Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Homecoming

It's been two weeks since I arrived back in the United States.  Just two weeks ago I was waving goodbye to my dear Russia from the plane window as tears rolled down my cheeks during takeoff.  The previous days had also been filled with hard goodbyes.  I spent the weekend slowly packing and preparing to leave my kiddos for the last time.  On Monday I ate breakfast and then said my goodbyes until Vadim came to pick me up.  It was a very emotional morning leaving the camp.  My kiddos were crying and insisted on walking me to meet Vadim.  I was getting a little teary-eyed myself.  There were pictures, hugs, more pictures, and more hugs. The little ones who I spent time with even though they weren't actually my students engulfed me in hugs and didn't want to let go.  But finally, Vadim and I had to hit the road.

My girls!

Big hugs!!

Angela has such a talent for learning languages!

"Chelsea, take a picture of us so that you'll never ever forget us!"

Some of my little cuties

He wrapped his legs around me and told me I couldn't go anywhere

"Promise you won't forget me, Chelsea?"

Group hug

Don't cry!

Vadim and I had a bit of business in the city and then it was off to my accommodations for the night.  I was staying in the nice hotel by the airport and it was great to be able to relax in comfort my last night in Russia. Grace came over after she got off work and we stayed up until 3 AM talking and watching bad British TV.  And then just like that, my morning alarm was waking me up much earlier than I would have liked and I was through the airport and on a plane leaving Saint Petersburg, Russia.  Honestly, didn't I just get there yesterday??? 

On Tuesday evening we pulled off an excellent surprise. Way back in April I bought plane tickets home for August 6th.  I told my mom, however, that I would be coming home on the 7th.  My older sister was in on the plan and my grandparents helped us out by picking me up from the airport.  It just so happened that my mom was out of the house when we got into town, so my sister and grandparents hid downstairs and I planted myself on the couch in the living room.  When my mom walked into the house my brother told her that there was a package on the couch in the living room which came to the house today.  You can imagine her surprised scream when she saw that the "package" was her daughter, whom she presumed was still halfway across the world.  Surprise!! We got her sooo good! My younger sister also happened to not be at home, so I got to pull off a second surprise that very same evening! Once we were all united we went out for celebratory frozen yogurt.  I had been awake for over 24 hours my the time I hit the sack Tuesday night, so I was completely unopposed to an early bedtime. 

I had a little over a week at home before it was time to head back down to Bloomington. I spent that week catching up with old friends, spending time with my family, and helping with that endless task of unpacking the new house.  On the first Saturday I was back mom, Joseph, and I went to DCI finals! We had an awesome day together. 

Moving back to Bloomington went smoothly and I love my apartment! It is off campus, but in a good location.  I can take the bus or bike to campus and their are a couple of grocery store nearby.  Plus some of my roommates have cars, so if I was really in a pickle they would be able to help me out.  As many of you know, I don't really like driving or even having a car anyhow.  If I could survive the past 14 months without one, I really don't think I need one now.  The townhouse we're living in is rather giant and my room could easily accommodate another person. It's nice having a lot of our own space, but we also have some nice shared space downstairs in the living room and (very big!) kitchen where we can spend time all together. 

My room!

Above my bed are pictures of Kiev and Kazan

My very own bathroom
This week has been pretty busy with stuff at the Global Village, but I still have time to relax and enjoy my last few days of summer before the school year starts up! Senior year here I come!