Friday, February 26, 2010 more ways than one

I have finally subcombed to the cold that has been going around. For the last two days, I have an awful cough, sore throat and cold. I've slept more in the last two days than I've slept in a long time. AND I have to leave early tomorrow morning for Norway. I'm going to take the Foreign Service Officer exam. If I pass I will then need to pass the oral exam as well. What does this mean? Well, it would simply mean that I change the type of position for work. I'm hoping that I can pass both parts and changes positions. I want to have more challenge in my work and by changing positions, I think that I'll find it. However, getting sick couldn't have happened at a worse time :( Oh, well. Such is life. I was hoping to see some of Oslo while I'm there, but with feeling how I feel, I doubt I'll see very much. But hopefully, I'll have some pictures that I can share. Until then!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


It feels like it has been snowing for days...oh, wait, it HAS been snowing for, well. Such is life in the Baltics. I will take snow over slush any day. Friday after my workout I headed over to the church and because the temperature was finally above freezing, there was snow melting and SLUSH...The natives have told me that when the weather gets warmer we'll be dealing with slush and puddles everywhere! Good thing I brought some galoshes! :) The interesting thing is that with as much snow and rain as Riga gets, you'd think the streets would be clean but the slush and puddles are dirty. I have to mop every day! Anxiously waiting for spring...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Carnivale 2010

Venezia, Italia...

The sights and delights of Venice during carnival! Let me just say..."Amazing"! I love the costumes that decorate such a beautiful city during carnival.

Adults and children dress up...some in elaborate masked costumes like those pictured or simple Halloween costumes. There is a merriment that just seeps into those within the city. 

The streets are covered in confetti that everyone is tossing into the air, as people in street clothes with a Venician mask obscuring part of their face walk along the cobblestone paths.

Venice is a beautiful city, with the canals, 118 marble bridges that connect the various islands together. The gelaterias that are found throughout the city and the incredible food!

Ah, bella I miss you already...

Arrividerci! (And I will see you again!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Winter in Latvia...and smiles...

As I was walking into work this morning, I couldn't help but smile...The reason? Well, Riga received a lot of snow and so the sidewalks are covered. When it is snowing, very few people are outside. Very few sidewalks have people clearing the snow while it is falling, but afterwards, there are people along the street clearing the snow. The reason for the smile? Today while I was walking in, I saw a lady in a fur coat, and a bright yellow safety vest over the fur coat, with a shovel in hand clearing the snow in front of a bus-stop. It was just such an incongruous site, that I had to smile.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Winter in Latvia

It was cold in Riga when I got on an airplane to go home for Christmas, so I knew that it would be cold when I got back. Little did I know that I'd be greeted with snow! Not only was I greeted with snow, but days and days of snow falling! It has made the city into a white wonderland (as you can see by the pictures). The funny thing is that it is actually warmer (or seems warmer) when it snows. On the days that it isn't snowing, the Nordic Wind comes blowing through Riga, making the noses and checks of the pedestrians red. I am wearing tons of layers to keep warm. My meals now consist of something hot, whether it be soup (a new recipe for soup that I created here), oatmeal or other heated dishes. But I'm dealing with the cold :^)