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Host Family

Written on: Tuesday January 29th, 2008

A journal entry from: B Poccuu

So I?ve moved in with my host family. I absolutely love them. Viktoriya is my host mom, and there?s her son Pavel. Viktoriya feeds me a lot, and basically acts like my mom. For instance, last night I told her I shower at night?no, she says, you can?t shower at night because if you go outside within two hours of showering, you?ll get meningitis. So I showered last night, to skip the argument. This morning, I got my hair wet to make it curly, and she says, oh no you can?t go outside with your hair wet! You?ll get meningitis! Also, I had to eat before putting on real clothes. I couldn?t wear my boots because they were wet (they weren?t wet, they were cold, and I wore them anyway). They were a little wet because I had washed them (another source of confusion for her)?I stepped in a urine filled puddle and they smelled disgusting. I love her, though, because this is what everyone told us to expect from our Russian host family, and it?s like I?m getting the real experience. Someone told me that Pavel doesn?t talk a lot, but that?s not true?he?s been talking all the time. They said that I?m the first host student they've had in a while that can actually speak Russian (somewhat) and formulate sentences. I can generally understand what they?re saying, too (they?ve been told to speak more slowly for us). It made me feel a lot better about my Russian skills. I actually didn?t realize how much I?d understood until today when I was telling my friends about my host family.

I had borshch for my first meal with them! It was delicious. Viktoriya is a great cook. I?ve also watched a lot of Russian tv?lots of soap operas (they?re ridiculous). My room is really big, and I?ve got a desk and a dresser. They also saved me space in the shower and such, which was really nice of them. Viktoriya is also going to pick up water and laundry detergent for me if I give her some rubles each month?really awesome.

I woke up at 3AM again this morning, so I know I?m still not completely used to the time. Viktoriya keeps reminding me that I?m not used to the climate, either (you?ll get sick!). Oh, another thing. Luckily another student, who?s here for the year, lives in the apartment right above me. He showed me how to get to school this morning, and then around 5 when I got lost on the way back I called him and he told me where to go. Very helpful. I did manage to find my way back on a different metro line than he took me on?go me!

Today we had placement testing. It was really hard. Everyone who speaks Russian who?s reading this?I forgot what ???? meant (I know, that's horrible), and I had to match some nouns with some adjectives. About 2 hours later, I realized that I had put ??????????? ???? (talented river). The oral part was actually much easier than the written part, which surprised me. I guess it was because I'd been talking to my host family all day. After the test, we had lunch (blini, mmmm) and went and had the AIDS tests redone. We wondered around that part of town, and Jessica showed us where the American Consulate is. Then some of us headed to Pik, a mall, and wondered around. We found a kids toy store that had these little notebooks, and we all got some. They are ridiculous. I have one that has a picture of a mouse and says «Mice-o-mania». My friend Liza got one that says «Honduras: No Problem».

Anyway, I'm glad the testing is over. Tomorrow we find out where we've been placed, dun dun dun?. I'm also going to get on the internet for the first time in almost a week. Also, I've actually been understood more when ordering food and such. Russian people understand me! Yay!



From Spivey on Jan 29th, 2008

I think I remember an old Russian Proverb: If you blog you's get meningitis. Have a great time!

From Philippa Anderson on Jan 29th, 2008

Kate, I loved reading your first few entries. I'm so very proud of you. I can't wait to hear more and see some photos.

From Miriam on Jan 29th, 2008

I'm so glad you have another mother to nag you - but no one can say "Ka-ate!" in the same tone of voice as your mom. Enjoy and stay safe. Post some pictures of the Metro for the public transit nerd -

From Pam keenliside on Jan 29th, 2008

So, whats wrong with a "talented river." I've been on lots of "talented rivers." I wish I were you.

From Janet Ward (Frau!) on Jan 29th, 2008

Hey Kate, I loved reading your blog today. It sound so fascinating and makes me want to head off to the airport right this minute. What a great experience. Keep on blogging!

From Mom on Jan 29th, 2008

Glad you are loving it! And warm and have a second mother to watch after you!!! How was the first day of class?? Pneumonia maybe - meningitis????

From The bestest sister is... on Jan 29th, 2008

Hannah! so whats meningitis anyway? And its raining here, but lucky me I won't get a dieses that sounds like man fungus, just muddy cleats and a messy soccer practice. So does my freakishly alike twin have brown hair too?? I think teachers love you more than me. LOL luv ya like a fat kid loves red velvet cupcakes (which are amazingly good and i had them today.. well atleast better than beat soup) Hannah

From The Actual Best Sister on Jan 29th, 2008

So we all know im the best sister but anyway... im glad you love it but i do miss you already. I want to see pictures. Did you learn what the word for tree is yet? Tell me but dont tell Caitlin. haha i love you miss you much xoxox alisha

From Aunt Lynda on Jan 30th, 2008

What I really want to know about is: the WEATHER ! Just how cold is it in St Pete in January and how well is your coat keeping you warm? Is the apt warm ? And Viktoriya is right about wet heads...they definitely give you meningitis or even worse, a Cold!

From Barb Bonham on Jan 30th, 2008

We are glad you are settling in and have a great host mom. Bacterial or viral meningitis?

From Jennifer Eubanks on Feb 2nd, 2008

Haha! engrish is everywhere. I'm glad you're having a good time! Skype me soon!