So ladies and gents… I am now blogging about one of the coolest things that I have been able to do since I moved to Novorossiysk!
Our church has an outreach program called the English Club that meets periodically where Russians who are interested in English can come and hear native speakers. Since the church we attend is a Calvary Chapel chapel, they tend to get a lot of Americans visiting. We had tried to organize it before but some reason it never worked out. We finally set a date and I was chosen to be the first speaker.
I did not choose the topic, but it was a subject that I was both excited and proud to talk about! Can you guess what it was from the picture below?
That’s right… TEXAS! The best state in the best country in the whole wide world. I am so glad that Ira decided to have me talk about it.
Now some people might not consider me qualified to talk about my home state – I am only a first generation Texan (Dad from California, Mom from Illinois – although both would tell you that they got to Texas as fast as they could!), I have lived less than half my life in Texas, my daughter wasn’t born there, I don’t own a gun and don’t want to own one, I hate hunting and am thankful my husband doesn’t hunt, and I don’t have an accent. But I love it with everything in me and I was proud to share all about it with everyone!
I was so nervous, but here is my support group! Nick, Isla, Izlata, Igor and Katya.
We had a pretty good turnout, over 20 people, and they were all so nice. I expected to give a quick presentation and be done, but it ended up taking an hour and a half with the Q&A!
First my presentation was on Texas history, culture, food, the rodeo, famous Texans, geography, etc. I ended it with “A Lesson in Texan” where I gave them pointers on Texas vocabulary and how to do a Texan accent and did a demonstration. It was a big hit! Afterwards people asked me questions about anything and everything. From my life in Novo – What do I do in my free time? Am I taking Russian lessons? What do I think of the Black Sea? to my favorite traditions from Texas.
They even asked me to sing the Texas national song, and thank goodness one of the other wives, Rose was there! There was no way I could sing “Texas, Our Texas” and hit those notes, but Rose and I got up and sang “Deep in the Heart of Texas” and did ok. Y’all, I have no shame!
A few times, people tried to steer the conversation towards politics and more controversial topics, George W. Bush, illegal immigration, etc., but I tried to quickly steer it away. We all know that I am not without opinions on those subjects, but either I am here to evangelize about Jesus or I am here to evangelize about conservatism, and I would much rather talk about Jesus! Although I do love conservatism .
It was so much fun. I expected Nick to jump in and help me more since he’s like 4th, 5th, 6th generation Texan on both sides, but he was too busy playing with Isla and Izlata! He had so much fun, and had so many stories to tell afterwards about all the silly things they did.
Sweet, funny, big girl Zlata!
Isla and Izlata have really started to figure out how to play together! I love it. There little kissies here are too sweet.
I can’t wait to talk at English club again. My next topic will be in November on Thanksgiving. We are also going to try to get other English speakers that moved here with Nick’s company to come and talk. I don’t think it will be a problem since you can talk about anything; it doesn’t have to be religious. Its just a way for people to have a chance to talk to actual English speakers!
It was so much fun! Did I mention that? I am so thankful for the amazing Russians that came and listened to me speak. And so, so, so thankful to be given the opportunity to talk about my beloved home state!