An Old Friend

(Written on Sunday Afternoon)

Today I move out of Bella’s home (the woman I have been living with for two weeks), and then move in with a young woman named Nastya. Nastya is older than me with light brown hair parted down the middle and a petite figure- I assume she’s around 5’3″. She understands and speaks some English. This is going to be a little more challenging for me to communicate with her, but she is very nice and was willing to host me. So no complaints here!

Yesterday I went for a jog through the city. It has been one of my favorite things to do with time by myself. I’ll even be running and stop and just look around, surprising myself that I am in Siberia…in Russia…jogging to a mix on my iphone. It’s still unreal…

After my jog I went to an English Bible Study at the Cultural Center near the edge of the city. It was very interesting to do a study in both Russian and English. It is even more amazing to be that there are people that are so committed and passionate about learning English, they’ll go anywhere at anytime to learn. Especially from a native.

After that study I was invited to have an early dinner with Jim and Sally Foote, missionaries that have lived in Tyumen for over 20 years. We ate tuna pasta salad with bread and fruit, juice and cookies.

{SIDE NOTE!…Russian LOVE their carbs. They eat carbs on carbs alongside carbs with a side of carbs. One morning for breakfast at Bella’s she served two different kinds of kasha (oatmeal), bread, crackers, chai (hot tea) and beans…that morning my breakfast consisted of just beans and chai…}

On my walk home from the Footes it started to rain. People were running through the streets with coats, umbrellas and rain boots; but I was completely content with enjoying my walk in the rain. For some reason it reminded me of home in the spring.

Later that night I met up with one of my old friends, a native Russian named Arti. I met him during my first visit to Tyumen six years ago and we’ve been great friends since. We met for sushi and smoothies and caught up with one another’s lives. It is always such a joy to be able to talk with friends what you haven’t seen in years and be able to chat as if time a part was never a factor.

This morning at the cultural center was church which was held on the third floor. I was helping set up chairs and suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and was bombarded with the biggest Russian hug. It was my friend Sergey! He was an interpreter for my Dad when my whole family and I came over to work at a camp in 2008. It was great to be able to catch up again, talk about family and show pictures of our lives since our last reunion.

How have I been so blessed to be able to meet great people?

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