Sunday, 11 November 2012

Volunteering in Orion... but on a really good day!

I didn't want to write this article before because I wanted to write about a really good day, when I took advantage of the opportunities given me as a volunteer to make a day especially rewarding and fun. Yesterday was really ace though, one of my best here, so it warrants a post.

08.30 Alarm went off, grumbled and slept in while it continued to go off every 5 minutes.

08.40 Got up, got ready for the day, put on my favourite shirt and denim shorts (I think that was a good omen).

09.45 Breakfast - skipped oat porridge and went straight for cheese on toast a la microwave, and hot cocoa to drink.

10.15 Washed the dishes, but there were barely any to do (the program kids are away, and unfortunately lots of people are ill)

11.00 Helped Max with a tiger puzzle. He was being grumpy about us giggling and joking, so we've given him the nickname of The Fun Police. The Fun Police is there to make sure that when you have fun you do it in a quiet, orderly fashion.

12.00 Went to work in Katya's house where I cleaned out the fridge while Vicky polished the mirrors, but that didn't seem dull because it was different work, and we got it done quickly. Plus afterwards Katya made us her really nice tea (I think it's Redbush, but I've never tasted Redbush like it in England), and we ate mandarins and coconut macaroons while watching a documentary about great architectural wonders of the world which included Tsarskoye Selo.

13.00 Went home and did some ironing. Having had 20 guests over we figured we'll be doing a load of washing and ironing sheets each day for about 12 days O.o

14.00 Lunch - Borscht (not what you'd think Borscht should be, but a broth with cabbage, peppers, potato and other veg with some bits of unidentifiable meat in. It's actually a decent soup as far as Galya's soups go).

14.30 Went back to the White House to chill out for a bit, read and chat.

15.30 Little Katya showed up and told us everyone was waiting for us to start the workshop, so we quickly threw craft stuff in a bag. We planned to have many options: friendship bracelets, Olympic torches, something with felt like finger puppets or board games. We got the idea because we'd heard the kids complaining that they were finding half-term boring. We put something together so they could have some creative fun, and get out the house away from their poorly parents and siblings.

15.40 Once inside the school I had the idea of using the felt to make customised hairclips, so legged it back to the house to get the hairclips I bought from England and haven't used.

15.45 Actually started the workshop. It was great fun - Vicky and Vanya made Olympic torches with gold card and fire-coloured tissue paper, I showed Katya how to make customised hairclips with felt, Lera and Ira showed up and made friendship bracelets, and Petya hung out and chatted.

17.15 The workshop having lasted longer than we'd anticipated, we tidied up and went back to the White House to finish the ironing, and then relax before dinner.

18.30 Dinner was surprisingly barbecue food. I think they'd imagined 30 people would be there but due to illness there were far fewer. Still, we had chicken legs, pork kebabs, nice flatbread, and a really delicious dish of chicken breast stuffed with mushrooms and topped with cheese. Shame about the plain pasta as a side, but nothing really gets a 10/10 here. Apart from maybe the sushi at Katya's, that was amazing. We even had Pepsi to drink which seemed really rather novel.

19.00 Leaving the school after dinner Max ran up to us and asked us to come to his house and play Game of Thrones, and I'm glad we acquiesced because his 'Godfather' Steve was there. It was very nice to just hear an English voice, but also he had a great (British!) sense of humour and so we shared lots of laughs as we tried to explain the incredibly complicated rules of the board game. Not that Max wasn't trying, but merely that words like 'mustering armies' and 'cavalry' don't fit into what most people learn in their Russian lessons.

21.15 Left Tamara's house, popped in to Katya's to ask about breakfast, and then home to the cost forest room.

21.20 Felt at a loss for what to do as we've watched all the English films Katya lent us and those on my computer. Vicky had the idea of making badges as she has many safety pins. I made her a cute little owl. She made me a heart with '1D' in the middle. We have a sort of running joke that we love One Direction (which we don't, really). We have a shrine to them in the corner of our room made out of magazine references and have declared them the patron saints of our room. I can't even remember more than about 4 lines of their songs in total, so we looked up the lyrics of a few of their hits and Vicky tried to teach me the tunes. Ended up reading some amusing articles on, after which it was time to brush our teeth.

11.45 Bed time -.- zzzzzz

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