Sunday, October 26, 2008

Visiting the orphanage


THIS IS A LONG POST. You have now been warned so here it is. We went to visit the Ryzan Region Orphanage yesterday. It was so much fun. We taught them the old story of Halloween. They made masks out of paper plates and then we had kind of a fall carnival. We set up different games that they came to and then got candy. They seemed to have a lot of fun. We also had a birthday party and had 25 kids that got presents this time. It was great!

Stay tuned to the end and I have a great story for you!

We had to pull over to the side of the road for a funeral. I was told a teacher at the village school passed away. Well I took a picture but then later saw the carrying the open casket of the women. It was sad.

My dearest Polina.

My sweet little monkey Elena
My sweet little Irina.

Here is my little monkey in some of the new clothes I got her. She looks so cute.

Here are two videos of the kids playing some games.

Now for the story. The night before we were to leave for the orphanage I was working on getting everything prepared for our trip. Our apartment was completly filled with bags of stuff for the day. Well I decided to go through my clothes to see if there were some I could give away for the older girls. I went through my clothes first and then decided to go through my shoes.

Well this summer my honey bought me a new pair of tennis shoes because I made a comment that I never wore mine because they always made my toes go numb. So I got sweet new ones but had a pair still here in my closet. I called Masha and asked her if I could bring them to give away with the clothes. She said of course and I put them in the bag with the rest of the stuff.

Then while we were getting the hygiene bags together for the kids Masha was talking all stressed out. Anton told her that there was a new boy that had just been dropped off at the orphanage last week and he was walking around with no shoes on. Anton had said to just give them one of the shoes from the birthday kids. Well then I remembered the shoes I had brought. I told Masha and she said she would speak to Anton.

Well come to find out, the boy had asked for a pair of tennis shoes. He also wears a 38/39. I wear a 39 and had brought some tennis shoes. Yes, they were girls but they had a tourquiose blue nike check on them so they could essentially work for a boy without being to girlish (like my new ones with a pink nike check). So anyways, they fit him perfectly and I just feel like it was totally God to put that thought in my head the night before to bring my perfectly good shoes.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cute kids

Today I took a few pics with some of my students. I only got a few with first and fourth grade. They really crack me up. In each picture I can really see that kid's personality. It is really hilarious, at least to me.

This one is in first grade. From the left is: Felix, Masha, me, Masha, Yakob, Tate and Stepan.
They are all very cute. Though felix is kind of in a universe all of his own.

Here are some more first graders: Tania, Max, me, Ivan, Igor, Felix again, Arkosta.

My fourth graders whom I love! Stasya, Sasha, Polina, Sofia, and Robert. All really great kids.

Some more fourth graders: David, Gleb, David, Me, Nastya, Robert and Sasha. Ok this is hilarious. They all look so much like what they are! The first David is very sweet and soft spoken but one of my very best students. You could call Gleb my worst student. If he shows up to class at all, he is empty handed, refuses to speak in English, and just draws on everything. Look at his face looking away! The other David is also mischievious and just hates everything, I don't know why. Then you have Nastya. Ha! She is definately a Russian supermodel in training! Robert looks happy and sweet as he always is. And Sasha looks nervous, as she always is. haha.

Here are some more 4th graders and two teachers, Tatiana and Masha. I teach science with them and love them! Masha so has a typical Russian picture face one. Stas and Gleb are looking like trouble with Tatiana. Polin is hugging me tight with Sasha (girl). Then there is Sasha (boy). This cracks me up. He just came from playing out side and was still getting dressed when Masha threw him into the picture!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sick days

So I have been at home sick for the last three days. Well kind of three days. I went to work Wenesday and they sent me straight to the doctors office (in the school) and then straight home and told me not to come back till I was well. I should not of come in at all since I had a fever. But I was being a typical American (as opposed to the typical Russian who misses a week for having the sniffles) and I went to work even though I felt awful.

Kathryn has been home too. With the flu. Not fun. But we have enjoyed laying on the couch watching movies all day. We got out today to go to the grocery store. Um, it took ALL my energy. I came back thinking I was gonna die. Not really fun. So tomorrow we are supposed to go shopping for the orphanage trip birthdays. But I am not really sure if I can make it or not. We'll see!

But here are a few pics from last weekend. Angus turned 2! Really it was just an excuse for all the adults who love hime to get together! It was fun!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Autumn leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down. Autumn leaves are falling down, red, yellow and orange.

So that is definately the song I taught to my first graders this week to the tune of London Bridge. How fun is that. It is definately fall here! So yes, it is nearly unbearably cold for nearly half of the year in this part of the country BUT when the seasons do change it is so beautiful! It was in the 40's and 50's the whole month of September and then recently we got like 5 days of the 60's and sun! It was gorgeous! Well it is officially time for fall! It is nearly cold enough for snow! It is predicted to snow next week! But most exciting is that the leaves are changing colors.

I am amazed in a city of 15 million (and still growing) that there are so many parks and trees everywhere. Even though many parts of the city are not so pretty with just a bunch of buildings, they have random trees and little flower beds everywhere! So no matter where you are you can see evidence of the seasons change. Sometimes I wonder if God did these beautiful things so he could watch for himself or was it because he knew we would love it! I don't know but either reason I really like it. So here are some pics of last weekend at Tsaritsena park where the leaves were just beginning to change colors. I hope to go to some other parks when it stops raining and get some more pics with deeper colors!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

So many Celebrations!!

So I want to give a shout out to my most favorite Kersh family! I am so exited for you and your special addition to your family. What an answer to so much prayer and patience. I cannot wait to meet Jude!

I am so sorry I have not updated in forever. It has been crazy busy around here. I thought that once I moved it would slow down. But then work became ever so exhausting and stressful. But I think I am through the worst of it now. Things are working out and smoothing over. Though I will admit there were days I just wanted to give up and come back to my home in America. But I didn't, I stayed here.

Well after all that settled down, it seems like it was time to start celebrating.

First my dearest and most treasure friend from this continent, Polina, had her 21st birhtday. We had a great time celebrating with a dinner at her favorite little restaurant. Kat and I went in together to get her this beautiful scarf to go with the new coat her mom had gotten her. Then I got her a few "American" things that I knew she already loved. Here are a few pics from that night.

Our school decided to celebrate the English language with a special emphasis on America. Well being that I am one of the 3 Americans that work there, and I have been there the longest, I was in charge of a lot of stuff. We ended up having a great time and the kids did a great job. It was a lot of work but turned out great. Here are a few pics and videos from that day. (It was Wed. Oct.1)

They asked me to dressed like a Texan!
The second graders studied American Food

The Fifth graders studied American symbols.

The Fourth graders studied The Faces of America

My cute little first graders studied the world of Disney.

The third graders studied when Columbus discovered America.

My cute little Stepan as Mickey Mouse

Masha was Minnie Mouse, then Sergei, Misha the blonde was Pluto, another Misha and Max

Hilarious! Third grade reinacting the scene when Columbus meets the 'Indians' for the first time. Even though he was really in the Bahamas! And I don't think it went quite like that. But they were so cute!

Here is First Grade singing their song, Popping Popcorn.

Here is 2nd grade singing Old MacDonald

Here is the 3rd grade singing Yankee Doodle

4th graders singing Clemintine

5th graders singing America the Beautiful

Then Friday was International Teachers Day. It was a fun day. We had to sing! We messed up a lot but it was fun and the teachers loved it.

Here is a hilarious video from the Teachers day celebration. Some of the teachers did some kind of funny dance. I don't really know what it was about. but hilarious!

Okay here it is. Try not to laugh too terribly much. We got a whopping one rehearsal and none of us but Lydia can actually sing. But here is our debut.