I’m currently in Russia participating on the Critical Language Scholarship in Russia. Afterward, I plan to study in Almaty, Kazakhstan for the Russian Flagship capstone program. None of this would have been possible without the generous scholarships from the State Department, like the Gilman, so I encourage others to apply in the future. I’m extremely thankful to be selected for these opportunities, but I should also note that the views on this blog are my own, and do not represent any of these organizations or scholarships.
On one of the plane rides I met a Russian women named Natalia who is in charge of marketing for international food brands. She had just left Chicago for a Kellogs conference, and we talked about about 3 hours. I would say that the plane rides were pretty comfortable, but I have to admit, my eczema has been acting up lately. My eyes burn with the flames of Hades after these several days of travel.
|Lights in the lobby of the Renaissance Hotel in Foggy Bottom|
Plus, the original flight from LA-Houston-DC was riddled with turbulence and flight delays, mainly due to the DC storm hitting us on Thursday afternoon. So, there’s a long story behind that, but to be brief, my friend Ryan and I were stuck in Richmond, VA for 5 hours in the plane. Then United gave us a taxi voucher to drive us up to DC. It was crazy expensive and took another two and a half hours before we arrived to the Renaissance Hotel at Dupoint Circle/Foggy Bottom.
At that point, I was a bit freaked about about excess luggage fees, because earlier that week I was moving out of the dorms frantically, thus I compressed all my life belongings into three suitcases and a backpack. I felt like a prissy princess with the amount of things I brought, despite throwing out what I couldn’t carry. Girl, Kathy, you need to learn how to leave that baggage behind!
Thankfully, Pauline the wonderful women came to my rescue. My friend Erica and I got to visit Pauline for a bit, because she was nice enough to let me store a bag of winter clothing at her place! I felt like the luckiest person alive at that moment. Plus, she treated us to vanilla bean ice-cream. In moments like this, I sincerely hope karma works its magic for nice folks like her.
|Domodedovo Airport (Moscow), where we first landed in Russia|
After a long journey from Los Angeles to DC, then to Frankfurt to Moscow, and a 200-km bus ride, the other CLS students and I have arrived in Vladimir, Russia. Super excited to be here. My host family is a father and mother, who greeted me, fed me dinner and took me out to the movie theaters following my arrival. We watched Jurassic World in 3-D. It was great seeing it again, but the hall was pretty dark and since I was so tired, I might have dozed off at a few points. Nice Russian practice though.
There’s more to say, but I have to get up around 8am tomorrow. I’ll try my best to adjust to the time difference, so see y’all the next time. And again, thanks for reading. I already miss everyone! If you can, add me on Whatsapp or Skype!