This week I endured over 17 hours traveling from Madrid to Moscow (5 hours) to Vladivostok, Russia (+8 hours) to begin my summer job. The owners of the school, Yulia and Sergei, met me at the airport and drove me 3 more hours to Nakhodka where the school is. I didn’t sleep during the flight, so I was barely able to stay awake by the time they got me to my new apartment. I slept from about 6:30p to 8am.
The next day I saw the school and have copies of the teaching materials. I’ve been reviewing the materials and will have time to write lesson plans before classes start Wednesday, July 1.
So far, everything is just perfect! My compact apartment is fully furnished and Yulia and the teachers even stocked the kitchen with some basic items, then took me to the grocery store the next day. I am the first native speaker they have had at the school and they are really going out of their way to make me feel welcome and comfortable.
Last night, the teachers took me walking along the Pacific ocean.
Nakhodka is a port city, built on a huge bay in the Sea of Japan. Here’s what Wikipedia says about the city:
“Nakhodka (Russian: Находка; IPA: [nɐˈxotkə]) is a port city in Primorsky Krai, Russia, located on the Trudny Peninsula jutting into the Nakhodka Bay of the Sea of Japan, about 85 kilometers (53 mi) east of Vladivostok, the administrative center of the krai. Population: 159,719 (2010 Census).
The Nakhodka Bay, around which the city is organized, was found in 1859 by the Russian corvette Amerika, which sought shelter in the bay during a storm. In honor of this occasion, the ice-free and relatively calm bay was named Nakhodka, which in Russian means “discovery” or “lucky find”.
Nakhodka has one of the mildest climates in Primorsky Krai and in the whole of the Asian part of Russia thanks to its southerly location and oceanic influences from the Sea of Japan. Average temperature in January is −9.3 °C (15.3 °F); in August (the warmest month), it is +20.6 °C (69.1 °F).
Nakhodka is also an important transport junction where goods from Japan are transferred from ships onto the Russian railway system, including the Trans-Siberian Railway portion of the Eurasian Land Bridge.