Reflections of Thanksgiving: what I’m thankful for in Russia

Well, today is Thanksgiving, but frankly, it doesn’t feel like it; I guess not seeing reminders on tv and the media will do that to you. Anyways, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share some things that I’m thankful for, from over the course of my three months teaching/being in Moscow so far. Before I begin, however, I’d like to dedicate this post to my mom and my dad, as this is the first time in 22 years that both my brother and I haven’t been home to celebrate; he’s in the army and I’m obviously in Russia. Mom and dad, I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving and I really miss you all.

I’m just finishing up my third month of teaching (as of Saturday), and in that time I’ve found many things to be thankful for. It’s hard to list everything, but here are some of the biggest ones:

-My mom and dad for supporting me in every step of the way to become an ESL teacher. I really don’t know what I would have done otherwise.

-I’m thankful for making it Moscow safe and sound without any incident to speak of. On that note, I’m thankful that transportation here has been very straightforward an very efficient. Gotta love having trains coming within minutes!

-I’m thankful for living with an absolutely fantastic roommate/colleague. Brent, you rock!

-Being able to work in a great environment at school has made these three months as excellent as they’ve been. I’ve had a ton of support and it genuinely feels like a family. From the help given to me on day one to going bowling with all the colleagues to whatever our future bonding events may be, it’s been a smooth ride. Here’s to many more months of this!

-Feeling more mature as a person and as a teacher. I’ve said this a few times in the past, but I definitely have noticed that I’ve grown leaps and bounds. I feel that I can handle things with a kind of confidence I didn’t necessarily have in the past, and it is a fantastic feeling.

-My Russian skills have been slowly improving, which I’m thankful for. At first, it was intimidating going to the grocery store or ordering food, but now I feel pretty confident. Does that mean I’m fluent? By all means, no it doesn’t. Despite that, I’m starting to figure words out and my speaking is improving. So, I’m thankful that my road to having a solid grasp of the language is well underway.

-Lastly, I would like to give thanks for all the wonderful friends I’ve made so far! They’ve been my family away from home, and I seriously doubt that my experience would have been this great had I not met them. We’ve hung out, celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving together, celebrated birthdays, gone out, and generally have been having the time of our lives. I genuinely cannot thank each and every one of them enough-you guys are the best thing to happen to me in Russia!

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