a summer blip in winter: the landsisters

Word has traveled from Moscow to our sleepy town via emigrated relatives of my Armenian friends: THE BIG FREEZE IS COMING.  Apparently, when Moscow freezes over, the same icy hand reaches out to our town in about three days.

This comes to me as a bit of a surprise.  You know what I was doing a couple of days ago? I was with my landdad, moving the nardi board into the house because the sun was beating down too hard.  (I was wearing a t-shirt.) And then I was hanging out with my landsisters on the terrace.  Meri and I built a car out of blocks my mom brought from the States.  We rolled it down a carpet my landmom left in the sun to air out.

In the game, I took on the roll of simple fool, dropping the car down the carpet and watching it crash and fall to pieces.  Meri took the roll of exasperated mother, skipping the now-is-that-the-smartest-thing-to-do’s and going straight for the this-horrid-child-is-killing-me’s, slapping her palm against her forehead and collapsing to the ground.

She did get over her feigned exasperation eventually.

Her sister Greta found me later while I was reading Timbuktu, lying on a bench under the leafless tree by my cottage.  She proceeded to build a fake barbeque by my head.

I love having landsisters.


  1. Lovely photos!

    Such interesting language — “landmom” and “landsisters”. I’ve never heard that before, although I’m assuming it’s Peace Corps lingo.

  2. Thanks! And the lingo… it’s kind of strange way I’ve come to refer to my landfamily in conversation. We’re required to live with a host family for four months and then we have the option to move. So I moved and this family is my landlord’s family in whose garden I live. So when I refer to them I feel like host dad, host mom (those are the normal terms for host family members), they don’t feel right… and landlord’s daughter just don’t seem close enough. So I call them my land family. Sorry if it’s confusing!

  3. […] and before I knew it I’d already talked about Privolnoye and my World Vision crew and Meri and Greta and sights and sounds and tastes and dreams I have about returning to that […]

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