Sunday, March 31, 2013

Crazytown, Russian Federation

Since my last post, not only have things refused to calm down, but they have also gotten more chaotic! This hasn't been all bad though, and I'll tell you all about it presently.

To keep up a continuous narrative, I'll fill you in on the rest of my birthday weekend.  Thanks to amazing, caring friends lending me money, I was able to get tickets to St Petersburg! I left Thursday night on the overnight train after Lydia (my coteacher) and our wonderful students gave me a very sweet gift - Russian books, a Narcissus plant, and chocolate.  I was sad not to be able to see their Art festival (talent show) performance while I was away, but they won 2nd place and will perform again in April! After arriving in Piter Friday morning I spent the weekend seeing my friends and meeting new ones, as well as attempting to play tour guide for Nathan, who visited all the way from England.  It was the best way I could think of to spend my birthday, and I'm really grateful to everyone who helped me celebrate (especially Jackie, Emmy, Nathan, Evan, and Justin).

I got back on Sunday evening, and over the course of the week discovered that I would be sent on a business trip.  To Siberia.  Crazy cool! From April 2-13, I will be in Muravlenko, which is in Noyabrsk - the largest city in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.  Here I will help on a special project to rapidly increase the English level of several Gazprom teams by July.  They've been studying with a Russian teacher and now want the experience of learning from a native speaker.  I'll be working 10hr days and living in a hotel, but I'm very excited. Though I will miss my students back at Mayakovskaya, who will be taught by a different Sarah while I am away.  I told each of my classes that they're not allowed to like her more than they like me, just in case.

Unfortunately, my computer also decided to cease functioning less than a week before my trip, which caused me to freak out.  Luckily, my friend Sheila has a student who also works as an IT engineer and had him come fix everything for me - basically saving my life.  Sheila and I also went with some other friends to see Sergey Lazarev, a Russian pop singer who I happen to love and who also happened to study at our EF years ago (resulting in discounted tickets, yay us!). Most of my Russian friends have been making fun of me for this, but it was an awesome concert.  Sorry not sorry. 

As if none of this had been quite hectic enough, my soon-to-be new flatmate emailed saying that he had been offered an affordable flat in the center and asking how bad a situation I'd be in if he didn't take Chien's room.  I decided that the situation wouldn't be too desperate, and I couldn't even get mad at him due to the fact that I would've done the exact same thing.  So the hunt is back on for a new roomie, although this time I'll be in Siberia for part of it.  

Speaking of hunts, I've also gotten some really good Easter egg hunts in during the last 2 weeks as we celebrated Easter in school.  On that note, I wish a wonderful Easter to everyone who celebrates today! Wish me luck as I journey to the unknown.

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