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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2003, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Remember Chernobyl?

Hello folks,

Well, I just got back from a work trip to the country of Belarus, formerly called Belurussia when it was still part of the Soviet Union, prior to '91. I stayed in a city in southern Belarus called Gomel, which is about 80 miles from where the disaterous Chernobyl nuclear plant blew up back in '86, (about 70% of the radioactive Iodine cloud from the Chernobyl fire fell on Gomel and southern Belarus). Its amazing that there are so many illnesses and people dying almost 20 years later, thyroid cancer, breathing problems, poor eyesight, etc, etc. It was quite an experience to have been there, I stayed in the nicest hotel in a city of 600K people, and there was no hot water, they turn it off in the summer months to save money, imagine that? The average monthly wage there is around $100 USD. The fumes in and around the streets were enough to make your eyes water, as they are still burning leaded gas, and every car has a trail of black smoke following it...it was disgusting.
Its amazing that Gorbachev tried to hide the disaster from the rest of the world for several days, and the plant burned for almost two weeks....it was first noticed by a nuclear plant in sweden, 800 miles away, where their radioactivity sensors started going off, from what the wind blew their way.
Anyhow, for me, it was definitely an eye opening trip, and really makes me appreciate life in North America. Most of us have no idea how good we have it.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2003, 05:29 PM
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Re: Remember Chernobyl?

I know they aren't The Former Soviet Union, but spend some time in rural Mexico or even some of the larger cities in MEx and even Kuwait and you will learn to appreciate what we have.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2003, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Remember Chernobyl?

Yeah, I hear ya, our company actually does a lot of work in Mexico, and although I haven't been down there yet myself, the three other techs I work with have all gotten very sick in Mexico, sometimes more than once. A couple of the guys carry "special" pink pills with them now, just for that purpose, they come in handy when you're in a country where the food will make your colon turn inside out [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img].
As for Kuwait, well, I'll probably never get there, but you never know, we have a scheduled trip for Iran in the next few months, we just don't know who's going yet. Maybe me, maybe not.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2003, 07:49 PM
 
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Re: Remember Chernobyl?

I have yet to see any truly poor areas - I've only seen relatively nice places. Perspective can be gained by seeing things that make you think. I hope that one day I can see more of the world - Canada, the Northwest States (and Alaska), Japan and Western Europe - that's what I've seen (so far). A person's not a true traveler until they've seen the non-tourist-friendly places.

You're a lucky guy to get to travel with work and see the world.
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