Thursday last we visited friends of Tanya’s, Pyotr and Natalie, that she had not seen for 15 years. Pyotr was the director of a state farm where Tanya worked for a year after she graduated from University. Pyotr, his son and another man have a 250 sow-farrow to finish pig operation. They slaughter market weight pigs and sell frozen sides of pork. They are renovating rented facilities and building new barns too. Expansion is difficult as they cannot access large loans easily and have to compete with giant corporations which are wired in solidly to the establishment.
Saturday we had supper with our friends Sergei and his wife Tanya. They are in their early 30’s and have two young sons. We have known them since I was first in Abakan in 2006. Sergei was our tour guide and translator for several days when we met with agriculture officials in a number of centres. Both speak fluent English. Sergei did a master’s degree in Boston some years back. He has an English school in Abakan called The Boston Club with seven levels of instruction taking up to 3½ years. It is swamped with students and they do not dare advertise even though he has several staff.
|Tanya, Sergei and Al|
Viktor was showing me books about the 90 year history of Askis and the militsia as police are called in Russian. There are 150 (should be 200 at full strength) police for 50,000 residents of Askis Raion and 2500 police for about 550,000 people in all of Khakasia (62,000 sq km). That is roughly one policeman for each 200-250 people. There were pictures of them marching carrying fully automatic assault rifles. As one defines crime, so one defines crime prevention, I guess.
|Tanya and Elena|
|Tanya and Tonya|