I've only been here a couple months, and I still feel that things are hard on me. I don't know the language very well, and so it's very hard on me when some Russian kids comes up to me and says something. "Ya nee ponimayu" is the only way I can answer ("I don't understand"), but little kids don't even understand what I mean. They just keep repeating themselves. It's tiring because they don't understand that I can't speak their language. When that happens, I can't do much. I have to just give up sometimes. The help I need is for me to learn the language fast, to speak like them. That's my only prayer - that someday I will be able to understand. So please be praying for me.
My neighborhood is more quiet than where we were when we first arrived, but it's not like what I really miss in Virginia. Tramvais (street cars) and cars just rush by my window. Bright lights shine in my room. I don't like it. Sometimes I hate Russia. When two people speaking in Russian walk by, I want to say, "be quiet." When babushkas tell me things and scold me, I want to say, "buzz off." The other day at a museum when me and my friend were looking at a mosaic and doing nothing wrong, a lady who is a guard came by and said something in Russian, and I had no idea what she said. We were doing what everybody else was. We weren't stepping on it or hurting the mosaic. I didn't like it. For the rest of our time in that room, she watched us like an owl and a hawk. I was angry. I wanted to shout in Russian, "What did we do? We did nothing!" She watched us like we were uncontrolled little babies let loose. I wish I could understand the Russians.
My feelings here and on and off. I wish some things were easy. When I first got here, I was happy and excited. I wanted to try new foods. Now it's just plain boring, sad, and gloomy, and I don't feel at home. It's frustrating also because I can't read; I can't speak, and I can't understand their traditions. Do you know what they believe? When I tell you this, you will be in utter shock. To those of you who have had babies, please don't take this personally, but they believe that if you sit on the floor either in a house or outside on the ground, or in a car or anything, you will not have a baby. Isn't it amazing what they believe? That's a really really weird thing to believe, and I don't get it.
Down near the Neva river, you see lots of brides and limousines everywhere, because there is a statue of Peter the Great, and their tradition is to go see it on their wedding day in their nice clothes and everything. I don't get why they have to go see him, of all people.
Please pray for me that I will feel at home and be able to learn and speak the language.