BfR's 2005 Culture Eco-Ag Tour: Bryansk and Orel oblasts and the Caucasus

We have our "picnic" indoors at Natasha's dacha, return to Bryansk
and head toward Orel in the morning
Birds_Motifs_on_Barn Oleg_draws_water NatashaPicnic Natl_Park_Chapel Przhevalski_horse
If one looks carefully, two bird motifs can be recognized on the barn This is a "kolodets" or well where the water is drawn up by hand (in this case, aided by a boom). A "skvazhnya" has the assistance of a pump Oleg serves us at our indoor "picnic" at Natalya's dacha, on another evening too chilly for eating outside! We toasted to my dream of Americans learning from our Russian friends how to grow our family food ... En route to Orel, we stopped at this chapel in a National Park which had a sacred spring nearby with miraculous powers This Przhevalski horse was only one among many unusual animals in the zoo at the National Park. We also saw a yak, llamas, reindeer, and a wildebeest, as well as rare birds
Students of English, their teacher, and a college dean welcomed us to Orel and its architectural highlights
Orel_architecture Students_of_English Our_seminar StudentArtAtOrel _Orel Soviet_art_in_Orel
Orel's architecture ranks with the best! Our evening walk is guided by the dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University This charming student foursome and their English teacher accompanied us around town in exchange for language practice During a two-hour seminar at the university, VIOLA presented GROW BIOINTENSIVE to students and teachers in the natural sciences faculty. Romie and I also described Ecology Action's and our work, and a discussion was held It is difficult to avoid fine art in a Russian university. Here it is displayed on the walls in the natural sciences faculty! (The art department is nearby) A Soviet wall frieze in Orel depicts WWII partisans who heroically defended the homeland from the Nazis
From Orel, we journeyed 24 hours by train to Krasnodar, then in Volodya's
van via Maikop to the Caucasus!
KrasnodarBreakfast Maikop_mosque NikolaiGenia EkaterinaGardenHouse ArlineOnLadder
Our longtime partner Volodya Loginov met us at the station in Krasnodar before dawn, then drove us to a friend's apartment for breakfast. Here's Shoshana at table, Volodya behind her In Maikop, capital of Adygeya, we toured this magnificent mosque that had been financed by the Saudis. Adygeis are among the Circassian peoples Nikola, Ekaterina and Genia took good care of us for two nights at their Caucasus guest house. Here father and son pose with Mark in front of their woodpile Ekaterina showed Romie and me her bountiful garden and orchard, which helped her provide us with three delicious meals each day Arline climbs the ladder to the rooftop where we dried our clothes, while Dave keeps watch.
Our hike in the Caucasus and events illustrating ancient history were among the tour's highlights
TatyanaHorses PicnicInGorge Volodyas_friend_Anatoly Ancient_Dolmen Train_to_Sochi
Our Caucasus guide Tatyana presents us to one of her many horses. She gave a fine display of horsemanship which thrilled Arline, also a rider Tatyana led us on a hike into the mountains, then down into a steep gorge to see one of 14 waterfalls. Here we at last picnicked in the open air, being much further south In the evening around the fire, Volodya's friend Anatoly shows us his ancient artifacts from the surrounding region. Anatoly is an amateur archaeologist This prehistoric dolmen is one of a series set at some distance from one another; it is a sound chamber that may have been used for communication Our train journey were sometimes hot with no A/C, but offered the opportunity to see the countryside and catch up on our local author reading, e.g. Turgenev and Bunin!

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