Friday, May 29, 2009


This past weekend we had a great chance to get outside of the city and have a retreat. I go to a Bible study on Tuesday nights with the 'young adults' from the church I used to attend here in Moscow. This group if full of people from 18 to their mid-late 30's. It can't be called the singles group because there are several married couples in it. And it can't be called a college group because there are only a handful of college students in it studying abroad for the year. So we call it the young adults group.

We got to stay at this dacha for the weekend. It was about an hour electric train ride outside of the city. We did a study over a C.S. Lewis book. We also had a great time in fellowship over tea, yummy smores, a great meeting with some guys from Tajikistan, a skimpy-dip in the pond and tons of fun. I was unfortunately sick the whole time. So I ended up spending our Saturday free time asleep in bed but I still did everything else, just heavily medicated.

Well all the fun stories begin with the need for smores. You cannot have a weekend in the woods without smores. Doug was able to go to the American Embassy store and get Hershey's chocolate, Jet Puffed marshmallows and real graham crackers. But it had rained all day and we couldn't find any dry wood for the fire. Well some of the guys in our group started to walk around looking for some. They ran into two guys from Tajikistan who said they had some left over roofing wood we could have. Well they ended up inviting them to have smores with us. They loved it. It was a real treat for them.

We had already planned on jumping in the pond when the Tajiks invited our group over. So about 10 of us went to their 1 room home. It wasn't any bigger than my office here at school. It was a father and his 5 oldest sons. He had 5 other sons, a daughter and a wife still back in Tajikistan. They were working and sending their money back for them. Well they cooked us up some lamb fat and onions and did some traditional Tajik dances for us. It was the best time. Great memories. They kept going on about how it is such an honor for them to have guests in their home. Their home by the way had no bathroom and an outdoor sink. It had 2 benches and a table with one set of cabiniets. They also had a little 2 stove gas set to cook on. Their hospitality was truely amazing. Before we left they wanted to pray for us. So one of the sons sang a beautiful prayer in Arabic to their god Allah. Then one of our girls asked if we could pray for them. She prayed to the one true God (in Russian). They continued talking about what a blessing this was for them. Here in Russia they are like beyond scum to the Russians. It is quite sad. But I know that Jesus loves them just as much as he loves me.

Then we went for a skibby-dip in the pond. You can't call it a skinny dip because we were still in our skibbies. It was great fun. Though Lydia and I both got cuts on our foot and it probably only made me more sick. But hey, it was a great way to end the weekend!!

This is the house (dacha) we stayed in for the weekend. It was so wonderful!

A view down the street of the village.

I think this house doesn't have much longer to be standing.

Another house in the village

Emily out on a walk.

One of our neighbors houses.

Attempting to get a fire started with roofing wood and copybooks after it had been raining all day.

The girls about to enjoy some smores!

About to eat my first smore of the night

Betty and her head torch. She had never had a smore before (poor British girl) and just though you were supposed to eat the marshmellow melted. She was all happy about it too. Then we had to show her the good stuff.

Emily had the great idea to just put the chocolate right on the marshmellow and melt them into a tasty treat. Those Brits are clever.

Getting smore number 2 ready.

Me and Kat enjoying the campfire.

Roomates for a few more weeks!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dr. Appt.

So like most Americans I know, I am going to work sick because there is just TOO MUCH TO DO!! I have Russian medical insurance and I so as long as I see a doctor, I still get paid when I am sick. Well I have been pretty darn sick for the last week and finally decided to stay home on Tuesday and have the doctor come see me. She told me I needed to stay home for the rest of the week and go see the doctor next week. Well she was probably right but I am stubborn and there is just TOO MUCH TO DO!

So I went to work today, late. When I walked in my supervisor was there talking to someone and she is asking my why in the world I am at work. She says I should not be here until Monday. This is true. But I was there anyway.

I really didn't want to miss the last week of school. So I went today so I could have a little more time with my students. Not to mention next week starts summer school. They finally gave us a schedule and a theme today so we can start planning. Plus there is tons of end of the year paperwork to do. Which I did early trying to be diligent. Of course, I did it wrong and got a nice yelling at from other teachers over that. So I spent part of today fixing my mistakes and will finish that tomorrow.

Well I had to go to the doctor to 'close my account'. It was the fastest dr. appt. ever! There was no wait which is very unusual. Then I totally lied and told the doctor that everything was normal. I had to hold in all my coughs, this was hard. And she had to list to my breathing. I did my best to fake a really good deep breath, or well like 10 really good ones. She looked down my throat. I didn't do any sniffling. I passed the test! But what was really funny is that she kept asking me "Are you sure you want to go back to work tomorrow?!" I didn't even try to tell her that I had already been today. I bet I was her first patient who went back to work earlier than they are supposed to!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I'm guessing there will be nothing fun to post about this week since I'm at home sick. I finally broke down and saw the dr. today after feeling awful for the past 5 days. So the conclusion is: a low fever, an upper respiratory infection, a sinus infection and a virus. That whole breathing thing seems optional these days. So against what I want to be doing, I'm in bed resting and taking all my meds. The dr. said to stay home at least until Friday. I don't think that will happen. I have to at least be at work on Friday because it is my last day with my kids. I have to say bye. But I'll think about that then because it makes me sad.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Kiddos

Next week is our last week of normal school. For some weird reason grades were due this Friday. We are not allowed to do anything for a grade next week. So I guess next week is like lets pretend we are in school and come but lets just play all week? I don't get it. Well I decided to take some pics of my kids. I got as much as I could. I thought I would share. Most of them drive me crazy because they are quite the spoiled brats, but they are too cute as well.

This group is especially naughty. Vova, Nastya, Nina, Katya, Max, Ivan, Alouna and Asya.
Their true selves.
second grade boys
The boys acting somewhat normal
2nd graders, Yagor, Vova, Gosha, Kolia and Daniel
A little crazy. 2nd grade.
Natasha, Olga, Igor, Alex, Artem, Phillip, Sasha and Artum.

Some fourth graders, Anna, Arrina, Gleb, Robert, Sava and Andre
Acting a little crazy. They show their true colors.
Sava and Max. My fourth grade boys
Some sweet fourth grade girls Sasha and Dasha
Some more fourth grade girls, Aleena, Anna, Polina and Arina
Polina and Stasya, 4th grade
4th grade boys, Pasha, Andre, Robert, Robert and Sasha
My sweet 1st grade girls, Masha, Tania and Liza
some more 1st grade boys, Misha, Igor, Yakov, Sasha and Ivan
Arkadya, Tate, Serge and Misha (again kind of trouble makers, but cute)
Alex and Elijah, I don't know if you can tell but they are trouble makers
These are native English speaking first graders, Alicia, Stepan (his father own's a huge pharmacy here called 36-6) and Masha (President Yeltsin's granddaughter)
Two sweet 1st graders, Misha and Sasha
Second graders: Veronica, Sonya, Dasha, Seva (sebastian), Dima, Nikita and NasarThis is my second graders acting silly.
Three of my sweet 4th graders, Ann, Sofia, and Adely
Two of my mischievious fourth graders, David and Robert

Bridal shower

I'm still doing some catch up. Last weekend we threw our friend Elizabeth a bridal shower. Her and Max are getting married June 5th. We wanted to do something special for her since we are all parting ways soo. We had such a great time just the girls. Here are a few pics.

Our cool ring cake we made.
some yummy food
Girls in pink, Betty, Nataly and me.
Girls in pink, me Betty and Katya
Me and the lovely bride to be Elizabeth.
All the girls at the showerMandy, Katia, me, Elizabeth, Kate, Truc, Betty and
Jane. Nat was taking the pic :(

The guest of honor with her hostesses: me, Elizabeth, Kate and Truc.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Tsaritsena Park

Okay so this post is much over due. Sorry. We went to My favorite park in Moscow, Tsaritsena, nearly 2 weeks ago. This park is so beautiful in all seasons. But spring is my favorite because this is when they plant the tulips. They put the bulbs in after the snow finally melts in April and the bloom the first of may. This is the palace and grounds of Catherine the Great's summer home. Here are a ton of pics, enjoy!

There was a lot of people there.