I don’t suppose you can tell from this photo, but…

IT’S RAINING AND NOT SNOWING! Recently I was wishing for rain. A funny thing to wish for when there isn’t a drought, but I’m so tired of winter that rain is a welcome change. Ura!

Today I saw something I’ve never seen before: zakalavanie. Russians believe that there is some health benefit to spraying yourself with cold water on a regular basis, something about strengthening your immune system by adapting your body to temperature shocks. Why they think this is good, but that a child will die if it gets wet in the rain, I don’t know.

I see the zakalavanie fountain at our kindergarten every time I take the class to physical education class, and several of our kids undergo zakalavanie several times a week, but I had never seen the thing in action until today.

The fountain is a hollow rectangle with smooth stones at the bottom, and they turn on these squirters and the kids walk around on the stones and get cold water sprayed on their ankles. Walking on the stones is supposed to be good for the arches as well. If it sounds all nice and Japanese and Zen with the fountain and the smooth stones and all, it’s not really. The fountain is old and very Soviet-looking with its chipped tiles. But it was interesting anyway.