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October 6, 2002

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It sounds unlikely, but we spent the day with Indian students who learn Russian to attend medical school in Kazakhstan. We joined a school field trip and rode a bus through a deep gorge, over a mountain pass, to the shores of Lake Bolshoe Almatinskoe. We hiked around its turquoise waters, clung to a crumbling trail and splashed through a glacial river.
They're a shy group, can you tell?
At this singing picnic everyone sang a national song - some sang Kazakh, others Russian, of course a few Hindi tunes, and we sang "American Pie,' 'New York, New York,' and 'Hotel California.'
From our new friends we learned a little more Russian, enough to start and end a conversation. No idea how our accent sounds, but it can't be good, or even intelligible by the looks of fluent Russian speakers.