So a lot again has happened since my last entry. That is because something happens at least once a day... I mean I am an American that can barley speak Russian in Russia... interesting things are bound to happen!
teeny tiny elevator!!!!! Fits 3 comfortable, fits 6 very uncomfortably!
The other night I " walked around without really having a place to go" in Voronezh with Ilena, Daniel, and Ilena's friend Borsya. He spoke no english so thank goodness for Ilena! It was a lot of fun to be with them! There wasn't a lot of understanding, but I thought it was nice of them to invite me! On my walk, me and Daniel found 1 ruble and a 10 kopeck on the street. Those are Russian coins. There are 100 kopecks in a ruble, and a 28 rubles equals a dollar. The majority of the population uses buses here, and so you can find money on the ground if you look. So far I have collected 1 ruble and 30 kopecks. Sure it is not much, but in America you hardly find any because everyone uses debit cards.
Anyways, on our walk we crossed this bridge (Voronezh is divided into 2 sides because of the river) So I live really nearby the river (However there is no fishing or swimming, it is VERY dirty, as my family would say "it is Russia!") But it looks very pretty! So the bridge was really cool, however upon closer inspection, I saw that there were a million spiders on it!!! Ok I have no idea how many, but there were so so so many! I swear the whole thing was one big spider web!! EWW! They are the white spiders with long legs! Borsya would pick them up in his hands! Gross! But there are spiders in every apartment complex, and outside every window. Spiders will one day take over Russia- FYI
Oh and ps- Russians love to talk about American music. My host family kept on asking me all these American bands, I was familiar with some, but not a lot. They like a lot of rock and rap. They like Eminem, but then Ilena said "but I don't know what he sings about". My host mom will sing random American songs and their Russian accents are so cute!
The other day we took a trip to "Wal*mart" well the closest thing to walmart here! It was a big super center. It was fun! Here are some of our favorite items they sell there:
Also Luke, Ryan, and Me sampled sausage and we told the girls who were sampling that we only spoke english, and they like perked up and giggled, and one of them was like "oh.... Hello!!!!" Haha and then I took a pic of Luke and Ryan, and they thought that we were so funny and it was great!
Here are some items that we enjoyed seeing in the store:
Crab lays chips!
Yummy looking Nutella!
Peach toilet paper....?
Not being able to speak much Russian is such an experience. I am so glad though that I know quite a few things, and I just need to learn a lot more vocab and review the grammar. A lot of the Russian workers will yell at us, but we just say " we don't speak Russian" in Russian. We have learned a lot though. You always pay the little rubles, or they will get mad! We have gotten yelled at twice! It is all a big adventure!
Also I am getting good at learning how to ride a bus! HOLD ON FOR DEAR LIFE! honestly and truly, I have no idea how the girls in 3 inch heels do it! Yesterday on the bus we were riding it, and all the sudden it just stops! They give us back our 9 rubles and then we just walk to the next bus stop!
walking to the next bus stop
waiting for the next bus!
My ILP group is the best! We are all really good friends! I love them all! Tessa is a great head teacher and things are going awesome together!
Luke with Kopecks and rubles on his head
We all love Mikaela!
head teacher of awesomeness: Tessa!
We hang out a lot at our head teacher's apartment and play games, talk, laugh, and cry we are laughing to hard. I am so grateful to have an awesome group! It is so much fun! We haven't started teaching yet, and so we have been able to relax and have fun and spend time together! Seriously we are all friends and it is super great!
We went at ordered Blini.
This place was the best- best part of my trip thus far! So the 3 of us that speak a little russian were in line. When it was our turn, I attempted to say Bananas with carmel hahah totally was american, I couldn't pronounce the words at all! They stared at us like a deer in headlights! Then they all were laughing and trying to help us out by pointing and gesturing and so it was awesome! they were the coolest workers ever (much better then the grocery store cranky ladies). They thought we were hilarious and we are laughing so hard! So then we ordered, then we helped our friends order, and basically it was just as hilarious the second time--- Oh Americans!!! :) We took many pictures because the experience is one not to be forgotten. Anyways I ended up getting Apple and cinnamon blinin- DELISH!
Yum Yum Yum!
This is in the middle of the action as we are trying to explain what we want ;)
They were so friendly!
Jallyn feeding Sami!
Ryan loves his blini! (Chocolate and Banana!)
Then we went back home and 3 of us went to the grocery store again. If I didn't have my ipod touch I would be dead! My dictionary on there is so so so so handy. When I ask where something is, if they can't understand me, then I just show them the word! Also not being able to speak Russian is helpful because then they let you do stuff that normal people can't! Like We wanted to go into this cosmetics place of the store, but the security guard was trying to tell us something and we didn't understand, and so he just looked around and secretly let us go in! Yay to be clueless??
Candy made in Voronezh!
Then church today was so so so cool! The Church is true everywhere! We had our friend Zhenya show us how to get there (it is like a 20 min bus ride- so not bad at all!). As we were walking to the church we come across a beautiful very clean building. We all thought it was very pretty, and it turns out to be our church. We were kind of lost looking, but a guy in a car was like "ILP students, don't be shy, go ahead and go in"! (I guess we stood out!). We were greeted by Missionaries! :) So cool! They were so so so friendly- everyone there! :)
The Beautiful Church!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints- visitors welcome!
Group in front of the church!
I wish I could explain how such an amazing feeling it was to be there! The spirit was strong and we all felt loved and felt like we were at home. The missionary told us that it used to be a old movie theater. We had sacrament upstairs! 4 of the 6 missionaries spoke English and then 2 of them knew some English, and then there was a senior couple who were the best! It was the most welcoming feeling I've ever had!
An elder translated for us with headsets, but this 8 year old kept on coming up and talking to him and so it was very very funny! I got to sing in Russian and it was so cool that I knew the letters, it was great!
Then we had Sunday school all together in English with all the English Speaking Missionaries, but we just talked about Russian culture, and about where we were from and it was awesome!
Then a sister missionary from Virginia translated Relief Society for us. She had only been in Voronezh for a while, but she had come from serving in Azerbaijan! Is that cool or what!!?!?!
Our senior couple Elder and Sister Frost!
So things are awesome here! I am very happy and my host mom cooks like everything Russian, so I am trying to learn to love tomatoes, cucumbers, and borscht.... it will be an experience! :)
Also my host family has wi-fi internet which is unheard of pretty much- so I am very lucky!
Things are about to get very busy! But have a wonderful Sabbath, mine is coming to a close!