Weekly Photo Challenge : Nostalgia in Zarya

Zarya Tynda Russia

Two years ago I took the Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia, and as part of the journey I made a detour on a parallel rail line called the Baikal-Amur Mainline (also known as the BAM).  The BAM took me to parts of Russia that few Western tourists will ever visit – in fact, in a week on the BAM I only encountered one other foreigner, who was from South Korea.  When I visited the biggest town along the BAM railway line, Tynda, I also had the opportunity to Zarya, which is is a nearby village home to an indigenous community of Evenki people.  I felt a little bit on edge during my visit as the community didn’t seem to get many visitors and most of the people I encountered were heavily under the influence of alcohol (even though it was mid-morning), but my fears were somewhat offset by this little dog, who stayed by my side the entire time I was walking through the community.  When I got home and saw the photos of the dilapidated rural village and the little German Shepherd pup, I was immediately reminded of a classic nostalgic TV show- The Littlest Hobo.  It was like I’d stepped right back from Zarya and into the classic 1980s children’s program.  Russia was full of surprises, and an unexpected canine companion was certainly one of them!

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