Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Meet My Russian Husband

Presenting, the finest man in Russian, Vanya. He came to me as a gift carrying the most beautiful pink roses (he's a smart man)!
Isn't he dreamy?? hahahah. He's a gift from one of my fabulous adult class who were so very sweet and surprised me with gifts, yay!!!!

I got showered, literally, with gifts from my first class on Monday afternoon. I walked into class 5 minutes before it began and wondered why I only had 3 students. I wondered where everyone was since they are using very early because we listen to music together, laugh and talk. 15 minutes after I officially started class, a group of my students all walked in together. I was surprised. Before I could even speak, Elya said, "Erin we were late because we were buying you presents." This 3 days after my birthday, how amazing they are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

These kids are 13-15 and are without a doubt my favorite class ever! They are also the first class that I ever taught. I love them! Just when I thought I could not possibly love Russians more than I do, I meet these kids. They are FABULOUS!

Their names are Elya, Yura, Georgi, Natalia, Anyusha, Kirill, Anton R., Anton S. and Aleksandr. I will post photos of them soon.

They were so proud of themselves and I about fell over at how carefully they planned and selected gifts. They remembered so very much about me!!!! I told them the first day that I loved Crocodil Gena and Cheburaska- they brought me those dolls!!! The dolls are so precious that I will save them for my own children that I bear =) In the meantime, I told the class that they will be our class mascots, hahaha!

They brought me two boxes of "Bonjour" a delicious cookie like a Tagalong- cookie with Bailey's Irish Liquor in the middle and covered in chocolate. These are TO DIE FOR! If you send me $, I will bring you some when I come to America, you WILL NOT be sorry =)

Here's a photo of me and all my spoils:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

AH Photos

This is by far and way THE funniest thing in all of Russia. Okay, I am sure there are funnier things, Russia is a big country so I haven't seen it all. But this kids, stares at me EVERYDAY. I now sit facing the window so I can get work done instead of laughing for hours or discussing politics. It's Putin and he says, "I see you and you are not working!" HYSTERICAL! If you don't laugh, you need to be hit.

This is me, working in the teachers' lounge at the AH. I am either in deep thought or updating my blog or reading an e-mail. But I'm pretty worn out- you can tell. This is a time-consuming gig for sure but it's fun.
This is our teachers' lounge. It's roughly the size of an large walk-in closet in Dallas. HA! At least my closet was huge. Our lounge is comfy and serves it purpose. We do a lot of reusing which is reminiscent of being a poor college student. But then again I have been reduced to a poor college grad. HA! Photos of my classrooms and students to follow =)

Starting September Photos

Above: Sara, Annalea & Alex celebrating Marisa's 23rd birthday at Shesh Besh in Vladimir.

Above: Andrew, Sasha, Marisa the Birthday Girl and I at Shesh Besh.

Above: Peter and Laura with us at Shesh Besh.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Starting September...

So the new month is off to a good start... at least I thought.

My first day of classes was Thursday, 9/4. It was great!!! The students are all SUPER cute between 13-15 years old. VERY smart and speak English quite well. I have no clue what I could possibly teach them ;-) But our subject was gerunds and infinitives to which they caught on within 10 minutes. It was great. My second class was also great! I had mostly students between 25-50. I have one of the most "influential" citizens of Vladimir in my class. His name is Antoliy. He's very fun and helps the class move along. He's the owner of several car dealerships.

Friday I taught my second set of classes. I was quite distracted this day and had to drink an energy drink before class. I had received news that my grandpa's cancer has spread from his pancreas to his liver and colon. Very sad news, please keep him in your prayers. I did pray over my class and my students seemed to have a good time but it wasn't FUN like the other classes, it was a stretch. Maybe also, my students are more reserved- that could be a factor.

That night we celebrated Marisa's birthday and had dinner at Shesh Besh. I was really looking forward to that- eating meat! YUM!!!! I will have to post photos another time since I accidentally left my camera at home. So another day...

I had been looking forward to Saturday all week! Natasha and I went to Hillsong Moscow, it was awesome! Then we went to Dom Knigi to buy my Russian textbooks for class. We were going to eat Mexican food and walked around for HOURS!!! Up and down Arbat Street to no avail.

We ended up eating at a nice food court in a mall. I had KFC, it never tasted SO GOOD!!!! Then I had delicious gelato for dessert. And then I brought eyeshadows, it was awesome!!!

THE FUNNIEST THING happened while I was ordering at KFC, my friend's dad called me. His name is Viktor and he speaks English. He called to ask me if I could stay with the kids because he needed to leave town. I said okay that's fine except I am in Moscow and won't be back in Vladimir until 8:30p. He said it was fine and I agreed to call him when I got into town.

I thought it was the perfect set-up because they have satellite TV and WIRELESS UNLIMITED internet!!! It's awesome at their house I love it. Plus their kids are like my peers. They speak perfect English and are fun. They're 13 and 15. He told me they had been fighting a lot about the computer- they both want to play online games all day. He told me I would be the pacemaker.

It was funny. But what was even funnier was when I called at 9p to find out how long I'd be staying. I assumed he was going to the village or to his dacha for a few hours. So I asked Tima, "when's your dad getting back?" Tima very calmly said, "Monday". I about fell over. Natasha and I were sitting on the train together when I had this call. We laughed hysterically about it for hours.

Then Natasha said, at least you tried to speak in Russian. I said, "What? No, Viktor and I spoke in English". Of course that made it even more hysterical!!!!

Hahahah. So I got to Skype my family and Doctor Mare (my bff). It was a good weekend. And now it's almost over =( I am loving the internet!!!! And they have hot water and they have American toilet paper!!! It's all-out hog heaven out here =) I think I may offer to "babysit" Tima and Rebekah more often =)