As I sat around with my friends, not able to say much but enjoying their company I thought, “I did this.” 😀 I invited everyone out for skating and to a cafe afterwords. Sometimes I have the mentality that I have done enough to show I am trying to learn, it is their turn to invite me to things. The do invite me places, they are very welcoming! But I need to be with people as much as possible so I have to continue to take the initiative. Thank you Lord for a little bravery and a lot of grace for all the mistakes I made…
I wrote out a note to a few friends on V Kontakte (it’s like Russian facebook) had my teacher proof it and sent it out. I got some response and we met up! I had an hour just going round in circles on this huge ice covered soccer field with my friend having a death grip on my hand. She didn’t want to fall so we stayed close. I had an hour to practice my Russian! very cool. I think I am understanding a little more 🙂
We made ice-cream, and sleds, pancakes and painted cards. So fun, but I am wiped!!
There I was doing leg lifts to a pop song with about ten other Russian women. I couldn’t understand their words but got the general gist of what they were saying, “OOUUUCHH.”
The day before I waltzed into a building where I had hear music and seen through an open window some ladies exercising. I really wanted to join an exercise class so I looked up how to say, “do you have any exercise classes?” I braced myself for much confusion and no results. As I tried to sound out the phrase; they did not understand. So I showed them what I had written down, and then the cascade of words began flowing from their fast Russian lips and I just kept nodding. I gathered from the whole experience that I could go twice a week at 7pm and it would be about $4 for one visit or I could get a monthly pass.
The next day I hyped myself up all afternoon. “Come on, you can do this! What’s the worst that can happen?” With money in hand I walked through the doors to see the same lady at the desk. Giving her my money she ushered me down the hall and introduced me to the instructor. The desk worker explained that I only know a little Russian. AAHH! Wow, she said I knew a little Russian! Yes, I totally took that as a complement! With a big grin on her face, the instructor told me I wouldn’t need to understand exactly what she says because she will show us (at least I think that’s what she said).
Half way through the hour (and half dead I might add), I saw God’s hand weaving even the most intricate details of my life. Exercising with others can be intimidating but I had been involved in a class in the states which helped me get over that hurdle. Because I loved the class in the states so much it motivated me to look for one here. This class is right next door to my apartment building, is on the lower end of prices for fitness centers here in Tambov, and is a great way to learn the language and make friends. After class and back at home, all tired and ready for a shower, I just took a few minutes to stand in awe of God and enjoy His great working in my life. I laughed and got goose bumps. God is not just concerned with me getting a good work out, or even just being happy, He has plans for this class. Let’s see what they are…
Thanksgiving Morning Race 2012:
My sister, friend and I doing a flash mob with my zumba class before the race.
Me, my sister and our mom after the race. Woohoo, we made it!
I don’t go to English club often because I have a pretty good handle on that language (although in a few months I’m not so sure). But tonight was football night. We made “game” food and watched some of the pro ball game. It was so good for my heart to see football!! Hahahaha that sounds funny but it is true. And even though my team isn’t in the Super bowl I get to see it at a friend’s house Monday night! So excited!
Side Note: Russians (especially the older generation) do not eat the potato peal! They almost consider it poisonous. Maybe it’s because they come filthy dirty here and you have to scrub and scrub just to get them clean enough to peal. I don’t know. But the English club teachers (my teammates) made loaded potato skins not knowing this fact about Russians. When we brought them out the missionary explained that we eat them all the time, they are not dangerous (you know, except for the high fat content because they were deep fried) and that they are a part of the football culture. One of the ladies (she is a riot) embraced it and yelled out, “Bring your culture right here!” They all seemed fine with trying the skins.
Do I look confused? There is a reason for that. This is my amazing teacher who has so much patience. She can understand a little English but she teaches me purely in Russian. It is so neat.