May 01, 2016

The Master of Olkhon

About halfway along the western shore of Lake Baikal is Olkhon Island – the fourth largest lake-bound island in the world. And on Olkhon Island is the village of Khorontsy.

Just beyond the village is a dusty field, parched by the sun. And at the edge of the field is a one-story wooden building. The building has a garden, and in the garden an 86-year-old man – Vladimir Innokentiyevich Prokopiyev – is fussing over his potatoes.

The field, in actuality, is not just a field, but Khuzhir Airfield (in the Buryat language, Khuzhir means “salty land”). And one half of the wooden building is actually the airport terminal, while the elderly Prokopiyev lives in the other half with his wife, Gerolda Mikhailovna.

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