Everyone who knows me well knows that I turn into a five-year old child when it comes to needles. Blood tests, shots, i.v’s: I hate them all. So, when I was told upon arriving that I would have to take a second HIV test to get my visa extension, I was shaken to say the least. I avoided it as long as I could, but without my visa extension I cannot stay in the country longer than 90 days. (Just a note, Russia requires HIV tests for anyone staying longer than 90 days because there is an incredibly high rate of HIV in the general population and this is a way to stop new cases from entering the country.) Anyways, last week I finally went to get it done. Joined by three other girls from the university we went into an invitro fertilization clinic (of course) to get our blood drawn. Walking through a room of pregnant women, the four foreigners trekked to the back office to sign up and pay. When it was my turn I took my friend Sara into the room and told the nurse that I was very scared and nervous. The entire time I hyperventilated, and the nurse stared at me like I was crazy (what a great experience this was). Needless to say, when I went back for my results both the nurse and the reception laughed at me. Germans say (at least this one German I know told me this :)) that shared pain is half the pain. Maybe since there are 4 of us it was 1/4 of the pain? I would like to think so 🙂 I promise to try and put a new post up once a week
(Here is a photo of all of our arms post-blood draw)

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