Russia

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Richard Sayette (Russian Far East) publishes THE VODKA DIARIES
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A Bookworm’s Dilemma
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John Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) English Language Fellow in Khabarovsk, Russia

Richard Sayette (Russian Far East) publishes THE VODKA DIARIES

• The Vodka Diaries is my account of living and working in the Russian Far East as a Peace Corps Volunteer during the tumultuous, post Glasnost years of 1994 and 1995. It was a period in which people watched in shock as the economy collapsed under the weight of hyperinflation, and lawlessness eroded any sense of personal security. I had joined the Peace Corps for two reasons. The first was that I wanted to make a difference in the world and the second was that I wanted one last adventure prior to entering  a career in corporate America. My inspiration stemmed from an NPR segment in which a recently returned Peace Corps Volunteer discussed serving in Moscow as a Business Volunteer. She had been assigned to a team that created and managed the Moscow Stock Exchange. She exuberantly explained how she was able to contribute and make an immediate impact . . .

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A Bookworm’s Dilemma

  I never thought I’d be saying this but I have to admit it now – Kindle is a great invention.  A plethora of books in English are accessible with the tap of a finger to this eager reader living in a non-English-speaking country. Of course, I’d prefer the real thing — the book in my hands, my fingers turning the pages, underlining brilliant thoughts or beautifully expressed ideas. Then, when I finish the book, if I decide it’s a “keeper,” I’ll squeeze it onto a bulging bookshelf, or else pass it on to another eager English reader. Besides its accessibility, Kindle has the marvelous option that with another tap, the definition of an unwieldy word pops up. I’m reading more than ever: fiction and nonfiction, exploring authors new to me, recommended books, Pulitzer Prize winners, well-known authors I hadn’t read. I read not only for pleasure, but to learn more . . .

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John Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) English Language Fellow in Khabarovsk, Russia

John Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) is currently an English Language Fellow with the US State Department in Khabarovsk, Russia. He is living in Khabarovsk, the capital of the Far East, a city of about a quarter of a million people, and teaching at the Far Eastern State University of the Humanities. He believes he is the only American living in Khabarovsk. His fellowship program is run by Georgetown University and funded by the State Department. John writes, “The program salary is more than adequate and the teaching expectations are higher than if I were just on my own teaching privately. Diplomacy is required and I think my background in the Peace Corps has served me well. I have met other Fellows in other countries and some of them, too, are RPCVs.” There are today five English Language Fellow in Russia and while the risk is always there, none have been deported, though these . . .

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