Time goes by really fast and no matter where you go you seem to make a bigger impression than you intended or really ever thought you would…
The last few days in Cherepovets have gone better, granted I really had to fight the desire to hermit up in my apartment. However, every time I actually got out and got active the time really passed by twice-fold and much more pleasantly than I thought it would. The camp was really enjoyable the last few days. The kids played a ton of games and I think also quite enjoyed it.
Wednesday was an “American potluck” theme. The kids all brought goodies, mainly sweets, and I made forty plus cookies. We sang songs related to food and I taught them the spaghetti and meatball song, where the meatball rolls through the town; they enjoyed that one. I also taught them apples and bananas, where the vowels change with each verse. I think they also enjoyed that one, as in the end they practically had it memorized. They then played a whole bunch of food relating games with blind folds that involved stuffing bananas into each others faces and eating food with no hands. They were really good sports, though the same kids participate in almost all the competitions. That evening I went to a cafe with a new acquaintance. Afterwards we went to the theater and saw the most depressing play. Essentially a 21 year old girl comes upon keys to a woman’s apartment and invites some guy there that she meets at the club. He ends up stealing all the things in the apartment, but the girl’s in loveeeee. The owner, a middle aged woman, ends up returning home early and unexpectedly and sees her apartment a mess with some unknown girl in sexual pjs. They take turns threatening each other with calling the police, pulling out a gun, and tying each other up. Then they have conversations about life, and become friends. They end up drinking vodka. The young girl pretends to drink while the fifty year old women gets hammered, forgives the young girl, and takes her in as a daughter. It all ends when the young girl decides to leave. The woman doesn’t want her to go and shoots her. Yeah, happy Wednesday.
Thursday was a game day. They split up into small groups and rotated game stations. They really enjoyed this day, as they continued to ask me today, “can we play UNO?!”. I taught them how to play Jenga, however our game had a twist. On all the blocks I wrote questions or commands. These included everything from calling your mom (which I ended up getting at 3am Michigan time), jog around the room, throw the block across the room, and recite the alphabet backwards. After lunch we played some simple outdoors games. At the end of the day we went to a local center for the elderly. Essentially this place didn’t have elderly people in in, but was rather a place they could go if they needed help or food. The kids had made Buranovskie Babushi dolls for them (the Babushki who took second place in Eurovision). So we really didn’t meet any elderly people, but just the directors of the center. The kids preformed some dances and showed off their musical talents. I said some words in English and they translated for me. Once again I spent my evening in a cafe, conversing with one of the employees from the youth center as time passed by unnoticed.
Friday I gave a “lecture” on American slang, teaching them some fun words that my brother’s age group uses, such as ‘tight’, ‘ill’, etc. Even I had to refer to the Internet and conversations with my brother on Facebook, as in reality I am so disconnected from the general register of our youth. But, it was enjoyable describing the words to the kids and learning how to reconnect with my youngest bro. After that the kids had a talent show where they sang, danced, and showed off other various talents. They then showered me with gifts, which was naively unexpected by me. The Russians have a strict tradition of gift-giving, so I should have been well prepared, but I was not. See the picture below. So, as I was planning to leave with less things, I ended up leaving with two extra bags. Of course. After the performance the ‘workers’ gathered for pizza and tea and I was presented with yet another awesome, homemade gift. Returning home, I cleaned, packed, and headed off to my host, Anna’s home with Sasha, a new acquaintance. We had dinner, wine, and toasts, after which Sasha escorted me to the train station where I’m full and tired and really ready for St. Petersburg.