A Travellerspoint blog

Safe in Russia!

I have safely arrived in Kirov! It was a pretty crazy journey to get here. First, I went to orientation in Long Island University in New York. I got a lot of information from past participants from last year. It was really interesting to hear about their trip and what sort of advice they had for our group. After two days of orientation, the 15 of us got on a plane headed to Moscow! There were some really bad storms in NY so our flight sat on the runway for around 4 hours before they let us deplane. Our flight was supposed to take off at 4:10 PM and we ended up leaving at around 2 AM the next day. There were other problems other than weather and some luggage got misplaced, but we eventually got there! After arriving in Moscow at 8 PM (we were supposed to arrive at 10 AM and tour around the city all day) we had to sprint to the train station in order to make the 10 PM train to Kirov. We took a train from Moscow to the subway, then sprinted to the station that our train was departing from. There were too many flights of stairs that we had to lug our stuff over to count! We were really lucky that our train was running late because we wouldn't have made it otherwise. 

It was a huge relief to make our train even though we had to give up a day in Moscow. We won't have to be behind on our language learning at all! After spending 14 hours on the final leg to Kirov, we finally arrived! We were greeted by our two teachers for the summer, Larisa and Anna. They are very nice and friendly. They took us back to the youth hostel were we will be staying  for the next 3 weeks. The rooms are actually quite nice and the location is prefect and right downtown.  

Once we got to the hostel and had lunch, Anna told us about all of the activities that we are going to be doing this summer. We are going to a ballet, historic Slobodskoy, matryoshka factory, summer camps for little kids, and lots of other fun adventures! We are going to be staying at the hostel for 3 weeks, then living with our host families for the last two weeks. A lovely surprise was that we are going to Kazan for three days at the end of our trip! From there we will all go to Moscow then back home. 

Today was the first language lesson with out teachers, Anna and Larisa. It was mostly just the alphabet and simple greetings, so a lot of review for me. I still learned a couple new phrases! School goes from around 9 to 1 with two hours with each teacher. 

At lunch, we met the Russian students that are going to be studying at the school at the same time as us in the English program. They are all very pleasant and it was fun to get to know them. We eat all of our meals together and have time after activities to socialize and get to know each other. There will be three groups that come throughout our time in the hostel and each group stays for one week. 

We also go on excursions every evening. Today we went on a bus tour of Kirov and saw lots of historical landmarks. It was really neat to see and I saw lots of places I had never explored before. 

Overall, this trip has been pretty exhausting, but worth it! I am really looking forward to the coming weeks at school and meeting my host family!

Posted by kwood24 12:02 Archived in Russia

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Hi Kendall,

We are so relieved to hear you have arrived safely. What an amazing experience! It seems you are always barely making connections when going over there!

We miss you tons and are so very proud of you. Wow! What an experience!

We can't wait to hear the next adventure.

Love,

PPJ & GD

by Popo Jim & Grandune

What a wild start to your summer abroad! Sounds like you have handled everything just fine and are excited about what's ahead. Your blog was wonderful--so detailed and interesting.

Love you SOO much and will be writing when I'm not out-of-town myself. Going to the last weekend of first term and looking forward to seeing Kate and your mom and dad. What is the date of your return?

XOXOXO,
Grantan

by Tandy Wood

Kendal, I am so happy to hear you all made it safely to Kirov. It sure did look like you all started out on one big adventure. I do have a question, I am Matt's mother and noticed you mentioned all 15 of you boarded the flight. Matt had called us and mentioned he was going to have to fly out the next day. Just asking.

by Debora Roy

Awesome update, Kendall! It all sounds great...and it sounds like they are keeping all of you busy! I am sure the bus tour was very interesting and you might have seen some of the places before! We both love you tons and can't wait to hear more.

Love Mom (and Dad)

by Craig Wood

Thanks for the great update. It sounds like it is going great and you are meeting some wonderful people. I am sure the bus tour was interesting and you might have even been familiar with some of the places! Keep the updates coming. Love you!! Mom

by Holly wood

Great update, Kendall! So glad that you got there safely and that you are having a great time so far. Can't wait to hear more about it - everything from your new American friends to your new Russian friends...and everything in between. Thanks for keeping up the blog so that we can experience your special summer vicariously.

We love you and miss you!

Dad (and Mom and Kate and Murphy and Bengal)

by Craig Wood

What a trip over. I can't believe you got right up and at 'em the next day after that journey. Sounds like it is going to be a wonderful experience. Nice to hear from you! We have six visitors from Scotland here so are busy enjoying the tourist things.

by Grannie Annie

You rock lady. Keep that head up and keep on listening to your Lord. So fun to hear about your adventures. I'll live them through you. Prayers and blessings sent your way. Love you friend

by Rush

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