Keith's Wacky Year Abroad
After graduating from Cornell University I spent the
1993-1994 school year in St. Petersburg, Russia helping to
establish an intensive program in
Conversational English at the St. Petersburg Institute of
Precision Mechanics and Optics. This was my first experience
overseas, and helped whet my appetite for Teaching
English to Speakers of Other Languages and for living abroad.
My roommate and teammate was Eric.
Eric is a very interesting fellow to live with.
in St. Petersburg--at a different school and living an hour
away--were Dina and Sharon. To the left is Dina, gently
holding the Charmin in L.A. where we all trained for six
weeks before going to St. Petes. To the right is Sharon,
laughing as Eric (not pictured) wedges a very large piece of cake
mouth. The organization we all taught through is
Services International (ESI).
The four of us helped each other keep our sanity and a sense of
humor. Dina is now teaching high school English in her home
state of Indiana. Sharon has started her own non-profit
corporation to deliver humanitarian aid to orphanages in Russia.
Eric and I experienced a lot of
technical difficulty in our Chambers. Particularly involving the
plumbing and fire. As far as we know, no such problems have been
experienced in the Chambers, since. Also assisting us through, and
co-experiencing, many of our experiences, were
Galen and Avrina. This fascinating
pair joined us in the Sanitarium in December, and set up shop
in Galens' Chambers down the hall from us in the "Prophylactery."
Thanks to them, I learned a bit about cooking with herbs, and
how to make peas, canned tomatoes, onions, and garlic into quite
a feast over rice.
A highlight of the year, and an
excellent way to finish that chapter in my life, was a short trip
to Tallinn, Estonia with my British friends and Inga, who hails
from Estonia. On the left are the four of us overlooking the
Baltic Sea. Besides Estonia, I managed to visit Moscow, Vologda,
Helsinki, and a few sites outside of St. Petersburg. Vologda was
a favorite place for a little R&R, Russian style, where we could
hang out with several other ESI teachers,
including Bruce Mastin the aspiring musician and Canadian
extraordinaire. Click on his name to check out his homepage and
sample a few choice cuts from his recently completed album!
Here I am with Matthew,
another ESI teacher who spent the year in Karaganda, Kazakhstan,
and Luda, the younger sister of Inga. We are enjoying a beautiful
spring evening at an imprompto, outdoor concert at a subway
station in St. Petersburg. Matthew visited us on a couple
different occasions and was the source of much good conversation
and good cooking. If anyone happens to know anything about where
Matthew is, please
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Educational Services International
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