Stacia will be home in a couple of days, and thank God for that. I miss that girl something awful and she does a much better job at maintaining her blog than I do. But I wanted to give a little more detail before she comes back. That way she can just fill in holes in the tale and not have so much blogging to do. So, here is my last guest blog entry:
July 13, 2005
I had to give a presentation in history class this morning and the presentation had to be in Russian. The teacher had no idea what any of our language levels were. I wrote my essay and have been trying to practice it. Everyone knew I was really nervous, and that it has more to do with the fact that I hate looking stupid than anything. Hardly any of the students have ever heard me speak. So, I get up to give my presentation, the first page was pretty bad, but then it goes more smoothly. I was a little nervous too, because I put my own opinion in it. I finished it, and the entire class clapped for me. Several of them later told me that I had done good and that even though it started rough that I finished strong. So, even though it still didn't go great, I still feel really, really good. Now, I'm going to go get 2 margaritas for the price of one. I earned it!!!!
July 22, 2005
Tomorrow we leave for our cruise down the Volga river to St. Pete's. It'll take us about 6 days to get there, and then we'll be there for 3 days. We'll stop at little towns along the way for sight-seeing and shopping. In St. Pete's, we're doing the Hermitage and the Dostoevsky museum, which I am really excited about, because I've never been there before. We're taking a night train back to Moscow next monday night and then we have classes on Tues. We'll only have 3 days of classes and then we're through with them. Then the weekend and then we leave the next Tuesday. It's flying by. I really don't know if I want to come home yet, becuase I'm finally making a lot of progress and I don't want to lose everything I've learned. Guess I'll just have to practice a lot when I get home.
July 30, 2005
The cruise has been good, although it started getting a little long about two days ago. We only get to go to land, at the most, 4 hours a day, sometimes less. So I'm feeling lack of movement. But the area is beautiful, and the little towns we've stopped at have been great. I'm getting a ton of pictures, and I can't wait to show them to you. There's been a lot of partying going on too, and I think only a couple people in our group haven't gotten sick. Thankfully, I've been one of the lucky few (of course, I haven't really drank that much either). The bad thing about the cruise is that we're hardly using our Russian at all, and I already feel it slipping away. I'm going to have to work really hard to make sure this summer isn't a total waste (ok, I'm in Russia, so it could never be a total waste). I can't believe how fast the time has flown by.
Today, most of the group is going to the Hermitage. I love the Hermitage, but I've already been there twice, and there's so much in St. Pete's I haven't seen. So, those of us who have been here before are doing our own thing today. It'll be nice to see what I've missed. I think we're doing the Museum of Russian history and the WWII museum (Leningrad was blockaded by the Germans in WWII for almost 3 years and almost 1/2 of the population starved to death). Tomorrow we're going to the Dostoevsky musuem (he's my favorite writer) but I'm not sure what else we're going to do.