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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

From then til' now

Since I have gone almost a year without posting on my long-lost-but-never-forgotten blog, I should probably explain shortly what it is that I have been doing since my last post. As was posted a long time ago, I was in Vladivostok, Russia for approx. 10 months. My thoughts since then have matured, my brain has since then matured, and therefore so has my character. I must also say that going to Russia(and to really stretch it going to Brazil) was the best decision of my life. Studying abroad and going to these countries showed me things, people, and languages that will never leave my mind. I can still picture perfectly looking up the street onto T-63 in Goiania and just as clearly remember the frozen rivers of Kamchatka. To be able to even see both of those places in one lifetime is truly remarkable and not every person on Earth can say he/she has or will have these experiences. I wish I could talk to every person that reads this in person because a text truly can only capture some of the emotion I have attached to this topic. But anyways, on to explaining what I did!

I remember one of the first weeks in Russia, I talked to my dear Australian friend, Elissa Pollock. We actually met while we were both on exchange to Brazil, but kept in touch over the years. When I talked to her, I was complaining(just like I was on my blog), telling her all the bad things that happened to me, and how I was just hating it. I also think(but am not too sure), she was one of the people whom I was telling that I was going to leave early. Thankfully, that never happened. But while we were talking, she told me about how her first month in Brazil sucked but the best thing about it is that if it starts bad, it can only get better and will. I knew she was right, and she was. After my first month, things were on an incline and I would say after the New Year things really started to come together. The week and a half or so in Kamchatka was the biggest turning point though. In the month of February, I started dating my Russian girlfriend who I am still dating to this day(wish me luck), and I also got to see some of the most beautiful nature in my life. I got to go dogsledding, and sledding, and see what I would really call a winter wonderland. For anyone who doesn't know, Kamchatka has approximately 9 months of winter, and LOTS of snow. It is actually the peninsula that is across from Alaska. So I was probably closer to home than Moscow. By the end of April, it was finally about 0 degrees Celcius, and my Russian studies were finally coming to fruition. I was starting to be able to hold conversations and get my points across in a clear way. The grammar was finally stuck in my mind and it was free sailing from there. The relationships I built all came to show me a lot about Russian life, and I definitely got to live well there. It was also in the spring(from maybe March to June), I made 4 tracks with some friends of mine(Andrei and Max). I don't even want to start on the host families, I will make a whole new post for that one. But to summarize the whole experience, my year abroad was important not only for learning about another culture, but learning about life and what it means to you. Like I've said many times, it was the best decision of my life.

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