Our International Coordinator from Vitebsk University came over to the hotel around 7:30 as my lecture was to start right off first thing in the morning. It was still semi-dark walking into the building, but the place was bustling with students, and had a commanding view of the city through large windows and with plenty of house plants scattered around -- also had a desk with phone occupied by a stern, matronly woman, whose function was apparently to eliminate the possibility of horseplay on the part of the students, not something you would see at an American university.
This lecture had 82 people in the room, by far the most to date, and went quite well, even though the university itself is not focused on organic. The international coordinator was quite enthusiastic, though, and spoke very good English, and at lunch in the VIP dining room was the only one so far to live up the warning in the briefing book and produce a bottle of vodka from which we made toasts into the early afternoon.
After that we started out to get a tour of the city that was going to include the Chagall museum, but apparently Denis wanted to get on the road, so we dropped off our coordinator off downtown and headed out of town for the 3 hour drive to the small city of Gorki, near the southwestern Russian frontier (as close as we got, I might add, to Chernobyl).
a bigger university, about 8500 students, plus commuters (whom they call “correspondence students”). We got there in the late afternoon, and this time, instead of staying in a hotel, we were put up in a dorm suite, each with our own room, and a small kitchen as well. I went for a long walk toward the downtown we had skirted on our way in, and found a fairly high end grocery store with a much better selection of goods than I had found previously. Bought some stuff for the fridge, and camped out in the dorm, reading and working on the lectures.