Almost a full week in Krasnoyarsk flew by like just a couple of days – busy, busy, busy – with one or two presentations per day and a nice walk in the historic center of the city in the morning. This time, the Orthodox Diocese did not extend their blessing to my presentations, citing their circular letter which prohibited any gathering outside of the church calendar services due to another spike in COVID cases in the area. Evangelical churches, city libraries, professional (teachers’) groups, and private gatherings, however, easily filled my schedule.
There was absolutely no consistency in how those regulations were designed, applied, and enforced, however. One city museum was wide open, yet another one required a vaccination certificate. One coffee shop served everybody, and another one across the street required QR-codes. My presentation was held in the Central City Library one night with no questions asked, and I was not allowed in that same library just to check out a book the next morning without a negative test result. The loudspeaker on the bus and on the plane was constantly repeating the mask requirement, but nobody seemed to be paying much attention.
Back in Moscow, I dashed from the airport to the Railway Terminal. Then I was off to the city of Rostov Velikiy, where I taught a class at the Orthodox Gimnazia (Classical Education High School) last night and will be moving on to my three other cities in the Yaroslavl Region tomorrow. The students’ question and the whole discussion after the presentation were very deep and to the point. It seems their boarding school keeps them somewhat isolated from the world outside their walls (it is actually located inside the monastery).
My host family and everybody else are of course very agitated and nervous about the political and military tension between Russia and Ukraine. I am trying my best to stay away from those topics, but the tension is in the air. I might also have to change my last week’s teaching schedule and the return date due to a sudden death in my wife’s family. Please, keep me in your prayers.