First Day of Class y'all!

By Aleckii
I want to take this opportunity first and foremost to wish everybody Happy Valentine’s Day.

I want to take this opportunity first and foremost to wish everybody Happy Valentine’s Day.

Anyway, my holiday to Europe was really great, and it took me quite awhile to recharge my energy, but I think I’m good and ready to go now.

This week, our classes started with TB rotation. Not too long ago Russia was enshrouded in a poor socioeconomic level and diseases such Pneumonia and TB were very common and almost most definitely fatal. For this reason alone, people tend to build hospitals to treat this disease far out away from the city. And for this reason also… our first week in class meant us having to TREK our way across treacherous, uncharted terrain, SKID our way across icy, snowy paths, HIKE across train treks and bridges, CROSS rivers and JOG through forest paths.

It almost sounds like the tagline to the new Indiana Jones movies.

Well, if you think I was joking, take a look at these pictures.

The journey with us groupmates started off with an early morning hike to the bus stop. It was really slippery, and walking was so much harder since the surface of the newly formed snow was as slippery as a piece of mirror. It kinds of give you a sense like you're skating yourself across a skating rink.

The bus arrived about 20 minutes after our wait.

Picked us up and about another 20 minutes later we arrived at the end stop. Which totally was a shady place. You're surrounded by gravel paths, wooden houses which seemed as though they've endured one winter too much and frankly, the place looked a little scary...

Onwards we walked along this tarred road, which then was crossed by a train rail track. We had either to choose to walk on an untarred walk path, which was as slippery as can be, or to hike along the train track, which was dangerous, since the rail track was still functional and very much in use, and at any moment's notice there may be trains coming from either directions!

As you can see, we chose the easy the rail track.

As we walked on, we could see on both sides little wooden cottages that were in a horrible condition- little farmhouses that otherwise in the summer months, are surrounded by plantation like potatoes and cabbages and different kinds of fruits.

There were even tales from the seniors that once in a while they take a break from their hike and pet the goats other farm animals on the way to the hospital.

However, the most worrying part of the journey was when we came across this bridge.

The bridge was continuous with the rail track, and if a train really did pass by on our way across it... I would really fear for our lives.

Because as you can see, less than 10 feet below us were icy cold water, from the Kursk River...

Me and Eddy were discussing what would happen had a train really chug its way across at the exact same time that we were crossing. He said he would rather lie flat on the tracks in the dead center, while I opted to just jump into the water!

There was a guy there, huddled up in warm blankets and catching fish on top of frozen ice.

After the bridge, the hospital was still NOT in sight!

We still had to hike across mountainous terrain.

And slide down little hills.

In this clip, which Johnny shot, the rest of my groupmates were already at the foot of the little hill, waiting for us. At the risk of falling flat on my ass, I took my time to slide down on my ass first, then walk the rest of the way across. Which was pretty effective!

It almost felt like the picture footages for the journey was enough to film for 2 sequels to an Indiana Jones movie (and then some)!

At long last, we arrived at the said hospital.

Well, the upside to this was that the professor we have for the subject is extremely nice! He's probably 70 years old, speaks very good english, and is obviously very experienced in the subject. And I think we're going to learn a lot this two weeks with him.

Anyway, it only took me typing out this post to realize this- I'm in my 5th year 2nd Semester, which means only 3 more semesters and one and half year more- and I'm graduating. Wow, how exciting!

8 comments so far.

  1. lynnx01 February 13, 2008 at 6:12 PM
    Whoa! It really was a journey to take. I think in Msia, TB hospitals are either non-existent or obsolete. But it's still a famous exam question. Hahaha.. I think 'cos of the re-emergence, thanks to HIV.
  2. Annelie February 13, 2008 at 6:51 PM
    That is exciting. Not that far to go.

    What a terrible long way to walk to get to the hospital. It's all about location, location, location, but obviously not for the ones that built the hospital.

    How did you put a youtube video on your page? I still haven't figure out how you do it.

  3. Bengbeng February 14, 2008 at 6:00 AM
    great to read yr so interesting...ths time around i went through more stuff..some super heavy duty sight seeing u r enjoying :) i hope u dont mind i add u to my blog roll..easier for me
  4. Sweetiepie February 14, 2008 at 3:53 PM
    This is very interesting!Cool isn't it?sliding down on the little hill.kekeke
  5. texas_sweetie February 16, 2008 at 6:43 AM
    pretty cool snowy pictures.I always love the snow but we don't get much here in Texas...
  6. Ah-Bong February 16, 2008 at 6:47 AM
    tat is... horrorr...

    imagine u have ur class till 7pm... and walking back from that TB hospital... and and and all those.. scenes from movies... u know... scary movies... HAHAHHA :D

    but i think it's fun nonetheless. EHHE
  7. Katney February 16, 2008 at 5:23 PM
    Whenever I visit your blog on Photo Hunt I alwyas have to go and look up again where Kursk is. The pictures bring back images of our trip to Russia ten years ago, and we were not in the same area at all. The closest we were to you was Moscow and our trip took us far to the east. Your hike to your first day of class took you a long way and through some areas that look like any town in Russia. I say that even though our visit was during the longest days of summer and there was certainly no snow to be seen.
  8. Trinity February 18, 2008 at 8:52 PM
    Once I think it will be great if my son can go there to study as well..but now, I am all worried to see how tough journey you have to face to get the hospital!! Oh dear.. oh dear... scary...

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