In case anyone needed a reminder, it is the definition of a Virginia winter and cold in Saint Petersburg right now. For the past 4 days it has been snowing every day. I am estimating that we have gotten 6-8 inches in total, but still snow! Here is a picture of the 10 day forecast just to give you an idea of what I have been living in for the past couple of weeks.
Side Story: I spoke to my sister Ellen about the word for snow in Russian which is pronounced snneg (I know this is from children screaming and running to the windows during the first storm). Ellen informed me that the word for snow in yiddish is shney. In other cool language fun facts the Russian and Hebrew word for the number six is also similar. In Russian the word is shest and in Hebrew shesh. Languages are so cool.
For everyone keeping up with this blog you all know that I have arrived at camp. There is a week long break in the Russian school year, so the local Jewish community center, YESOD, put on an international language camp. This camp focuses on English, Hebrew and Russian. Alex and I are of course the representatives from America being native English speakers and then there is also a representative from Israel taking on the Hebrew. The theme of camp this year is the 5 senses and each day focuses on a different one. So far we have covered touch, smell and sight and each day, activities reflect the sense of the day. Yesterday’s sense was touch and the evening activity tonight was painting with paint brushes in our toes! While it was challenging the kids seemed to make a masterpiece and have a lot of fun doing it.
Yesterday everyone played outdoor Jumanji. I am absolutely terrified of Jumani, so I watched from a distance. Thankfully nothing came alive and chased us, but the kids had to do team building exercises to move their life size pieces toward SpiderMan. It got intense.
It is physically impossible to be in a bad mood when you are outside in the snow with children. After the game, we had a snow ball fight, made snow angel, snow ball throwing contest, etc. We were also surprised with a box of fireworks at the end! I have never been and hope to never be that close to fireworks again, but it was still great.
Alex and I lead an English class every day. We prepared our own Mad Libs for the older kids to fill out together. I think some translation was lost with the children because they didn’t think a lot of it was funny. I think they just wanted the answers to be right and for the story to make sense. The one thing I learned during Mad Libs is the word pretty can only be used for gentlemen while beautiful is reserved so ladies. So, right now I would like to take the time to apologize to any women out there who I have ever called pretty and change it to beautiful. Anyway, if you are having a boring weekend and need something to do, grab a piece of paper and let me know how your story turns out!
Shabbat Shalom! Last night we had a very quick Shabbat Service with Hebrew, English and Russian. Prayers were said in Hebrew and English, Alex and I spoke about Shabbat in the States and songs were sung in Russian and English. Everyone got to light the candles and some of the younger ones tried to blow them out after. We of course drank our grape juice and then had a feast for dinner!
Camp is wonderful and full of learning and fun. The children are teaching me so many Russian words and laugh when I totally butcher them. I have to run to Hebrew class right now!