Upon our arrival in Estonia, we were bussed to the city of Narva. After an hour spent watching trees, fields or the backs of our eyelids, we arrived at a little restaurant with a very homey, old-fashioned feel. This was a great staring experience for us to get our “tongues” wet with the Russian language. All of us, whether experiencing a Russian speaking city for the first time or returning to a Russian speaking city, felt a rush of nerves when we first arrived. Still groggy from sleeping on the bus, we stared at the menu slightly confused. The combination of Estonian and Russian on the menu turned what usually was a relatively simple thing and made some of us stumble and stutter in our heads while trying to prepare for our grand performance, ordering lunch.
It is such a simple thing back home, ordering lunch. Yet, with the excitement of being in a new place plus little insecurities with your Russian language skills made the simple act of ordering lunch much more difficult than it should have been.
Over the course of our time in Estonia, we will all have good and bad days. It is up to the members of our group, our little team, to help each other make it through this exciting experience with as little scars as possible. We are fantastic students with different ability levels and skills; or we wouldn’t have been selected to participate in this program. We must have faith in ourselves and trust in each other to lend a helping hand when needed.