The villages around Vytegra seemed to reflect Vytegra itself. While we visited the village that the poet Klyuev’s parents were buried in, I saw what I had expected Vytegra to look like. There were less than fifty buildings in the whole village. There was no school, only two grocery stores, and a library. Everything was rural. The only sign that it was a village in modern Russia and not one in Soviet Russia, were the satellite dishes adorning almost every house and an advanced pay phone.
The most pleasant surprise for me was the hospitality we were exposed to. In Vytegra, we were recipients of extreme warmth, kindness, and caring. I never expected that to be magnified in the village. We visited a resident named Viera’s house. When we got there, blinis were on the table, tea was brewing, and Viera was beaming. We sat down and just enjoyed each others' company for an hour or so. Viera, knowing the 8th of March was coming up, took time to personally address all of us girls. She wished us good luck in our futures, with our education, and in our love lives. The overall feeling of welcome was overwhelming. Though nothing exceptional happened, this was one of my favorite days on the trip. There was good food, great people, and lots of love.