It has been a little bit challenging adjusting to living here. Another technology that Americans take for granted... water purification. I generally drink a lot of liquids, granted most of the time that is soda, but here I don't want to spend the extra money. Normally, this means that I would drink copious amounts of water, but you can't drink the water that comes out of the tap here. It is water that comes directly out of a ground well and so the water under the city is quite polluted. Olga's family gets their water from the well at their country cottage. So I feel like a glutton going and drinking up all their country water. Of course they are so nice, and kind of look at me funny when I say this. They take such good care of me. Oh and Olga's mom's cooking is fantastic! She has made me many different things and definitely the all the traditional dishes. My favorite has to still be Borsch and Pelimeni (dumplings).
The only bad things that I have encounter are the language barrier and the lack of independence. I haven't lived with my parents in over five years and so I am not used to having food cooked for me, or, whats more, being served to me! They also clean my dishes and I just feel like I am causing extra work. They insist that I am not but I still try to help out where I can. Also, I don't have a key so its harder for me to come and go whenever. I have to always know my plans ahead of time so that someone is home to let me in. The part that makes this the most difficult is the fact that I cant actually talk to my host parents. She is always trying to talk to me, and I feel bad because I don't know what she is saying! *Sad Face* Its also hard in the shops or anywhere I go really. I wish I had had more of a opportunity to learn more Russian before I came. We will be starting our Russian lessons soon and I am so excited for that. I definitely don't want to look like the “entitled American” who expects everyone speak English for them. I want to learn as much as I can about this culture so it's a little more difficult when I can't communicate with everyone with whom I try to talk to. I can tell sometimes when Olga is trying to process something I said and sometimes its hard for me to find more simple word to describe it in. It's definitely a learning experience! From this experience I can better relate to how an ELL student would feel in a classroom full of English speakers. I will definitely take this feeling with me into a more diverse classrooms.