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Day 5

We woke up to a beautiful sunny day, had breakfast, then loaded on the bus to travel to Blue Lake. It's near a town known for growing a lot of cucumbers, there is even a monument of a pail and giant cucumber in the town square. Pickles anyone? (The men and older boys went earlier to chop the wood, make the fire and set up the BBQ stakes.) The bus turned onto a dirt road with deep ruts. We rocked and bounced deep into the forest to our picnic site. We unloaded, played games, and breathed in the fresh air. After awhile we broke into 4 teams and ran through the woods doing primitive man survival tasks like singing songs about friendship, seeing how fast we could put on a gas mask and suit (very old), give first aid, climb ropes, and shoot balloons. It was a lot of fun. The best part was coming back to our picnic site and finding plates of shesliek (russian shihkebob)first course was chicken and the next round was pork. We also had potatoes, tomatoes, rye bread and pickles. Yummy. After lunch we went down to the lake for plavits (swimming). Great fun. The lake was cold, but refreshing. After swimming we sang Russian folk songs and sat in the sun. It was like being at a family reunion. At 6pm we loaded tired, happy, full, sleepy children and adults into the bus and rocked home. Great fun was had by all.