До Свидания, Россия

Дорогие, дорогие друзья…

Уже пора вернуться домой.

Hi everyone! It’s official. I am no longer in Russia. At this very moment, I am sitting in Munich, Germany with 4 other American students enjoying the time before our flights leave (back to the US!).

I’m flying into DC, then ready to head home to the West coast!

I can’t even begin to describe how the last few days have been. I’m going to apologize right now to everyone in America, for not keeping anyone very updated this past week, but it has been so busy, so hectic.

Our final exams started on Monday, and I had to study for those as well as write 3 different papers. I also met with friends throughout the week after class, so I really had no time to update any of you, let alone finish some things I needed to do for myself.

I’ve taken the time to cram in souvenir shopping, visit the Hermitage one last time, walk around Nevsky, go watch another movie, hang out in coffee shops, etc.

We had our last day of finals on Wednesday along with our program’s closing ceremony, which was pretty awesome. Goodbye speeches from staff, videos, dancing, choir, food, etc. It didn’t feel like the last day at all. It just feels like we have a break, but we’ll be heading back to class next week. However, it was the last time to say goodbye to our teachers.

That night, a large group of students met up for a final time at СПБ to say goodbye, and I would have to say that was really the time when “goodbyes” felt more real. I haven’t really been in a crying mood this week, but I’ll admit I did tear up a bit that night when everyone started bawling.

It’s weird, when you see people every day and get used to them being there, then all of a sudden they’re gone. But that’s life, and that’s what these sorts of things are like. I’m not usually a fan of being dragged around in huge groups of people, but I’d have to say that our group of 94 students has gotten along pretty well. All of our excursions have gone smoothly for having so many people, and everyone is really unique in their own way.

I almost get the feeling that the people who study Russian are usually not the most normal people (how could you be?) and that’s a connection that was probably felt throughout the program.

Anywho, I’ve spent the past few days collecting all my things and shoving them into whatever spot they’ll fit. Thursday I met up with a couple friends and watched a movie, then bought some last minute things, and spent the rest of the evening (and all night) with my host mom, brother, and Marcel. Didn’t sleep at all, but it was my last day/night, and I was picked up for the airport at 2am. I can’t say how weird it felt to be leaving- that apartment feels like my home already.

My host mom has already met my aunt and uncle, as well as my aunt’s parents, and when I left she told me that I have already become one of her relatives, and that so far of the 3 or 4 other students she’s had, I’ve spoken the best Russian, and she’s had the closest relationship with me because I can understand more.  I did give her a gift, which was very nice (a bag, pen, chocolate, card, and picture), but despite that I still feel like it wasn’t enough.

My host brother carried  my luggage out to the van, and I think (or I’d like to think) he also seemed like he was sad- it could honestly just be that he was grumpy from being woken up to carry all my 50lb stuff down the stairs, but I’d like to think otherwise. Although we didn’t really общались a lot, I think he was a lot like what an older brother would have been like, and I do appreciate having some interesting conversations with him about what the younger/middle age generation in Russia is interested in.

Marcel (the cat) ran away from me when I tried to hug him, but I take this as a sign of denial that he just didn’t accept I was leaving😉. The night before he went and sat in my suitcase, so I’m assuming if I had really wanted to shove him in there, I probably could have.

Now I have basically said all my goodbyes, and am waiting for my next plane to come in. When I got into the van, my host mom started crying a little, and I can’t deny I started crying too. So sad to say goodbye.

But I look forward to being home and getting re-accustomed to the American lifestyle. It will be interesting to see in what ways I’ve changed since living in Russia for 4 months, besides the fact that my English has gotten worse (as you can probably tell by how I’m writing in my blog).

Until then ребята.

Скучаю по всем в России. Люблю вас и буду вам сказать, когда я вернусь.

Don’t cry.🙂

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