Thursday, August 11, 2011

Счастливого Пути!

My last week in Kazan’ has flown by, just as I knew it would.

I spent most of the week studying, and in truth, I over-studied causing myself to stress out more than necessary. Coming out of my exam, I felt confident that I had done myself justice. Even though I said the grade did not matter, and in the scheme of things, it does not, I strived to make my grade reflect the amount of work that I put in to this program.

After completing my final, the oral portion, and the ASU required speaking portion. Rachel, Mary Helen and I splurged on Школадница (chocoladnitsa). Школадница is a relatively expensive café that I became acquainted with in Moscow on my first trip. They have the most amazing hot chocolate and you have to use a spoon to drink, it is like melted chocolate. Unfortunately, it has been too hot to partake, instead I had a Greek Salad and blini stuffed with chocolate, raisins and almonds. Do not worry, I did not eat it all myself. I saved half of one for Rachel and Mary Helen to share (Right: Mary Helen and the blini). Rachel was quite funny today because she was happily enjoying a drink with ice, a rare commodity here. Afterwards, we headed down Balmana Street to do some extra shopping and take pictures. I bought a few more magnets and we took pictures along Balmana. We ended at the Kremlin and I took my trolleybus home.

I have already packed most of my things. I leave Saturday at six am, but we are meeting the bus at three-thirty in the morning outside the university. I have it easy, Rachel and several others headed to Arizona leave at four-thirty and it is an international flight, so they have to be there two hours beforehand. They are meeting at one in the morning.

Some Final Thoughts on My Time Here

I have completed that which I set out to do here, and more. I am more confident in my Russian than ever before. Not only can I make myself understood, I can engage in detailed conversations on a wide range of topics. I have almost completely read a book in Russian without a dictionary, granted it is a children’s chapter book, but it is by far the best I have ever done.

I have made great friends, friends that I hope I will keep in touch with for years to come. I will miss my language partner Masha, she is a sweet girl and I hope to keep in touch with here over Skype. Most of all, I will miss my host-sister, Lena. She has been wonderful and treated me like family; I hope to see her soon, maybe next summer.

Yes, I am already planning my return. I am ready to go home, after eight weeks; I cannot wait to see my mother and grandmothers and I cannot wait to begin the new chapter of my life that will be Columbia. Despite my excitement at returning, have no doubt that I will find my way back. Russia, though it seems unexpected to those who have not spent time here, is one of those countries that entices you to return time and again.

Until next time, happy and safe travels to all my new friends, I am sure we will meet again.

Счастливого Пути!


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