Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by fencerontheline, Apr 24, 2005.
Does anyone know anything about the living cost or cost of fencing in Belarus?
Given the nature of the government (rather repressive and autocratic) I'd avoid it unless you're working out of an embassy or getting really well paid.
The fact that they have clung to the Soviet-style centralization has led to rising cost of living but not to rising wages. The last I heard the poverty level over there was approaching 50%. From the sounds of it, it would not be a place that I would want to try. Most of the talented fencing coaches would have also most likely left for greener pastures. What's the nature of your interest over there? Planning a trip?
A good place to look for info on any country is the CIA Factbook. The link for Belarus is:
Actually, we have a very good coach from Belarus here in NJ -- great guy, and a good friend of mine -- please PM me if you want more info
Well, doesn't that further prove Cipher's point?
For a year, I was training under Sasha Romankov. He went to Belarus for shoulder surgery (he has the same surgeon as the president, and he doesn't pay). Anyhow, he's not coming back from Belarus, and now, I'm between a rock and a hard place, so far as coaching and training goes.
I'm quoting a website... but
I looked at the rent one would pay in Bellarus, and it looked like it was about 70$/month for a 2 bedroom appartment, 70cents for a monthly transportation pass, and food costs about 70$/month for a 4 person family.
Any thoughts now?
Make sure that those numbers are up to date. The cost of living is rising monthly over there. I'm not saying that those numbers aren't accurate, but it would be wise to correspond with someone over there. If it's possible try to correspond with the embassy in Minsk. Make sure that if you do go over there that you register with the embassy in case of an emergency. That country is basically a dictatorship and there are suspicions of human trafficking. I would also ensure that you are conversational in the language. I also wouldn't plan on much employment while I was there. From the sounds of the cost of living you should be abl to finance yourself from US based resources for quite a while though. If you do go over there I wish you the best of luck and hope for your safe return.
Personally, if it were me, I would just seek other coaching. If not within the US, then within a country that is a little more stable. Either way, bon chance.
Fencerontheline -- if I may make a couple of comments?
I've spend a bit of time in the FSSR -- about 3-4 months in total, but not recently than about 3-4 years ago, but spent mostly outside the usual spots of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
If you want to spend several months there training, think very seriously about it..
- Have you spent a significant period of time outside the US in a location where the people don't speak English as a native language? Was this in a lesser industrialized country, outside of the Western Europe?
- How well do you speak Russian?
Given the commitment, in my opinion you *could* spend the time there. But in my opinion, *don't*, unless you can set up a pretty comphrensive support system there.
Finding a good place to live there is going to be a pain. Having a local contact find a good place to live is what I would suggest.
Secondly, you'll want a guide for a couple of days who can help you through some of the necessary things like finding your way on and off through the public transport systems, checking out the local food stores, setting up for local medical care (since you're going to be fencing), arranging for the local gynasium to host you, etc etc.
You *will* get sick. Be prepared for that, hopefully it will pass in a day or two -- but I've known people who had to be airlifted back to the states from bad food, alone. You *will* have problems with bureaucracy. You *will* have financial problems.
Don't think you're just going to move to another city in the US.
Now -- having said that. *IF* you can set up a good support system before you go -- you can do OK. It's the sort of experience that you can treasure for life, and to my experience some of the friendliest people I've ever met were people in the FSSR. But it's not going to be cheap -- plan on spending just as much as you spent in the US on living, but in different ways. Quality food (like you find in the local US supermarket) is available, but 3-4x the US cost. Things like air freight and internet access are available, but 3-4x the US. etc ..
If you want to do this -- think it through, do your research, and go into it prepared, including both a return plan and some type of emergency reserves (including money and local contacts) just in case.
Dont leave brooklyn its nicer here I'll see ya this week.
I don't mean to hijack this thread but I took lessons from Sasha my last year in college. Despite the language barrier hampering communication, I found him to be a very nice man. FENCER ONTHELINE, do you have any more information about how he hurt his shoulder (other than the wear & tear of competing as an elite athlete) and if he had any plans of returning to Westchester to coach? Will he permanently stay in Belarus? Thank you.
somebody is going to fencing camp there this summer
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