Adventures in the Countryside, Part II: Climbing Things

A few weeks ago, our Russian friend decided to celebrate his birthday by taking us all out of town for a picnic.
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It was a pretty cloudy spring day, but that didn’t stop is from having a lot of fun. At some point I got roped into a game with a bunch of teenagers that involved passing a volleyball back at forth around a circle and if you messed up (which I did, frequently), you had to sit in the middle and dodge volleyballs being pelted at your head by excitable sixteen-year-olds. That was fun.

It was really, really windy, so our little fire required some serious protecting.
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And when various pieces of meat flew off the makeshift grill, I entertained myself by throwing them up in the air and watching the falcons swoop down and catch them. Which as silly as it sounds was ridiculously awesome and totally made my week.
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I roped Other English Teacher and our Inner Mongolian friend into hiking up the mountain with me. This required a lot of scrambling up giant rocks and precariously wedging ourselves into gaps in the boulders, and then at one point I misjudged a rock and started to slowly slide down the cliff face towards the 500 foot drop. But then Other English Teacher saved me and I’m fine, mom, really.
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The top was WINDY!
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And the view, as always, was lovely.
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We climbed down just in time to eat chicken and watch the sun set.
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In the spirit of more lovely views, Other English Teacher and I recently decided to attempt the really big mountain on the other side of the river as our last hiking expedition before he went home. We never actually made it to where we were trying to go–every time we got to what we thought was the top of the mountain, we realized we were standing on a smaller peak behind the actual mountain. But it was still gorgeous. And hot. And gorgeous. Whatever, have a lot of pictures.
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Stay tuned for the next episode of Kulturschock!, in which we commit genocide against geese.

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