Dear Family and Friends,
Happy week 4 to you guys!!!! How is everyone? I can’t believe that in 5 days that I will have been here a month already! I can’t believe how fast it is going! It kinda freaks me out. Last night I had a dream that I went home in September. I go through my whole dream and then I realize that wait… I’m not supposed to be home yet!! So I start running to mom to try to figure out why I am home and why I can’t go back and then… I woke up. Some dream. Btw I dream all the time here. I used to never remember my dreams in America, but here I always do. And I have some really bad ones which sucks because I usually call mom after bad dreams!
This week went really fast and not too many exciting things happened. I’m starting to get into my life here and there somehow becomes less to write about. But, nonetheless I do have some fun stories for you! First off, I’m not sure if it’s my email or what, but Brent you said you emailed me and I didn’t get it, and Daniel, I def didn’t get an email from you last week. So…. Idk about those two?? But I will just get to telling you about my week!
So like I said my week is busy! I finally have a set schedule down and it was my first week actually following it! It’s so nice to only be teaching at the private school! It’s about a 25 minute walk from my house and they are the nicest school! I really got lucky that I get to teach there. I hear about everyone else’s schools and kids and I am just like wow, suckstosuck! So my schedule is as follows:
Monday: 11:45-12:50 Kindergarten, 2:50-4:00 1st grade B class
Tuesday: 4:10-5:20 Level 3
Wednesday: 2-3:10 1st grade B class, 3-4:10 1st grade A class, 4:20-5:20 Level 3
Thursday: 11:45-12:50 K, 3-4:10 1st grade A+B class
Friday: 9:50- 10:55 K, 3-4:10 1st grade B class, 4-5 level 3
So as you can see Wednesdays and Fridays are my long days. Wednesday is the hardest because I teach 3 classes back to back, but being busy like that makes it all go by so fast! I know it doesn’t look like that much, but once I am at the school in the morning, I just stay all day and work on getting activities ready and lesson plans. So teaching does take a lot of time. There is time to go out at night, but we are usually all pretty tired, although sometimes we do. Its been good to get into a routine. It makes me feel like I belong here that much more! So now that I have my class I want you guys to hear their names! You know how you pretty much add an O to everything and call it Spanish? Well here we add an A to all the names and it magically is Russian!
K class: Paulina, Artyom, Mark, Ksusha, Ulyana, Misha, Marsha, Pateon
1st A: Misha, Alesha, Danila, Nikita, Vika, Regina
1st B: Vania, Phillip, Sonya 1, Sonya 2, Paulina 1, Paulina 2, Stefania, Erika, Tereinty, Mita
Level 3: Peter, Nick, Mary, Nastya
So those are all my kids! They are all cute in their own ways! I still have trouble loving my B class as much as I love my A class because B used to be Alicias class. They are also kinda bad, so I always feel like I am whipping them into shape. I definitely love my A class a lot more! But B is slowly coming around. They really love Alicia, so its hard to teach them sometimes because when she team teaches with me, they don’t want to leave her side. But as soon as they see what activity we are doing, they are all for it! Lets be real, you guys know the activities I do are precious and beyond amazing!
You guys know how I was super worried about my level three class? Well guess what?! They are so good for me!!! They were TERRIBLE for Jake when he taught the class, but its like a whole new class now! I was really dreading teaching them because of all the stories I was told about them flipping desks and acting crazy, but it turns out that with me they are completely different. So say that Jake was upset to hear this would be an understatement. I’m not going to lie and tell you that this bothered me one bit :) My first class with them was Tuesday! I walked in and I read to them the rules. I was very strict and I told them that if they are bad class will be boring, but if they are good then we will make class fun. I didn’t think that they would listen or care, but class has been going really well! It actually is becoming one of my favorite classes! And the teacher that is in charge of all the English classes at my private school told me that the kids love my class! It makes me happy! I try to find as many games as possible to play with the kids to make the class interesting, but yet they are still learning. It requires a lot of time to figure out how to make spelling and grammar fun, but it’s been paying off. I’m happy :)
Last Saturday we went to Red Square and went inside the Kremlin. There are multiple things that we can see when we go inside the Kremlin, but we bought tickets to see the multiple churches. They were very beautiful, and so well painted. From the ceiling to the floor is covered in paintings, and they use so much gold everywhere! They also have all these clothes, paintings, crosses, and much much more ranging from the 14th to the 17th century. It is so cool to see so many things that are so old! One of the churches had many of the Tsars buried in them. One had Ivan the Terrible! I’m not sure why he was buried there and kept there if he was so terrible, but who am I to judge? It was really great although it is hard to go out on Saturdays. I’m always so so so tired. I feel like I can’t ever get enough sleep and Saturday is definitely one day that I want to stay in and get some rest, but usually we go out. And the churches are really cool, but they all start to run together, and we all got pretty sick of them pretty quickly. After about 2 hours we were starving and fed up with Russian history so we told our head coordinator that we were done and about 5 of use headed to Arbott street. Arbott street is basically like Beal’s street (is that how you spell it?). It has tons of really nice shops and touristy shops, food, drinking, music, people painting, people dancing, and lots of other fun things. The main thing it has that we fully support is American food!! We went to Wendys and basically stuffed ourselves full. It was so good! Some of it tasted a little different like the frostys, but mostly it tastes the same. I was so full afterwards, but they wanted to go to starbucks and of course I find all these good treats that America doesn’t have so I bought one. It was this cake/mouse/peanut butter/carmel thing and it was so good! One thing Russia doesn’t really have it Peanut Butter! It is extremely hard to find (I’ve never seen it) and it is extremely expensive, so no one really has it. But here I go an buy this great dessert and it has some peanut butter in it! Man I don’t think I could have been happier! We ended up sitting in Starbucks for 5 hours talking about what girls always talk about: Boys. Jake was with us and had his head down the entire time. Towards the end he raised his head up and said “I cannot believe that girls talk about boys this long! As a guy we talk about girls for about 15 minutes and sometimes we ask the question, how long do you think that girls talk about us? And then we say oh maybe about 30 minutes, but now I know! You guys talk about us ALL.THE.TIME!!! And that means that everything I have ever done to or with a girl has been discussed just like this….” This made me laugh super hard! We told him that every single thing he has done or said to a girl has been analyzed by not only that girl but her closest group of girlfriends, and if she is like me then also by her family. His horrified face was priceless!!!
So this week I found some seriously yummy things in the grocery stores!! First and foremost I found these cheesecake things for like 30 cents! They are either white cheesecake or chocolate cheesecake and then they are dipped in chocolate. They have fillings like strawberry or carmel in them too! Oh my gosh they are so good! Next I found this ice cream for like 1 dollar that tastes like frozen yogurt! And then on Friday I found this ice cream that comes in a bag. Its really weird, its just a block of ice cream in a bag. Mine was chocolate and chocolate chips. I bought it and it was probably 6 inches long and like 4 inches wide. We were planning to go somewhere after we bought the ice cream so I bought it opened it, saw how big it was, was concerned for like 2 seconds, and then ate the whole thing in like 5 minutes. It was really weird to have to bite into the block and to hold it using the bag, but lets be real, it was a dream. Lo you would have loved it! I also bought stuff to make alfradeo sauce and successfully made it this week using all the ingredients I could find! It was yummy! Oh and every week I promised to make my level 3 kids American food if they behave during the week. Last week I made a bootleg version of puppy chow. I didn’t have the chex mix so I used a corn flake cereal instead. Not the greatest, but they loved it! I was like this isn’t even half as good as the one I make in America! I want to make no bake cookies sometime because its so easy, but I don’t have dang peanut butter! Totally lame!
This week I learned the lesson that being American means that guys like to throw themselves at you. This week I found out what it’s like for a guy to ask you to sleep with them. And this week I found out that I don’t like when guys are forward. Being American has its perks and it has its annoyances too. If I am by myself I can pretty much blend in with the rest of the crowd. If I am in a group and I start speaking English, my whole “Russian” cover is blown! Lets be real. I have 4 things that Russian girls don’t have: curves, big boobs, a fluent English vocabulary, and a green card. As flattering as it is, I would like to tell the Russians that they should really focus on the supermodel of girls they have here. But nonetheless it makes for some great stories! Wednesday night we decided that we would meet up with some guys that April met at the metro. She didn’t know them well and they kinda just got her number and wouldn’t stop calling, but we decided that we would give them a chance. Me, Em, April, and Jake went. Jake wasn’t happy. He was annoyed we were so giggly and being stupid with the Russian boy, but he decided that he had to protect us. We thought this was annoying until later on in the night. We met up with Shimil, who I should tell you is a very good looking Russian boy. And I could tell right off that he was going to be interested in one of us, the question was who. He took us to this really cool place called Victory Park. It’s a WWII momument and it is amazing at night! So beautiful! We were just walking around, Shimil speaks no English except for a few things a friend taught him, and he asks if we have boyfriends. We all say no we don’t. April looks at her watch and realizes that she needs to go home. So we start to go back. Everyone besides me lives at Melodozna, I live at Strogono. So Shimil looks at me and points to me and says “Me, you, Strogono?” and then puts a finger over his lips and says SHHHHH. I was like um def not okay! And then he tried to hold my hand! And he kept starring at me! It was so awkward. I don’t know what to do with attention like that! He was SO forward! And I just kept shaking my head! Later he was like “I want to kiss you” (this is one of the phrases his friend taught him) and I was like hahahahah no you don’t a kiss is this and then showed him in the air. And he nodded and was like yes, I want to kiss you and I shook my head again. Then he pointed to his face and made a face as to say “Whats wrong with me? Why can’t I kiss you?” Pretty much the night ended in him wanting to walk us to our houses and come up and Jake finally speaking for the first time tonight and telling him to go home and leave us alone. Awkward. I mean at least take me on a date before you ask me to sleep with you! I have some morals!! Other then that I had two Russian guys come up to me when Emily and I were talking and were like “Please, I’m Russian!!!” and I shoved him off and said and I’m American so move along! And then I was talking to Emily on the metro and all the sudden I see a guys head pop out behind her head to look at me. Yes, I know I’m American!! Goodness you would think that we were really cool or something! We told our head coordinator about Shimil thinking she would be shocked and surprised. When we got done she was like “Yes, he is a normal Russian guy. Any normal Russian guy is going to want to have sex with an American girl.” Well now that she put it like that….
A lot of you asked about the cute gym teacher so I thought I would update you. He is beautiful. Like no joke! Looks like Adam Levine and David Beckham mixed! But he is also beautifully married as well. Totally tore my heart out! But its still fun to run into him at the private school. He speaks English and no matter if I’m rushing by and he sees me for like a split second or if I’m just sitting he always comes and talks to me in English. Its precious. Our conversations are very quick and superficial. One day I need to actually ask him his name, but I’m usually too busy. One time I was talking to him as I was walking by so I’m walking and looking back and talking and I totally ran into another teacher. Awkward…. Did I tell you guys that a couple of weeks ago that Babushka walked in on me naked? And that she didn’t even act like she cared. She was just like oh opps and walked out. I was like okay I would like that to never happen again!
A Lot of you have asked me about my address, so I finally got it figured out! It is as follows:
123592 Russia Moscow
Shipilova, Hailey Hodgkiss
So that way you guys can send letters and *cough cough* packages!! I of course will respond when you guys write! I’m not sure how well the mail works, but it’s a big city so it shouldn’t be that bad. Aly & Lo- I expect your letters soon! They will go to Gulya’s house so once you send them I will just pick them up there. I’m excited!! :) This week we have Friday off and we are taking off to go to a few of the towns in the Gold Ring. We will be spending the night in the monastery! I am pretty excited to go away for the weekend! It’s going to be a blast! I hope that you are all doing well! I love you all so much!
~Until Next Time,