Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Events of Yesterday

As you all know, two bombings occurred today in the Moscow metro -- one at "Лубянка" (Lubyanka) station and one at "Парк Культури" (Park Culturi).  Both happened within 30 minutes of each other--one around 8:00 a.m. and one around 8:30-8:45 a.m.  38 are dead, around 65 are injured

While trying not to co-op on other people's pain, Beth and I have never been closer to an attack like this than today.  We have come to regard this city as our home, and we share the pain of the citizens of Moscow.  We grieve with our friends here.  We fear with them.  These are just random places, these are places that we know and travel to often.

Our new language teacher, Irina, who has tutored for our company for years, her husband was injured in an explosion.  He is out of surgery and still has not regained consciousness as far as we know.  Please keep their family in your prayers.

As you probably noticed in an earlier post, Beth and I love the metro.  We don't give taking it a second thought.  It's just something that we do to get around Moscow.  But now there is this intense fear and apprehension with going near a station.  In reality, we are probably just as safe as we were the day before the attacks, but our emotions tell us otherwise.  Although we have to just live life normally, internally we feel at a stand still.

Please keep the families of the victims and injured in your prayers.  People are shaken all over Moscow-- a cashier I spoke through at the grocery store said it was "как кошмар" -- "like a nightmare."  If nothing else, we hope this time will be a reflection in all of our lives about what really matters-- and a reminder of how fleeting life is.  May we make every breath count.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Moscow Metro Explosions

Women suicide bombers kill dozens in Moscow Metro attacks - Times Online

At least 34 people were killed and dozens more injured when female suicide bombers attacked two Moscow metro stations at the height of rush hour this morning.
The first blast came at the Lubyanka station in central Moscow at 0756 (0356 GMT) killing 22 people.
The headquarters of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), successor to the Soviet-era KGB, is located above the station which is just yards away the Kremlin.
Around 45 minutes later at 0838 (0438 GMT) the second explosion happened at Park Kultury station, killing at least 12 more people. "There are killed and injured," a security source said.
The blasts were caused by two women wearing belts packed with explosives, Moscow's chief prosecutor Yuri Syomin told reporters.
Surveillance camera footage posted on the Interbet showed motionless bodies lying in Lubyanka station lobby and emergency workers treating victims.
Passengers, many of them in tears, streamed out of the station, one man exclaiming over and over "This is how we live!"
No group immediately took responsibility for the blasts, but suspicion is likely to fall on Chechen militants and other groups from Russia's North Caucasus, where Russia is fighting a growing Islamist insurgency.
Russian emergencies ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said the first explosion happened as a metro train stopped at the Lubyanka station that was packed with peak hour commuters.
"The blast hit the second carriage of a metro train that stopped at Lubyanka," she said. Commuters were killed both on the platform and in the carriage and at least 10 people were wounded, she said.
The second blast also took place in a train carriage while it was stationary at the platform, she added.
The twin attacks practically paralysed movement on the city's main roads, as emergency vehicles sped to the stations. Helicopters hovered over the Park Kultury station area, which is next to the city's renowned Gorky Park.

Security sources told the state Interfax news agency the blast could have been caused by a suicide bomber. Authorities have opened a criminal investigation into terrorism, a spokesman of the investigative committee of prosecutors said.
Over the last decade the Russian capital has been hit by a string of deadly explosions claimed by Chechen militants.
The last fatal attack on the Moscow underground was in 2004. That attack, which killed 39 people and wounded another 150, was claimed by Chechen terrorists
The Moscow subway system is one of the world's busiest, carrying around 7 million passengers on an average workday, and is a key element in running the sprawling city.
Recent attacks in Russia
1994-1996 - Tens of thousands of people are killed in the first Chechen war.
June 1995 - Chechen rebels seize hundreds of hostages in a hospital in the southern Russian town of Budennovsk. More than 100 people are killed during the rebel assault and a botched Russian commando raid.
Jan 1996 - Chechen fighters take hundreds hostage in a hospital at Kizlyar in Dagestan, then move them by bus to Pervomaiskoye on the Chechen border. Most rebels escape but many hostages are killed when Russian forces attempt a rescue.
Sept 1999 - Bombs destroy apartment blocks in Moscow, Buynaksk and Volgodonsk. More than 200 people are killed. Moscow blames Chechens who in turn blame Russian secret services.
Aug-Sept 1999 - Hundreds of Russian soldiers killed battling Chechen militants in the mountains of Dagestan. The second Chechen war begins and Russia bombs Chechnya. Tens of thousands are killed in the war. Russia re-establishes direct rule in 2000.
Oct 23-26, 2002 - 129 hostages and 41 Chechen guerrillas are killed when Russian troops storm a Moscow theatre where rebels had taken 700 people captive three days earlier. Most of the hostages are killed by gas used to knock out the Chechens.
July 5, 2003 - Two women suicide bombers kill 15 other people when they blow themselves up at an open-air rock festival at Moscow's Tushino airfield. Sixty are injured.
Aug 1, 2003 - A suicide bomber driving a truck packed with explosives blows up a military hospital at Mozdok in North Ossetia bordering Chechnya. The blast kills at least 50.
Dec 5, 2003 - An explosion tears through a morning commuter train just outside Yessentuki station in Russia's southern fringe. Forty-six people are killed and 160 injured.
Dec 9, 2003 - A suicide bomber kills five other people near the Kremlin. At least 13 people are wounded.
Feb 6, 2004 - A suicide bombing kills at least 39 people and wounds more than 100 on an underground train in Moscow.
May 9, 2004 - Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov is killed in a bomb blast in Grozny.
June 22, 2004 - Rebels seize an interior ministry building in Ingushetia, near Chechnya, and attack other points in lightning attacks. At least 92 people are killed including the acting regional interior minister, Abukar Kostoyev.
Aug 24, 2004 - Two Russian passenger planes are blown up almost simultaneously, killing 90 people. One Tu-134, flying to Volgograd, goes down south of Moscow. Moments later a Tu-154 bound for Sochi crashes near Rostov-on-Don.
Aug 31, 2004 - A suicide bomb attack in central Moscow kills 10 people and injures 51.
Sept 1-3, 2004 - 331 hostages - half of them children - die in a chaotic storming of School No.1 in Beslan, after it is seized by rebels demanding Chechen independence.
Oct 13, 2005 - Up to 100 rebels attack key security points in Nalchik, main city of the Muslim Kabardino-Balkaria region. Twelve local residents are killed as well as 12 police. Twenty fighters are killed and 12 are seized by security forces.
Feb 10, 2006 - Seven Russian policemen and 12 gunmen are killed when special forces storm houses to fight rebels holed up in a village in the Stavropol region of southern Russia.
Aug 21, 2006 - A bomb kills 10 people in a Moscow suburban market.
April 27, 2007 - A Russian helicopter is shot down in Chechnya, killing 18 people.
Aug 13, 2007 - A bomb derails the Nevsky Express between Moscow and St Petersburg, injuring 60 people.
Aug 31, 2007 - A bomb on a bus in the Southern Russian city of Togliatti kills eight and injures 50 during the rush hour.
June 22, 2009 - Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov is seriously injured when a suicide bomber detonates explosives beside his car. He later recovers and returns to work.
Aug 17, 2009 - A suicide bomber drives a truck into the gates of the main police station in Nazran, the largest city in Ingushetia, killing 20 people and wounding 138 others.
Nov 27, 2009 - A bomb blast derails the Nevsky Express with about 700 people on board. At least 26 people are killed and 100 injured.
Jan 6, 2010 - At least seven policemen are killed and 20 more injured in Dagestan when a suicide bomber detonates a car packed with explosives at a traffic police depot.
March 29, 2010 - At least two blasts strike Moscow metro stations during rush hour, killing 34 people and wounding 18.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

we’re finding everyday several ways that we can be friends

“we get up early just to start cranking the generator
our limbs have been asleep
we need to get the blood back in them
we’re finding everyday
several ways that we can be friends
we keep on churning
and the lights inside the house turn on
and in our native language
we are chanting ancient songs
and when we quiet down,
the house chants on without us”

Freelance Whales - "Generator 1st Floor"

(Thanks Meredith!!)

"Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" Trailer

I had never heard of this movie before seeing the trailer.  This director is responsible for both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, so I've got high hopes.

Baby Shower в Москве!

Beth and I are much more blessed than we deserve.  Our amazing friends gave us a baby shower last night (hosted by Andrea with assistance from Charlotte, Mary Louise, and Lori).  It was a wonderful evening!

Friday, March 26, 2010


A few nights ago I dreamt I was pregnant.  In this strange world of my dream every few I days would switch with Beth.  It was this odd system we had set up and we knew that every few days it was then time for the other person to "be pregnant."

And I was thinking, that's what is so odd about dreams--not just that anything can happen, but most of the time it happens without question. I never once wondered "what is going on here?? How on earth am I pregnant??"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'd Tap That

A while back, during the PYF Challenge, I wrote a blog on Tap vs. Bottled Water.  Tap clearly and soundly won.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March: The Great Thaw

It's so hard to believe it's already March.  Beth and I are nearing our one year anniversary of our arrival here in Moscow (April 18, 2009).  It's hard to believe it's already been that long--it feels as if we just arrived here only a few months ago.

Since returning from Germany as I mentioned before, we've been able to get back into the swing of life here. Things have been going really well, and we've definitely been busy with multiple events and items on our plate. We've been able to resume everything as planned, and have been able to use these different events (Alpha Course, Movie Night, etc.) to really continue friendships and make new relationships here in Moscow.  We are so blessed to have an incredible family of friends here in Moscow.

As for Beth and her upcoming delivery (she just started her third trimester today!), we have found a great hospital to give birth--and it's just about a 30 minute walk from our apartment.  It's actually the one place Beth's doctor recommended, and we also have a friend who is studying to become an obstetrician who has friends who work there.  She too recommended this particular place, and is going to give Beth a tour in the coming weeks.  It seems like every question and worry we've had is slowly being answered over time, and working out better than we could have expected!

Beth is going to make a visa run around mid-April, and was given approval to make a trip to the U.S.  Around April 10 or so she's going to be back in the states for around a week.  I'm sure she'd love to see you-- so get in touch with her about meeting up if it's possible!  As for me, it'll be business as usual in Moscow.  I'm definitely bummed I won't be able to see friends and family with Beth (and if we're completely honest, eat at Chik-Fil-a, among other missed restaurants), but I'm so happy she can take the trip and get spoiled a little.  After walking miles in ice every day, she deserves it!

As for life here in Moscow-- things have begun to kind of thaw out.  Winter is still over a month away from ending, but since last week things have begun to warm up (and by warm up I mean temperatures have rose to slightly above freezing) and the snow and ice have begun to melt.  While that's a good thing because it gives us something to look forward to, all that snow melting can make things a little messy.  Now we're walking around in brown slush, tracking mud everywhere.  It's kind of disgusting.

Here are some amusing photos we've taken, right after the intense blizzard that came through here a couple weekends ago.

There's a bench in there somewhere.

It's very easy to tell which cars have been used recently...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Trip to the Винзавод!

Over the weekend Beth and I met up with Mary Louise and a friend of hers to visit an art gallery called "Винзавод."  The name actually means "wine factory" in Russian, and that's exactly what the location was in the past.  Recently the buildings were renovated and are now different art galleries showcasing all sorts of paintings, photographs, gifts, and so on.  It's an interesting place to visit, and like most truly interesting places here in Moscow, they're a little difficult to find.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"This Too Shall Pass"

I have to admit, even though their song and music video "Here It Goes Again" was pretty great, I've never been a big fan of Ok Go.  It's nothing personal.  So when I heard that they had a new album out, I didn't really pay any attention to it.

But, thanks to my friend Meredith, I was shown this INCREDIBLE new music video of theirs.  I love RGM videos!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"You have two things:

"A mind and other people.  Start with those, and change the world."

Monday, March 1, 2010