Goer blogs

Learning is Fun

By Brianna on January 19, 2014 Track: Teaching Region: Europe

I have an individual student every Friday who I'm working with on spelling, writing and math. This is part of one of the two power points we've been working on for a few weeks. I give her a list of spelling words for the week and she then chooses a topic for it. For this power point, she chose the topic of zoo animals. After we correct the spelling and grammar of the sentences, we present the information in a power point centered around that topic. Can you say, "incorporating technology" into learning!?!? I know I can! What's more is that she is really, truly very proud of herself. She always... Read more

Holidays III: New Year

By Isaac on January 7, 2014 Track: Teaching Region: Europe

To a Russian, the celebration of the new year is the biggest holiday of each year – sort of our New Year’s Day and Christmas celebrations rolled together. Most of the traditions are familiar to us, from one or the other: decorated trees, present giving, the coming of Grandfather Frost (Russian Santa), crowds in public at midnight, lots of drinking, fireworks, the traditional meat salad, and lots of mandarin oranges. The last one surprised me too, but I like mandarins, so I say it is very well. Never tried the meat salad, though it sounded interesting, from all the ingredients listed by... Read more

Holidays II: Christmas

By Isaac on January 6, 2014 Track: Teaching Region: Europe

For Americans, Christmas is the centerpiece of the holiday season, and overall the single most-celebrated holiday. For Russians, there is a vague awareness that December twenty-fifth is a holiday of some sort, and the “Russian Christmas” which falls on January sixth is pretty much only observed by those who are at least nominally Orthodox. But that doesn’t mean my teammates and I were about to forget Christmas. It was going to be different, I knew that – my first Christmas away from home, and I got pretty well away. And it was different, but not too different, just enough to remind me how... Read more

Holidays I: Thanksgiving

By Isaac on January 4, 2014 Track: Teaching Region: Europe

Yeah, it’s safe to say the last month-plus has been a busy and interesting time, while this medium for sharing about busily interesting things I experience has been unfortunately neglected. Oops. But now I’m on break, and I can tell any of you who read this about it. So, late November to the beginning of January is what we call ‘the holiday season,’ because, well, there are holidays then. None of them went unappreciated by my teammates or me, no matter their relative weight to Russians. The first big one in line is Thanksgiving, which is simply not a thing to Russians, though they’ve heard... Read more

Opened Eyes, Opened Heart

By Rebecca on January 2, 2014 Track: Compassion - Justice Region: Europe

I walk up to the door a brisk Tuesday afternoon.  Locked.  No one inside yet.  I step down the doorstep, face the street, and wait.  A couple minutes later, I see a van that has slowed down to a stop in front approximately 8 meters diagonally from my left.  The van sits there.  It’s in an awkward place on the street, not a parking spot for sure.  The van continues to wait.  I see a shadow of what is the driver inside and then I look another direction.  After 10 more seconds have passed, I look back.  The van is still waiting.  This occurs one or two more times, with me looking another... Read more

Birthdays for Everyone!

By Brianna on December 31, 2013 Track: Teaching Region: Europe

The Pushkinistas (myself, Hope on the left, and Macey on the right) celebrated Rickie's birthday with Isaac (the tall kid in the GoCorps shirt) spear heading the project. Rickie was in St.Petersburg last year and had a really hard time, as he didn't have much emotional support from his team. So we were determined to come through for him on this special day!  We surprised him by hiding one floor above his flat while Isaac called Rickie to ask him to run to KFC. While he was out, we four slipped into his flat behind him. He was very surprised when he came back to shouts of "surprise," cake, a... Read more

Christmas At Last!

By Brianna on December 30, 2013 Track: Teaching Region: Europe

Honestly, what didn't happen this month? Earlier this week, we had our students preform their Christmas songs for their parents (and teachers!). Precious? Yes, off the charts precious. I would like to publicly state that all of my students performed PHENOMENALLY. We also got to share the First Christmas Story at this event. Some people in Russia know the story, but we really found out this holiday season how few people have ever heard it. It was cool to be able to share that with people. We also had a smashing party with some of the Russians and the Brits in the area. See posted picture. It... Read more

The Past Few Weeks

By Rebecca on December 24, 2013 Track: Compassion - Justice Region: Europe

I am thankful for time to breath.  The past month has been hectic, but I am thankful for the next 2 weeks I have off from class and Neustart (the prostitution ministry I am serving here in Berlin) to get caught up and most of all to seek God’s face.  Rest also comes from having a place to call HOME! here in Berlin.  Praise God! The past few weeks have been spiritually dry for me.  I was not finding rest in God’s presence.  I was neglecting quiet time with Him each day, filling that time with other “priorities”.  And in doing so, my heart was wandering further from His.  I was not living out... Read more

Safe and Sound

By Rebecca on November 26, 2013 Track: Compassion - Justice Region: Europe

I returned to Berlin, Germany (where I am serving the next 2 years) this Friday, and I am thankful to be back “home”.  I was in Cyprus attending the European Freedom Network's EUIP Conference in Cyprus.  This conference lasted 4 days and representative from around the EU, including me and 2 others representing Neustart in Germany, were there to network and seek ways in which to combat the issue of human-trafficking.  Above is a picture of those who attended (I took the picture so you can't see me, haha).  A part of me did not want to leave Cyprus.  The weather was amazing and the coast breath... Read more

Showing Up

By Isaac on November 26, 2013 Track: Teaching Region: Europe

Three months into living here, I no longer experience the excitement and novelty of my situation on a daily basis anymore. There are whole worlds still to learn and new experiences regularly, and I do still love what I’m doing, but it isn’t still in that first feeling of absolute novelty. Yet, I’m still only starting to have a clue about how life here is going to work and what possibilities it holds. It was so new, a month ago, walking away from the apartment at sunrise to go to school and figure out a lesson that was either going to be very good or very bad. Now, it’s just daily life,... Read more