in the past few weeks not much has happened. i turned thirty, a day that might have been merely depressing under normal circumstances but instead reached new levels of sublimity with a house full of barfing people. from four in the morning on both art and ilya proceeded to turn inside out on a regular basis. fortunately i was fasting the night when everyone ate the bad chicken, so i escaped the fun of throwing up. nevertheless, cleaning up puddles of puke and trying to comfort miserable family is not exactly a shiny fun birthday.
but we had a do-over a few days later, and that was great. art got me a canvas so i can finally paint again, and the collective gromovs gave me some money to buy myself some english books. apparently there's a store here that sells books in english, and since i came to this country with only one book (what was i thinking?) i was/am extremely grateful.
not much is new in other areas: art still hasn't found a good job--he keeps getting told that he's overqualified. but he has an interview/meeting on monday so we're still hopeful.
random pictures of ilya and i at the outdoor market:
sometimes it's hard to trust God, not because He isn't trustworthy but because we really have to resist the urge to take matters into our own hands. it would be easy to assume that after a month of looking for a job with no success it's a strong possibility that we'll have to leave novorossysk. and maybe we will--we still don't know. we came here in an attempt to be obedient to the Lord's leading, but that could mean anything. we could have come here for a few months, a few years, a lifetime...who knows? the point is, i suppose, that as human beings (and particularly as often-lacking-in-faith human beings) it's easy to assume the worst. God has really been driving this home to me the last few weeks.
tomorrow, God willing, we're leaving for sochi for a few days to (drumroll please) snowboard!! i'm excited, but only mildly: the doubting thomas in me is still waiting to stand on snow with feet strapped onto a board before the true excitement comes. in the meantime, my pessimistic self will be sufficiently entertained by the thought of six hours of driving on winding mountain roads in a thirty year old car with bad brakes whose steering wheel has the tendency to fall off. ah, only in russia!
speaking of "only in russia," yesterday i saw my third or fourth random dead body. ilya ("the big man ilya" as my son likes to call him) was bringing me to his house to practice some songs for music club, and there next to the stairs leading to his building was a dead guy in an open coffin. good times. i would ask "why?" but that's a question that i'm quickly learning leads nowhere in this place.