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camino tranquillo

One of 4 illustrations for The Rumpus post, Journalists Invade Former Soviet Union.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Synopsis: It’s 1998. A California woman, a college senior, is working as an intern at the San Diego Union-Tribune. She spots a flyer in the lobby: REPORTERS NEEDED IN FORMER USSR. She decides to embark on a great adventure.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

I was a California native who had spent the last four years in sunny, self-absorbed Southern California. I was tall and athletic with a perpetual smile. I rode my bike or rollerblades everywhere, worked as a waitress at a bakery restaurant, and went for runs on the beach.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I lived on a street with a Spanish name that translated to “quiet road” and survived on frozen yogurt and bagels. The former USSR was about as far from Camino Tranquillo as it gets.blank vertical space, 24 pixels highyoung woman bundled up in winter clothes running from sunny California to cold Baltic Chernobyl nuclear power plant spewing atomic fallout in Ukraine


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