Saturday, June 28, 2014

Going to School in Goritsy

We were making our way to the next port of Goritsy. This barge was being loaded with sand and transported to locations closer to Moscow.

Lots of little boat houses...many people fish both for sport and food.

Passing by an old monastery or group of churches...

For some reason, I took no photos whatsoever of the pier area when we landed in Goritsy. I guess nothing caught my eye. Instead of visiting another monastery for a two hour walking tour, which most people were doing, we chose to go visit a local school. About now, we were feeling pretty churched out.

Goritsy is a peaceful farming town and a typical Russian village. Some of the houses we passed on the way to the school...

Our guide was explaining how the rolling hills are typical for that area. It reminded me a lot of New Brunswick, complete with the bad roads.

This style of house was typical for the area...

The school was in the town of Kirillov...this might have been an apartment building.

And another one...the town didn't look too prosperous.

The grocery store...

This house had a lot of windows with pretty woodwork...

We arrived at the school, where we met Katia, the student who would be showing us the school. The school has students aged 7-18 and there are currently 740 students with 51 teachers. Katia's English was very good. We learned that the school year is September 1 to May 30. She came in to meet us on her summer vacation.

Because of the declining population, they have combined the schools, so that elementary, secondary and senior students all attend this school. The younger children attend school in the afternoon. Many students go to university in Moscow after graduating, and do not return. Most children have laptops at home and are given a list of books that they must read over the summer. Second language options include English, German and French. Although many study English and can read and write, few can speak it.

Photos of the top athletes over the years...

Teachers who were killed in WWII...

One of the classrooms...very neat and tidy, but with little character, maybe because it's the summer.

The teachers’ lounge...

We sat in a classroom, which almost seemed like a museum of old audio-visual equipment.

Katia answering our questions...

Here we are in the art class with our guide demonstrating some of the items they make. These two-in-one dolls were really neat. If you turn them upside and fold the dress down, it was a totally different doll.

Two other students came in. He played accordion and she sang a traditional song. Another student recited a poem in English.

Some of the artwork...

Samples of the items they had for sale...most people bought something to support the school.

My purchase...a little matryoshka doll in a frame for 350 rubles, about $10. It has the name of the town, Kirillov, on it.

From the school, we left to visit a restoration business. The government is working to establish businesses in the outlying areas to provide work. More than 300 enterprises have been started in an attempt to lower the unemployment rate.

This was the van we were using, so you can see how many of us chose this tour.

Some of the materials that are being used in the restoration of old wooden houses...

This is one of the projects apprentices would have to complete to show they have the skills necessary to work on the buildings. I thought it was really neat how all the boards of the roof fit into this log, which also provides an eaves trough. Sixty people are employed here and 4 or 5 are apprentices.

This building has been brought here to be restored. It’s been taken apart piece by piece, and the metal strips have numbers that show the order in which it will go back together.

Part of the facade of the building they are restoring...

Their shop was almost like a little antique museum in itself...

Anyone know what this is? Me either, but it looked interesting...

Inside their shop they had photos of the places they have restored...

I'm hoping this is a "before" picture!

It was a Saturday, so no one was working, but we were free to look around. They work mostly with the tools of the era of the building they are working on. They had 160 axes dating from the 13th century to present time.


One of the buildings for storing wood, all very neat and tidy...

Back in the van again, it was time to head back to the ship. This is the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery that the other tours went to visit. It used to be the largest monastery in northern Russia. In 1917, it became state property and was turned into a museum.

Our guide passed around some photos showing some of the things they do in the winter for entertainment...

Snow sculptures...


Ice fishing...

A more modern way of getting around...

We passed this house with pretty fretwork...all of the homes are limited to 2-3 storeys.

And with that, our three hour stop was over and it was time to sail on.

We were told we'd be passing by the Nativity Church of Krokhino, which was built in 1790 at the water's edge. The water level in the river system has been raised to guarantee depth for ships, and villages and their whole history are now underwater. The inhabitants of the affected areas disassembled their houses and moved away. Only the churches remained on the deserted land. This is a photo of the church in 1909...

 And this is what remains today...


The topography had changed due to the higher water levels...


This was taken at 11:00 p.m. You can see how light it still is...

This was about as much sunset as we were seeing...


Taken at 2:40 a.m. and not by me. Jim actually looks out the window when he gets up in the middle of the night. I've been wearing an eye mask to try to pretend it's dark.

Tomorrow, we will be in Kizhi...


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