I spent the first half of the summer finishing out my employment at EF Mayakovskaya, and with it my time teaching children for the foreseeable future. I'm glad to have had the experience, but it's not for me right now. Before heading back to the US, I took a weekend trip to Warsaw to visit my friend Pawel and his family. They were the best hosts I could ever have asked for, with Pawel's parents feeding us delicious (and huge amounts of) home-cooked food for every meal, and Pawel himself showing me pretty much everything there was to see in the city - the Old Town, New Town, parks and palaces, forests, a very new castle, and even a pit stop for shopping and a mad souvenir hunt. Warsaw is much smaller than Moscow, and most buildings are new - they were reconstructed after the war, but kept as close to their original style as possible. In short, I loved Warsaw and it was a welcome break from Moscow.
The following weekend, I flew back to the US for the next month, where I was met with friends, family, and familiar food. I spent as much time as possible at the beach, got a fair bit of shopping in, and spent a lot of time driving to and from seeing people. I was able to help my dad out with doctor's appointments after his heart surgery the first week I was back, and I'm happy to say he's been recovering well and quickly. Another thing I got to do at home was go to and camp at a 4 day music festival by the beach in my city called The Gathering of the Vibes. I camped with a big group of friends, and in order to gain free entry I worked with another friend selling tickets in the parking garage for a day. Not bad at all! I didn't get to spend a single day on my own during my vacation, but it was a lot of fun and flew by rather quickly.
When I got back to Moscow, I started my new job teaching English to EF's corporate clients. It requires quite a bit of commuting every day, but I really love it so far. I've had a few stints of being ill and also found out I have a new lentil allergy, but I've also gotten out to see friends and enjoy some of our parks. I even rowed a boat a few weeks ago before the cold set in! And despite what you may be hearing in the news, there is plenty of food on the shelves, and it has not decreased in quality. Though cheddar cheese has all but disappeared, leaving me deeply distraught.
It's been said that without regularity, your writing suffers, so hopefully this hasn't been too painful to read. That's my news from Moscow for now!