I am now in exotic Norio. I have a lot to say about it, but I will try to meter things out over the next few days. This will create the illusion of more content in this blog.
Although I have internet access, there is no wifi. I am writing this on the wired family desktop. This means, first of all, that I have not figured out how to get pictures on here. I’m working on it. Second, I haven’t figured out how to skype yet. So if you want to skype with me, it might be a while.
Anyway, I’m living in a large rural villa. My host family has been welcoming. My host mother is the principal of the village school. She speaks very little English. The first thing she said to me when we met was “Do you speak Russian?” After I said no, we had a long car ride mostly in silence. Her husband is not around much. He works in forestry (whatever that entails here). They have two sons in their late twenties. They live here, but are also not around much. There is a twenty-year-old daughter. She doesn’t live in the house anymore because she recently got married, but she and her husband visit often. The grandmother and grandfather live here too (whose parents they are, I don’t know). They seem to be the most enthusiastic about my being here, and the grandfather constantly invites me to drink with him. Next door lives a woman (I don’t know if she’s married or not) and her two children, a boy of sixteen and a girl of fifteen. Again, I don’t know exactly what the family relations are, but those children are the second cousins of the children of this house (so they share some great-grandparents).
I’ll have more later, including details on the school and pictures. For now, since you’re all wondering, there is toilet paper in the squat toilet, and using that toilet is not a big deal at all. This is something of a letdown.