Monday, January 14, 2008

Sigh of Happiness

I feel so good, and it's not just because my computer teacher just told me that i didn't have to learn Pascal which basically leaves me two periods to use the internet at my leisure. I feel better than i have in a long time. I think a good part of it is the change in atmosphere.

I'm already settling in well to living with Sasha and Elena Ivanovna. In fact I have to be careful because I really am enjoying where I'm at now, and I might not want to leave.

The apartment is smaller, and so is my bed. The dog is a lot bigger, but still a crazy russian dog. and I think the change of atmosphere was really good for me, because once I got over my nervousness at having to adapt to a new family I settled right in and I'm loving it.

Both Sasha and her mother, Elena Ivanovna, like to talk, and I find myself opening up more, and starting conversations and joining conversations, not because I have too as an exchange student, but because I want too. I feel like they actully care what I have to say, or if not, they do a good job pretending.

Yeah, life is different here. I had to get used really quick to the fact that I went from basically having free reign of an apartment, to having people around me basically all of the time, but once I did, it's all good.

There's no internet there as it's broken, but the nice young male teacher who works at Sasha's school and occasionally shows up to eat dinner with us, is going to come with a new modem on Tuesday. I don't know how much, if at all, I'll use the internet there though. my school principal here told me i could use the internet a couple of times a week after school in this one classroom, so i might just do that.

Elena Ivanovna cooks. We have kasha for breakfast which is like cereal grains cooked. The last two days it's been oatmeal type stuff. Tasty. she also makes really good dinners. it's soo tasty! So much for loosing weight.

I've decided that the most important thing i've learned so far on exchange (minus the language and cultural stuff) is how to adapt. I've discovered that yeah, there might be things here that bother me, because my American cultural ingraining has told me that we do things a different way, but here, it might be different, and since I'm here, in this culture, it only makes sense to do things the way that is normal in this cultural context. So sometimes in order to not let things bother me, I have to mentally push what my brain is telling me to the back and ignore the voice in my head.

It's an interesting experience. there are a lot of differences between houses, but that's okay. for example, at raisa's I always woke myself up in the mornings, here, Elena Ivanovna does. E.I. also makes breakfast, at Raisa's i was responsible for it myself. Not just that, but other things as well. Raisa has a drying rack for the clothes, and here Elena Ivanovna hangs a clothesline across the main room. she told me the other night that she had a drying rack, but the dog kept taking the clothes off it. So she uses the clothes line.

I find that only four days after coming to my new home, temporary as it may be, I'm already used to life here. It seemed to take forever for me to get used to life at Raisa's, but maybe that's because I was also adapting to a new culture, and now I have a better handle on the culture, it's a lot easier to fit into the life. In some ways, i never felt completely comfortable at Raisa's. Don't know why. It's not horribly bad, it's just different.

I'm happier than i've felt in a while. That's a good thing.


Yana said...

hi here! i was just wondering in foreign exchange students blogs, and finally i found you. so how is it going? it will be nice of you if you'll write me ->
I`m exchange student too, but from that Yakutsk town to San-Antonio, TX. Red some of your entries and it sounds familiar tone, especially that one about homesickness. Anyway, write me,
talk to ya

Anonymous said...

hey there
i see u like your new family..
do u wanna stay there?
don't be shy=) just talk to them if they can afford it..
and talk to my mum (she will understand don't worry).
probably u were bored sometimes at my home cause there is only my mum and no kids...))
so write me news someday)