1. fairytale-wanderlust said: hey i just stumbled across your tumblr and I'm going to volunteer in South Africa with WildlifeACT in July, so excited. Did you enjoy your trip? how long were you there for?

    You should be excited! I definitely enjoyed my trip, even more so now than I did when I was there. Like I described in a couple of posts, the days can be long, tedious, and outright uneventful, but even when you’re sitting there brooding about the lack of action, you can’t deny the awesomeness of what’s around you and the unique opportunity you have to be right in the middle of it in its stillness. It makes those exciting moments even more worth it. I stayed for a month.

     
  2. Hot Coca-Cola. Come and get your hot coke!

    They sold this on Central Street shortly before the Ice and Snow Festival began. I seldom drink soda, so the only thing compelling me to try this out was merely its novelty. It honestly tasted okay, much like hot orange juice; however, unlike the hot orange juice, I wasn’t drawn to a second cup of hot coke for its potential health benefits (or any other reason for that matter).

     
  3. Though I missed the beginning of the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival at the end of January into the beginning of February, people nearby were still setting off fireworks when I got back. I captured this video from my apartment window.

     
     
  4. darning-socks:

    morning routine.png

    GPOY now that I’m back in Harbin … ‘cause of the cold, though.

    (via ineffable-alice)

     

  5. Back in Shanghai

    This was the first place I landed in China when I first traveled here back in September. It was my first time in a foreign country, ever. I tried to be acutely aware of my surroundings, while also disguising my confusion with the airport layout, the check in process, and security.

    This time was much different.

    I felt much more confident navigating the terrain and even braving conversation with the check-in clerk.

    When I made it through the security checkpoint and found my departure gate, I came across this couple documenting (quite professionally) their experience at the airport. They took turns standing on the moving sidewalk while the other took pictures.

    image

    I sent this to Safia with the caption: This could be us, but you playin’.

     

  6. The Aeroflot flight attendant was having a difficult time communicating to the Chinese passengers various things, especially which meals were offered. So she resorted to acting out the animal whose meat was in the dish.

    She flapped her arms like a chicken and did a funky little waving motion with her hand like a swimming fish.

    I don’t think anyone understood her. For the family sitting on my row, I just translated it for her: 肌肉或者鱼.

     

  7. All That Needs to Be Said About My Stay at the Moscow Airport

    I couldn’t find an ATM that would allow me to withdraw money from my China Construction Bank account, so I dipped into my backup stash of RMB. I reserved a tiny portion for emergency use once I landed in Shanghai/Harbin in the off chance that my account was frozen from withdrawing money internationally when I was in South Africa. The amount that I did cough up at the currency exchange counter generated what I thought was a reasonable sum in rubles. This turned out to be a major farce; even though I had upwards of 500/600 rubles, most of the prices in the airport were listed in Euro. For anyone that knows the current strength of the ruble compared with other major currencies like the USD or Euro, it is weak!!

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  8. 15 Hour Layover in Moscow

     

  9. That Espresso Game Too Strong

    [nudges side] “Get it.”

     
  10. Part 3.