But here is a beautiful photo of Alyosha and I saying paka (see you later) during my last visit to Kameshkovo in March 2008.
I will say that I have seen Tanya Morozova. She saw me! It was about 7pm (Russia time) last Thursday night. I sat wearily at the bus stop near Valentina and the Golden Gates. Just as I was going to rest my head in my hands, I heard a sweet voice "Privet!". I looked up and saw Tanya's precious smiling face!
I jumped out off the bench to hug her. The bystanders must have had a good laugh watching us try to communicate with our hands- and me with my broken Russian. Haha. She looked great. I tried to invite her to dinner with me but she said she had to go home. So I hope that will get to see her again soon.
Other than Tanya, the only other Kameshkovo grad I saw was Katya Shubarinova. She's super sweet!!! She came last week to interview and take the placement test at my school, The American Home. Her English has significantly improved!!!! I am sure she'll be invited to add our school. I hope that since she is quite advanced in her knowledge and use of grammar, that she will be in my class =)
I did see Natasha and Andrei at church on Sunday. Andrei and I have already begun to exchange DVDs =) I lend him romantic comedies in English (per his request, seriously!) and I borrow whatever he's got in Russian. It's been good.
So far an official date for my first visit to Kameshkovo hasn't been set =( I am waiting to hear back from Natasha who will get that date and permission for me to visit from Tatiana (the orphanage director). I am hoping that it will be in the middle of September so I can celebrate my birthday with the kids!!!!! How fantastic would that be?!?!?!
Tomorrow, I am going to begin my first community service/outreach/humanitarian activity!!! I am helping Anya Victorova and the Emmanuel Church purchase/gather/pack school supplies for children of single parents. Anya has headed this event for the last few years. I am going to purchase some items and also spend my Saturday packaging the supplies and helping to distribute them. I am really excited to do this!!!! Since the church is literally 2 blocks from my apartment, this will help me get to meet the neighborhood kids and their families. This will be fun! Plus, I am very excited to finally see Anya!!! She's been working in St. Petersburg.
My first mock teaching lesson went well. The evaluation of my teaching went well and it was all shiny and great- UNTIL they said I don't anticipate problems with the students. Of course not! I have never taught before! I need to better anticipate comprehension problems my students my have and address them immediately and clearly. Geez. Maybe next time will be better. Well, it will have to be!
What else??? Hmmm.... Oh! I befriended an American missionary named Brenda from Kansas. She's awesome!!! Just when I started to enjoy hanging out with her, I learned that she'll be moving back to America in October. But for good reason, she's going to adopt a Russian child!!! I have already started to lobby for one of our precious Kameshkovo kids to be chosen =) I enjoyed spending time with her this weekend. We went shopping for ingredients to make pesto (thanks to Marti for the inspiration and teaching me!). Then we made pesto at her apartment. And can I just say, for anyone out there wanting to be a missionary in Vladimir, Russia- join the Wesleyan group!!! Their apartments are AWESOME!!!! They have every Western convenience you can imagine, it's like you never left the states. No, wait that's a stretch because when you look out the window you'll know. hahahaha.
Anyway, we made enough pesto for me to take to Anya and Maxsim's dacha (cottage). Maxsim bbq'ed shashlik (kebabs) of beef!! I finally had beef!!! It was delicious. And seriously, it's a concern, I am starting to bruise from the lightest things! Either I am turning to solid fat or I need beef or a shameful combination of both! The pesto was a hit!! At first when they were gushing about it, I thought they were being polite. Then I tasted it and I have to admit, it was yummy!
Sunday, Brenda and I watched two minutes of some weird new Olympic sport. They were dancing, doing acrobatic moves, and jumping on the floor throwing hula hoops in the air. Very strange it was. I started thinking, if the USOC would notify the masses that new odd sports were being added, I'd take up a new hobby and be an Olympian!!! HAHAHA. I am sure it takes more than that but it was strange.
Luckily we watched at the other nice Wesleyan-owned apartment. We got to see the closing ceremonies but no Michael Phelps victories. Sad. But I more than made up for it in my mock-class today but dedicating my subject "compound adjectives" to his athletic prowess.
Off to plan yet another lesson.