Friday, December 26, 2014

 Ice sculptures in Tomsk Russia.  This time of the year you don't have to worry they will melt away.

Perhaps one of the favorite with the children is the giant ice slide.  They either slide down as they are or sit on a plastic dish, then they really go.
It all starts with a block of ice.  Really quite amazing.  
As you can see we took these pictures in the day.  We will soon post picture we will be taking at night.

Monday, December 15, 2014

 This past weekend we traveled to Kemerovo to visit the YSA in the small LDS Group that is there.  This is the view from our hotel.

 Cars come out to his big parking lot and skid around this circle.  The problem it's at night when we're trying to sleep.

 Beautiful sunset in Kemerovo.

 In the lobby a Christmas tree, sort of.

 A stream that has frozen over, except for a few spots.

 Ducks getting food off the bottom of the stream.  I wonder if the ducks in Russia have an accent?

 A Russian Santa in a toy store.  They don't sit, they stroll around the store talking with children.

 He was excited to have his picture taken, even spoke some English.

 Santa insisted that he has his picture taken with Sister J.

 The Institute class, teacher in stripes with two students.  Sometimes they have four students.
 After Sister J. cooked a meal for the Elders and students she cleaned the pan in the bathroom sink.  I have a feeling that Sister J won't allow this in the future.  They wash all the dishes used at the church in this way.

 While walking down the street we ran into some buddies that love this kind of weather.  They love to have their picture taken.

 They really loved Sister J.

 They really light up the town.

 Beautiful displays.

 Ice sculptures in the town square in Kemerovo.

 More ice sculptures.

 An ice slide.

 Stairs to the ice slide.

 The temperature is -18.8C this night.

 Lenin statue in the square.

 The bus ride back to the motel was crowded.  The woman next to me saw that I was looking out the window and asked where we were going.  I told her the name of the hotel without saying the word hotel.  She got all excited and told us we were on the wrong bus and kept pointing in a different direction.  I finally figured out what she was saying and said the name plus hotel.  She then said ok.  When we got the the place to get off the bus she told us to get off.  These people are very kind and want to help but communication is rough and it takes us awhile to figure what they are saying to us.

 The park across from the hotel looked beautiful at night.

Two young people were going down this ice slide in the park.  Tree was wonderful.  We wanted to stay longer but at -18C a brief look was all we could handle.

 The church is about a 30 minute walk from our apartment.  We still walk to the church on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  The sun comes up about 9am and sets about 3:45pm so our walks on Tues & Wed are in the dark.  The snow gets piled up and we usually are walking on 4 to 6 inches of packed snow.

 Get your glove back on Sister J!

 We are a little over half way to the church, notice the frost build up on the hat.

 Most of the walking is single file.  It gets packed down where people walk but they do try to keep the streets kind of clear.

 Red cheeks, frost on the scarf and hat.

 Sister J hates the cold but is being a good sport.  On our walks to the church we usually are hot and sweaty by the time we arrive, but have frozen feet and faces at the end of the 30 minute trek.

This just looks cold, and it is, about -16F this night.
 We have a friend from Mongolia who performed in a culture night program at the University where she attends school.  A night of dancing, singing, and performances from various countries.

 Sister J, our friend from Mongolia and our Russian friend and translator.

 Even some young people got involved.

 This group was from northern Russia and looked American Indians with Eskimo outfits.

One of the Mongolian singers.