Oh my gosh, so many things to cover. First of all, I received quite a few very sweet emails and comments from people in regards to my homesick post and I just want to say thank you to everyone who reached out. I'm so glad to hear from other people who have gone through similar feelings and everyone was so encouraging and comforting. I even received an email from a German/Swiss woman who is currently living in Vienna and feeling very similar about her home country-how amazing to be able to connect to someone out in the world like that?! So grateful.
Anyway, I've cheered up a lot since my last post. Spring has S P R U N G to say the least! Moscow is filled with sunshine (until 10:00 p.m.!) and flowers and happy bodies flooding the streets. It's been a great time to have a vacation and enjoy the happy energy this city is providing.
Ben and I went down to the Red Square yesterday to celebrate with our people May 9th/Victory Day, which is the day that remembers the capitulation of Nazi Germany. People brought flowers and wore their parents/grandparents medals and pins, all honoring those who died in the war. I really enjoyed seeing the Russian pride and felt very happy to be able to witness such love and respect.
Our block-how lovely is this? I regret not taking a picture of it when it was crystalized in snow when we first arrived to compare it, but I'll definitely snap some shots of the snow this upcoming winter.
As I was taking this picture, a woman asked Ben what was so interesting in the tree. He told her I was just photographing the flowers and she was confused. So Russian.
So this arrived. This little stand serves cups of beer for very cheap, so I expect that some nights Ben and I will be grabbing a cup on our way home from work. ; )
The gates to the Red Square--can you see St. Basil's in the background?!
People were placing flowers at this statue.
Saying I love St. Basil's is an understatement. I LOVE St. Basil's. My heart leaps every time I see it.
I'm not sure, but I assume Putin or someone important was going to come later on and speak.
Such a nice day. I'm so grateful we got a chance to get out of the apartment and run around.
On another note, how crazy is it that Ben and I graduated college a year ago today? I know we went back for another semester (me, because I transfered as a sophomore and lost a semester, Ben because he completed an Honor's Term), but graduation day was still incredibly significant. There was so much celebration and proud feelings. I loved Beloit, and I feel like everything I had set out to do, was accomplished. I joined clubs, I explored interests, I worried about big things, I wrote about small things, I asked questions, I gave answers, I worked hard, I created constantly, and in the end, I got a degree I'm really proud of (one I haven't even held yet! It came a month or so after I arrived in Russia).
I even miss things I didn't know I would miss: I miss the structure of classes and the excuse to explore odd topics.
And the conversations! I miss the arguing! The debates! I learned so much from everyone around me-I really think that's where most of the growth comes from. I miss people too. I miss the people I learned with. I miss the people I spent weekends with, everyone wild and excited and so unique, not a single party went by where I didn't feel inspired by someone. I miss the people I ate dinner at Commons with (and talked at length about how horrible the food was). I really miss my creative writing friends and the Honor's Thesis group I worked with so much my senior year. I miss our weekly dinners in the basement of Maurer and the way we helped each others writing morph into new maturity. The way we supported and encouraged each other through the difficult process, and how proud we all were to attend each other's readings and hear the final product.
It was good. It was a really special time on my life and I look back on it so fondly.
**Sorry if it seems like I'm bumming out again... my Facebook News Feed is filled with graduation pictures and statuses, so it's hard not to be nostalgic!**
And I really like that one sunny afternoon during the first week of my Senior year, I burst in late to a floor meeting and met this guy. That might have just been the best part.