Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chernivtsi, part 1

This weekend I went with a group from Kyiv to help with the kids' club in Chernivtsi. This is for kids/people with disabilities, and it's now the 3rd time I've been there.

Our group on the way down consisted of Irina Yurivna (children's director) and her daughter, Alla G, Sveta (my friend Zee's mom), Colleen, and myself. Most of the conversations took place in Russian, except for the occasional time when I'd ask Sveta or Colleen what was just said, or have a side conversation with them.

After a full day at school, I was exhausted, and listening to a foreign language for approximately 4 hours is even more exhausting! Surprisingly, I understood most of what was said. However, I was so exhausted that I couldn't speak coherently in Russian. I was so slow to form my sentences in my mind.

Then on Saturday, I talked with some of the kids and families entirely in Russian. It helps when you can anticipate what kinds of questions will be asked, because then it just becomes a guessing game of sorts! I even understood 2-3 Ukrainian words!

Thanks to this semi-immersion, I've learned a few new Russian words--here they are, with their meanings:

полувино -- half
мукрий -- wet
наверино -- probably
теперь -- now (not sure of the difference between this and сейчас)
целый -- whole, entire
чудо -- miracle (this is also the brand of a drinkable yogurt)

I'm surprised I haven't dreamt in Russian these past two nights; I've found myself trying to form phrases in Russian in my mind.

This really helped this morning at church, as my friend Sveta was there! I've not seen her since last year, and was able to speak to her in Russian (mostly), with her correcting me at times.

Words I need to learn:
*to put/place
*to bring

More to come later...

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