Friday, December 20, 2013

I'm home!

I made it!

The plane ride was long, but I didn't have any delays or hiccups in the process of getting home, which was great!

I cried a little while my plane was taking off at the "Pulkovo" airport (in St Petersburg.) I was sad to be leaving. I also cried (a lot, this time) when I arrived at baggage claim in Las Vegas and found my parents. Getting home to my siblings also brought on another "ball fest." What can I say, the whole thing was pretty darn emotional. ;)

I am so glad to be back. I loved coming home and having the house all decorated for Christmas. My family also got a real Christmas tree this year, which was a treat. Along with that, my wonderful mother bought me new bedding (which I needed!) and made sure my room was put together.

It's time in St Pete's feels like another life. And I miss it!

Here are some pictures I took on the way home.

About to take off at 5:55 am
The building says "Russia"

I'm on American soil!

You can see the Statue of Liberty!

Looking out at New York

Flying somewhere over the U.S.
Hugging my mommy in the Las Vegas airport

Thanks again to everyone who helped me with this trip. So glad I did it!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Well, this will be my last post in good ole Russia!

Tomorrow Alla is picking me up at 3:30 am and taking me to the airport. My flight leaves at 5:55 am (talk about an early start to the day)! I will be flying by myself, just like I did coming here. The others girls were booked different flight routes. My flight path will be... St Pete, Munich, New York, Vegas. I know it's going to be tiring, but I'm looking forward with excitement to this flight home! I can't wait to meet my parents at the airport.

I cannot thank everyone enough who helped me out with this adventure. It has been a trip of a lifetime! I have seen and done so much. I've learned a lot about life and myself. And I was able to teach adorable kids on a daily basis!

To everyone who gave me support: SPASIBA!

This trip has not been without difficulties. It was one of the hardest and most challenging things I've ever done. Some days I felt like throwing in the towel. But some days I wished I could stay here longer. All I have to say now is that it was all worth it and I'm so glad I was able to go and do this.

It's weird to think that by tomorrow night I on American soil, eat CafĂ© Rio for dinner, and sleep in my own bed! And not to mention....see my siblings!

I love you all, and thank you again.
Over and out,

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Let's finish this!

My last week here has been filled with doing my last SPE's, packing up, and preparing to go. Yesterday I also went to Nevskiy for the last time, to visit the Church on Spilled Blood.
The church was beautiful. It had mosaics covering all of the walls and even the high ceiling. It was surprisingly different on the inside compared to St Basil's (ironic because they look so similar on the outside.)
My last SPE with my Primary home group 
Christmas crafts!

Private 1. The best school!

Christmas tree at a church along Nevskiy

They have lights and decorations all around the city
The Church on Spilled Blood, or Resurrection Church:
Try to see if you can recognize bible stories on the walls

Sveta and I

Our last outing together!

Today I have been packing and writing down all the little things I need to remember to do! And tonight I am going out with my host family. I think we are getting sushi!
See you all soon,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

One week!

By this time next week I'll be on a Lufthansa airplane heading home. One week left!
I have only four more classes! Plus two Christmas "spectacle" performances. We've got lots going on making costumes and practicing the skits/songs with the kids. On our to-do list we also have deep-cleaning our supply cabinet, and starting the process of packing up our suitcases.
Here are some pictures I've taken recently. :)

The little kids and I, at Private 1. Don't you
love Donya's scowl?

Artium, Matvey, and Violet - Level 1

Seva, Ellya, Maxim, and Lera being silly
- Level 1

Trudging through snow everyday!

I love this sight 
Winter Palace, in the winter!! ;) 
We loved palace square in the snow 

St Isaac's in the snowy distance on the left
Peter Paul Fortress across the icy Neva
This past weekend we walked around the city, went to church, enjoyed Palace Square, and also went to a museum. This weekend we'll be going inside the Church on Spilled Blood, and who knows what else for our last free days here!
It has been pretty snowy here. What's funny, though, is that my hometown, who rarely gets snow, has been colder and gotten more snow than St Petersburg! Crazy. I love walking around while the snow peacefully falls. It's so beautiful!

I'll be sure to post again in a few days.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Baby, it's cold outside

Happy December 1st!

The weather was been getting colder here (it's about time, Russia;), and we've started to enjoy some snow. It makes me so excited! I've never lived in a place that is snowy on a consistent basis in the winter!

Today we had a white "Thanksgiving." We celebrated today, instead of the 28th, because none of us had to teach. To eat, we ended up with: Chicken (yes, no turkey), mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, salad, deviled eggs, bread, and even a home-made apple pie. Yum! It was good (not as good as home, of course;) As we cooked, and decorated the apartment with Christmas decorations, we listened and sang to Christmas music...while watching it snow outside, and lounging in our pj's. Perfect? Yes.

Our meal was good. Afterwards we watched a Christmas movie, then took naps. What a great day!

Our decorations

Cooking our meal

The apple pie was amazing

Our picnic-style Thanksgiving meal

After the meal, napping with the lights off
The first day it snowed. This was at 7:50 am, some
day last week

Last night, walking home

This morning
Ballet weekend
This weekend I saw two ballets! Swan Lake, and the
Nutcracker. Both were awesome!
"Swan Lake" at Mikhailovsky Theater 

"The Nutcracker" at the Hermitage theater


We went to the Hermitage again this weekend. :)
This place is huge.

Sveta, Mckall, and I
(I apologize for the bad quality)
It's been a good weekend. Now back to teaching. We are doing lots of practice for our "Spectacle's" coming up. :)
Talk to you later,