Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Week Away....

Well, we have one week--less than a week, really-- before our first language certification exam.  We're pretty nervous.

We're even more nervous after going with a friend and our teacher to sign up for it.  The woman signing us up for it was less than gracious, and told our teacher in front of us that we could not understand the language when she spoke to us and we were going to fail the audio portion of the test.  The ironic thing of course is that Beth and I understood almost everything she said.

The even more depressing thing was instead of supporting us, our teacher told her "Well, the only need to get 50% of the test correct."  Ouch.

In reality we really need to get 75% correct, which we think we can do-- but we don't want to just barely make it.  Selfishly, we want to pass with flying colors-- we want to be "THE Rhodes."  We want to be the ones that people are compared to.  We now want to stick it to the teacher.  Isn't that horrible?

Either way, we have been working constantly on practicing our Russian.  We're hoping it will be enough to get us through.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Small Change

You may have subscribed to our blog and have been receiving them via e-mail.  Thanks if you have.  I find that it's pretty convenient.  We definitely still would like it if you check our blog from time to time, but we're glad we can get it to you in ways that are unobtrusive to your lives.

Previously I had set up a google group, where when you joined the group it would e-mail you our blog whenever we published anything.  That's all fine and dandy, but I've been able to figure out a way to defeat the middleman.  Feel free to stay with the google group, but we've added a new way to subscribe with Feedburner where we eliminate the go-between of getting our blog to you.

Feel free to subscribe, or keep the google group subscription, or neither!  There are plenty of free good websites where you can subscribe to the blog feeds (I use Google Reader, but to each their own).

As a note, one thing we noticed about blogs that have videos embedded in them, you cannot view the video within the e-mail.  I'm not sure if that changes with Feedburner, but we'll see.

Either way, thanks so much for checking in on us from time to time!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Almost Finished!

Well, Beth and I are just a couple weeks away from being finished with full-time language.  We're torn--partially we're relieved to not have so much language study every day.  But at the same time we're terrified; it feels that even though we have been studying full-time for the last three months, we don't really know what we're doing.  Our grasp on the Russian language is small.  It's not horrendous, though.  Fortunately we are able to get around pretty much however we need.  We just can't actually hold a conversation, and that's what Beth and I are so bothered by.  I feel like the more we learn, the more we realize how far away we are from accomplishing what we desire.  That's true about learning in general, I believe.

Even after our full time language study is over, we are going to try to at least study part time-- whether with a tutor, or a friend here in Moscow.  The more we interact the more we have this incredible desire to communicate, to understand and be understood.

As daunted as we have been, we definitely have been having fun with it.  We have tried a lot of new things here and pushed past our comfort zone when it comes to using the language.  It's funny to even think about the tasks we have tried and how we consider them "scary:"  We've tried to order pizza on the phone (unsuccessfully), we tried to get tickets to take an electrichka out of Moscow (successfully!).  There have been ups and downs, but I'm thankful for the ability to laugh at our mistakes (I have certainly made a ton of them).  The more we try, regardless of our success our failure, the more we learn.  Most people are incredibly helpful to correct and guide us if we need it.

Pray for us as we narrow down what we need to learn in the coming weeks.

And thanks so much for keeping up.  It's (selfish, but) good to know you care.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Great Quote From Thomas aKempis

Beth and I have been reading through The Imitation of Christ by Thomas aKempis off and on, and we found a great quote a month or so ago:

When I sent them out, I sent them not in search of temporal joys but to fight mighty struggles; not to look for honors but to be happy in being victims of contempt; not to seek leisure but to spend their time in laboring for others; not to desire rest but to bear fruit with patience.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We Are at the Camp!

Beth and I had the great opportunity of going to the English Exchange Camp-- if only for the weekend. It's a week-long camp, spanning from Monday to Sunday, and Beth and I had the chance to go on Saturday morning. While we were there only a short amount of time, we did get to meet great new people. Here's a video of all the fun!

English Camp - June/July '09 from Tim Rhodes on Vimeo.

If you cannot see this embedded video, please visit:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

What's All That Racket?!

So Beth and I had just finished up another long day of language lessons, and without warning someone starts drilling next door, RIGHT beside our bathroom. It's no big deal, and it was really funny, but this is the loudest anything has ever been. We're used to the normal hammering at all hours of the day (and/or night), the car alarms, the drunk guys singing at four in the morning, and so on. But this was so close we were wondering if someone was going to break through at any moment!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Google Map Us!

I don't know if you guys have tried to find us on Google Maps, but we'd thought we would make it easier for you.  Here's our address (click the link and you'll go there automatically):

117335  Москва, Россия Улица Профсоюзная, д. 44, кор. 1, кв. 55

But here's a picture for you!

But of course, where we live is a speck compared to all of Moscow:


That image just doesn't do it justice.