// Last post (for now)//

So I’ve been in the US since Sunday (almost 4 days now). I’ve been fighting jet lag for these last few days. It’s strange I’m incredibly sleepy all the time. I actually went to bed at 8pm yesterday.
Anyway, my last week in Russia was rather…. Unorthodox.
On Monday I was moved out of my first host family’s apartment because there was a huge domestic dispute that day (not the first time either). I was promptly moved into a new host family the next night.
My new host family was great, despite the fact that I spent only 3 days with them. In fact, I liked them better. My host mother was very nice and a great cook (she cooked my first borsch for me! ) I felt really sad after I left because I realized that the three days I spent with them is what I should have and could have experienced my whole summer; instead I was placed in a family with a хозяйка with temper problems.
On Thursday I delivered my first report completely in Russia. As I gave my speech I realized how truly far along I came during the summer. My pronunciation go better, and my confidence was way higher. It felt more natural to be speaking Russian. I also felt more at home in Russia.
Despite everything that happened in Russia (my host family situation, falling down a mountain and spraining my ankle, all the stares I got all the time. Etc.) I fell in love with the country. It’s a wonderful country with so much history. (Side note: I’m so excited and extremely determined to go to Petersburg and return to Moscow)
And the language! The language is so complex, yet so beautiful (or perhaps it is precisely that its so complex that it’s beautiful).
I had many unforgettable experiences in Russia. I mean how many can say that climbed a Ural mountain, which was in fact that highest in the area.
So as my last post for this summer, I just want to write a tip for future travelers to Russia:
Enjoy the experience and try everything. Russia has a lot to offer, and, truly, this country is amazing.

I hope you enjoyed my (inconstant) updates.

Спасибо за внимание!

Я надеюсь скоро вернуться в Россию.

// Last week//

And so it is officially my last week in Russia.
I have very mixed feelings about my upcoming departure; on the one hand, I miss the states and my loved ones; on the other, I really like Russia and I’ve made friends here. I’m seriously considering taking a gap year to study again in Russia (we’ll see if it even is a viable option.)
Although in many ways I’m happy to go back to the states. I haven’t exactly enjoyed my stay with my host family. I think I would have rather stayed in a dorm room. Furthermore, I didn’t learn any Russian at home, or practiced there any in reality. I also had some issues with my host family that I will not mention here.
Anyhow, I miss my family a lot. (My mom calls me a lot here, so it’s helped some with the homesickness)
Also I miss being good at things. Here I’m almost like a child with the amount of Russian I know. I’ve come to know more Russian, so that helps, but I miss being to communicate clearly and quickly. I miss being good at speaking. Although I have to say that this experience has inspired me to learn more Russian. I want to learn it not only because its difficult, but also because I’ve come to love this language. I think I’ll really miss Russia, my Russian friends, and the American friends I made whilst studying abroad. (And knowing me, I’ll probably miss Russian being spoken everywhere.)
See you in 6 days, America!

// День рождения //

Сегодня мой день рождения.. Но я не говорила некому, что сегодня день рождения…
Несмотря на это, все узнали (мне кажется, что мы настоящие шпионы :) )
У меня был такой весёлый день!!!
Мы играла на пейнтболе, и было очень весело (но думаю, что мы проиграли).
Мне подарили подарок тьютеры (была книга. Они меня хорошо знают)

Потом, я очень счастлива!

I was told my Russian improved. 

Mission accomplished!

I was told my Russian improved.

Mission accomplished!

Even more..

My trip to Moscow was amazing.

Above are a few pictures . In interest of time I didn’t upload all my pictures (I have about 200), only my favorite ones.

I’ll upload some more in another post.

More photos of the cave… Particularly of me looking awkward.

"Пусть всё будет так, как ты захочешь"

Мы научимся эту песню на уроке русской фочетики. Мне очень нравится! Я только смогла найти версию песни из фильма “Стиляги,” но оригинальная версия спета группой “Чайф.”

Proof that I’m in Russia.

Today I went to an old Soviet Bunker, which is really a cave (which is also a new word I learned today: пещера) in the middle of nowhere in Ufa. The rocks are souvenirs from there. The place was full of holes where they stuck dynamite to blast through the stone. It was awesome!!! I will also be going to Moscow tomorrow, so look forward to pictures from there.

The blog of a study abroad student in Russia