Orientation just finished this morning and I am leaving in less than thirty minutes for the airport. The orientation was well put together and very informative. It covered everything from host families, to drinking, to linguistic gain, to cultural perspectives. Through the Orientation I learned that I tested to an Intermediate-Low on a linguistic scale. I have decided to aim for a 2/2+ during the course of my stay. By comparrison, a low class city person in a large city may only tests to about 1+/2 in their native language. A 3 is what the government wants for work purposes. So it is good to have set various goals.
It appears that I will live close to the center of town. I will live in a 1930s apartment with no washing machine. Which I assume is more rustic/Russian.
The trip to Germany today is roughly 8 hours. The trip to Moscow is about 2.5 hours and the car ride to Vladimir can vary from 2.5-6 hours. So I have a long haul ahead of me.
I will write more on the orientation later. Poka!