Seasons come….Seasons go…

Blue skies, sunshine, wind, country roads, farmland, and pastures….Yep! I’m back in SW Kansas!  …And boy does it feel nice, 🙂
Through my stories and illustrations of my experiences in Moscow, I hope you were able to get a good glimpse of what my life has been like for the past 10 months.  But if I haven’t done a good enough job of conveying this cultural experience, I might have just the thing that will.
My friend Kristin has been teaching at MES for the past 3 years, and last year her and a couple of the teachers came up with a ‘You Know You’re in Russia If ‘ list……so I can’t take any credit, but it really does sum up my experience and I wanted to share it with you all.

You Know You’re in Russia If:

  • The majority of the calories you consume daily are from chocolate
  • When you are walking outside your eyes literally freeze shut
  • You begin thinking that –5 degrees is warm.
  • For a week of school you may have 6 out of 32 students
  • Your students may stay home from school if they coughed one time on Saturday. This means they will be ill for a week or more.
  • You ice skate everywhere. Your not actually wearing ice skates but since the sidewalks are one big sheet of ice you just glide along everywhere. (Because we all know if you try to lift your feet the chances of falling have greatly increased)
  • If a law changes and you are upset, wait a week and it will change again… or ask someone else and they will give you a different answer.
  • On the metro you smile and someone looks at you like you are mentally ill. And if you are reading a book and begin to cry… you will get lots of weird looks.
  • You get body slammed by a 70-year-old woman who was walking on the other side of the street but decided that she wanted to walk exactly where you were.
  • You have almost been knocked out by the swinging doors at the entrance and exit of the metro.
  • You have been afraid of riding the metro because suicide bombers are in fact real and very prevalent in Moscow.
  • One errand a day is an accomplishment. Two is a maybe and a huge feeling of success.
  • You have had to put some grocery’s back because you realized that carrying 6 bags on the metro is quite a challenge.
  • Your students correct your spelling of “mom” in class because it is spelled “mum”
  • You drink so much tea that now you think teeth are actually yellow- When we made paper self-portraits I made my teeth white and my students told me “no, teeth are yellow”. I was quick to tell them mine were in fact white. But most of them still cut theirs out of yellow paper.
  • You realize that kids really don’t need to drink water if they have tea… right??
  • You hear English and get confused, sometimes it still sounds like Russian.
  • It takes everything in you not to pet the lady’s coat next to you on the metro
  • You hear the other teachers tell the children that putting tons of butter on a small piece of bread is, in fact, healthy.
  • You have to walk in a zig zag pattern on the sidewalks to avoid all the spit.
  • Now, sweetened condensed milk is not just an ingredient in a recipe but actually a sauce to be poured on desserts and breakfast items.
  • You have become immune to the flavor of dill because it’s in almost everything.
  • You know that in June you will be either taking showers at a friend’s flat or taking freezing cold showers, because your hot water WILL be shut off for 2 weeks.
  • Piracy doesn’t exist. You can get almost anything for free on the internet. Software, movies, music…
  • You hear the strangest medical advice: “Don’t read and eat at the same time. Your body can’t focus on digestion.” “Don’t eat milk with fish because you will get sick.”  “Don’t put milk in your tea. The chemical reaction will cause you to be sick.” (Even though the whole of England drinks tea this way.)
  • You get an eye-roll and an exasperated sigh if you come up to a cashier and give her anything but exact change.
  • You are tempted to wink at a complete stranger on the extremely long escalator because you know you will never see them again.


So now that I’m back, you may wonder what’s next. Well, I’m wondering a little of that myself. My life is pretty much in limbo right now, but here are a few things that are certain:

Operation Wedding Planning starts hardcore- NOW!

I’m at home in KS for the next month or 2, and then moving to Jonesboro, Arkansas-which will become my new home for the upcoming years until the Lord moves my soon-to-be-husband and me elsewhere.

As far as teaching: I plan to continue as I feel it is still what God has called me to do. Whether it’s a full time position or substitute teaching, I’m trusting HIS direction and provision.

I’m excited to see what God has in store for me as I begin this new season of my life.


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