the top, but still not the summit, and my breath was taken away: there was snow everywhere. Kilometers and kilometers of untouched sparkling snow, the best kind, because that’s the type I like to touch. It’s undisturbed beauty is wonderful to behold, but making the first steps into it is exciting, like blazing new trails.
The cold air burned my nostrils, the glistening snow blinded my eyes. We had a picnic in the back of our friend’s truck. Shivering through bites we found shelter in the heat of the vehicles. Even though we may have spent no more than three hours on the whole trip it was a day well spent. I looked forward to creating those types of memories for my kid when we moved here but have yet to explore the cold, snow-drenched wonder of the mountains with him. Hopefully, before the snow is gone, we can carve out time to do just that. And maybe along the way teach him to sing, “Over the river and through the woods…”