Our time here in Narva is winding down and I can’t believe how much I have learned being here. This past weekend, we went to Tartu – a beautiful city with a youthful, college atmosphere. Tartu was a blast. Being an American in Tartu is like being a king. People at first didn’t believe us when we would say we were American but when they finally realized our nationality, they were astounded. I was able to befriend a successful, young Estonian businessman who had his own personal security detail following him. He told me stories about his visits to the United States and he blissfully explained the classic euphuism “like really, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere!!! Like really!” This weekend we’re going to Tallinn for the second time and it should be another unforgettable weekend.
Another cool experience I had was two nights ago when Laird, Jeremy and I went for a walk around Narva with some young Russians. We were walking near the castle when we heard some live music. Immediately I recognized the tune of the songs and I knew it was Gospel music. We went over there and it was a group of Moldovan, Estonian and Russian Christians playing great Gospel music with a guitar. We introduced ourselves and I began singing the songs with them in mixed English and Russian. It was great experience worshiping the Lord with them and I found out that there is only about 500 Baptists in Estonia. I was humbled too by the fact that the group decided to pray for me. We made a big circle and they prayed for my health, my family, my education, my future kin and many other things – all in Russian. I was amazed with how much I understood.
I have come a very long way with my Russian skills. I am much more confident in my ability to speak, listen, read and write. It really has been a blessing. When I can’t understand a word, I can use context clues to figure it out. I can understand and construct sentences, I know expressions and I am confident with the cases. I am even comprehending verbs of motion and all their complexities. I can’t wait to go back to Rutgers and showcase my improvement to my peers.
I am really thankful for this trip and everyone who has invested effort into our education. From the people in our excursions who take time out of their day to give us tours to the workers at the café, I am so grateful for everything they do.