Today was our first day volunteering. We went over to a large Vladimir preschool and worked outside for a few hours, the girls re-painting playground equipment and the boys digging holes (I never actually found out the reason?). Before we started, though, we were treated to a performance by one class, a group dance that they were performing for some kind of preschool graduation, I believe. They did a short little dance to some Russian pop music that definitely makes my 'Top 10 Cutest Things I've Ever Seen.' The painting itself was fun stuff, I got to sit and talk with the girls while painting, with the children playing outside and the neighbors nearby all looking amused by our accents. Of course, after an hour and a half I looked up to discover that my legs were absolutely covered in splotches of red, yellow, and blue, despite the fact that I had no recollection of getting paint on me at any point and was only using the red. Classic. Nonetheless, it was gratifying work, the women who helped us didn't speak English but we were told that they were very thankful and that we were welcome back anytime.
|The Golden Gates of Vladimir|
|The Russian version of Harry Potter|
Most important difference: pronounced
Funny Moment of the Day: After dinner, while I was doing my homework, my host mom called me in to say hi to her aunt and uncle on Skype from Moscow. The aunt didn't speak English but the uncle certainly did, and he sat me down and told me about how his brother had attended University of Iowa in 1991 until the government switch, at which point he'd had to return for some reason, and how leaders in the communist party had traveled to Iowa in the 50's to see our farms and ended up bringing lots of popcorn back. At the end of the conversation, much to my host mom's chagrin, he toasted my trip and good weather with a double shot of vodka from the handle he'd been drinking from throughout the call, which has got to be the most Russian thing I've seen yet.