Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Trip To The "Dachas"

     Today we were invited by a couple who is receiving the missionary discussions from our missionaries, to go with them to their dacha (rhymes with "gotcha).  They are retired engineers here in Krasnoyarsk.  The elders knocked on their door a couple of weeks ago and they have been receiving the lessons since then and attending our English discussions.  They have a car "machina" and wanted to show us their dacha they purchased a few years ago.  It is over 100 years old, as are many of the dachas around here.  About 1/2 of the population here in the city have dachas.  They are second-home country retreat and a place to go and relax, grow flowers and vegetables and enjoy the fresh air.
     Dachas have been around since the time of Peter The Great when they were handed out to loyal and higher ranking officials.   They increased during the time of the Soviet Union (particularly since their was such a shortage of vegetables and became so popular that eventually the Soviet Union had to recognize the right of citizens to become private gardeners.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union they were privatized.  Some residents live in their dachas year round.  Most have electricity but few have running water.  They usually are on a small plot of ground for gardening.   Most are in a "village" and are quite close together.
     We had a fun and very interesting time exploring the village and having lunch at Sergey and Julia's datcha. They will be having dinner with us this Wednesday in our apartment, but it won't be nearly as fun or interesting. Here are some photos.

Sergey and Julia out in front of their 100 + year old Dacha.

Karen and Sergey in the back.

The door in the back (and only door).  Notice how insulated.  It is also very small to help keep out the cold Siberian winter.

This is a device invented by Sergey to open the many windows in the greenhouse all at the same time.  The tanks are filled with compressed air with hoses to little boxes on all the windows.  Inside each box is an inflatable ball that when inflated is too big for the box so as it inflates it pushes out the back end of the box which is attached to a rod that opens the window.

Sergey's workshop

Living room looking into kitchen

This water device is as old as the house (over 100 years old.)  You push up on the plunger and water comes out.  As soon as you release the plunger the water stops.  (ingenious)

Elder and Sister Noel in front of the neighbors dacha.

Karen and Julia looking into the water well.  The water is only for sprinkling the garden.  They bring drinking water with them.

This device is in a "sauna".  It is wood fired and they sprinkle water on the hot rocks and then use birch leaves bound into a broom like affair to brush the skin and stimulate circulation.  Takes about 3 hours to get it up to proper temperature.  The sauna is in a building out in the back yard.

This is the  building where the sauna is located.

Our lunch table.  The food was delicious.  They stopped and got fresh whole milk from the neighbor and made us some hot chocolate. 
This is the other view of the "sauna."

The four of us having lunch.

Sergey is setting a rat trap.  But the most interesting thing is the stove.  Notice the pipes going in and out on the sides.  They are filled with water.  The outside walls of the stove are double walls and are  also filled with water and is part of the system.  The stove heats the water and the heated water rises and circulates through out the pipes which run through each room on the exposed part of the wall and heat the rooms.  No pump necessary.  The old water then is forced through a smaller diameter pipe back to the stove where it is again heated.  Fascinating stuff.  They actually come here in the winter.  It take about 2 hours to heat the house.

Karen in the green house out back.  These are tomato plants.

The rest of these photos are more dachas in the same neighborhood.

This is some of the beautiful birch and pine forests that we drove through on the way to the dacha.

This is the bag of food that they gave us when we left.  The dill pickles she bottled herself.  They reuse the bottles an just buy new lids.  (This is back inside our own apartment.)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

On The Road Again. . . Railroad that is.

Sunday September 23, 2012
     This weekend we took another trip to Novosibirsk via the Trans-Siberian.  This time it was a CES Conference with all the Seminary and Institute teachers and CES Missionaries in the mission.  The train over was a little older than the last time but had some beautiful ornate woodwork in the private sleeping compartments (Kupe's).
       We traveled to Novosibirsk on Friday, stayed at a wonderful Hilton Doubletree hotel Friday night, had a inspiring conference on Saturday and came home on Saturday night.  Arrived in Krasnoyarsk at about 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning (12 hour train ride) and had just enough time to shower, change clothes and be about 45 minutes late for church.  I have included some photos.
Notice the ornate woodwork in our private sleeping compartment.  This is an indication that this is a much older train.

More "Dachas" along the way.

An elderly lady who got off the train somewhere between Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk

The leaves are starting to turn.

Our room at the Hilton Doubletree.  This is a little different than our usual accommodations.  Doesn't this missionary look great!  This is just after a 12 hour train ride from Krasnoyarsk.

Breakfast at the Hilton

Our CES conference attendees.

More conference.  The man standing and the woman facing us 6 seats down from him are our Seminary and Institute teachers in Krasnoyarsk.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Plant Sculptures

Thursday, September 20, 2012

     Every once in a while as we travel through Krasnoyarsk on the bus or on foot, we see "plant sculptures."  We haven't examined them closely enough to see exactly how they do it but the plants on these sculptures are actually growing.  They use different kinds of plants for the different colors.
      Some of these photos were taken late in the year so some of the plants are dying.  We have heard there are more and we will post them when we run across them.

The Lion with the Shovel and the Scythe are the symbol of Krasnoyarsk.  Not sure why.  Still doing the research on that.