Ahh what a week. Everything is going great. I am ridiculously busy every single day, but its the kind of thing where I choose what to be busy with. I am not doing anything that I dont want to be doing, and thats how I like to roll. Of course today wasnt busy at all. Last night Kim and I stayed up until 3am watching Top Chef episodes. And I slept until 3 this afternoon. What a delight. I figure I dont sleep AT ALL during the week so I might as well make it up on the weekends. Today has just been relaxing and fun. My baking savvy roommates made and decorated a cake for our friends who are leaving town, and they are ridiculously talented. I could make a cake, but it would look like someones kindergarten brother made it and not be fancy at all. Im more utilitarian.
Yesterday was my 4th Russian class and needless to say, my teacher thinks I am doing pretty good, but still need to try harder. So Im trying. and trying. and trying. At this point I could say that I could read pretty much anything in Russian, although I just wouldnt know what it meant. My teacher is this ESL grad student who is from Kazakastan or something. He is pretty smart and very patient with me.
This past Thursday I went to an international coffee house sponsored by the JWU i-club. Essentially it is a coffee house for international and american students to come, mingle, and improve their language skills. We had a little group activity that helped us to meet new people, and it was really fun. I met people from Cyprus, China, Taiwan, and Korea! I became friends with this girl named Yuli from Taiwan, and we are going to try to hang out soon. Needless to say, I am going back every week. The only sad thing about international students, especially from the Asia region, most of them are forced by their parents to study abroad. Thats terrible, but you can tell many just try to make the best of everything.
After work I went to Starbucks to meet up with my conversation partner, Mohamed. He is from Mali, Africa and has only been in the United States for 4 months. Prior to coming to this country, he has never spoken or learned English. That is intense, and I hope I can be of some help to him. He said that it is very difficult to do things here because many people cannot understand him. Overall he enjoys Providence and JWU though. I hope to start meeting with him weekly. Its important for international students to interact with native English speakers, as it gives them a context to practice their language skills, and makes them feel less lonely.
I wish everyone had the opportunity to build relationships with ESL students. I am so thankful to know them. It all started with Sung and Esther. I miss them.