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Last summer our friends from Russia came to visit us with their two daughters and the goal of immersing these adorable, well-mannered, stylish girls in English. We had found a promising summer camp for the girls, Dasha and Anya, and figured everything was under control. However, after the first day at camp, the two sisters came home with stories about being pushed, kicked and yelled at by other children. We hadn’t anticipated that at all!
At that time, I was too busy to go to the camp and talk to the teachers in person, and so we hoped everything would simply get better after the other children got used to “the foreigners.” But things did not get better. Once the girls came home with bruises, we immediately took action. I observed them from the distance to figure out what was going on and then talked to the teacher, who had no clue why the cute girls were not being accepted by “the gang.”
It was just after New Year’s Eve that David proposed. Indeed, he did so in English. The only two words he knew in Russian were “da” and “babushka.” Yet, I am lucky to have such an understanding and loving husband who knows how important my Ukrainian roots and my family in the town of Zaporizhzhya (Ukraine) are to me. Thus, as part of his proposal he vowed to write a letter to my Dad in Russian asking him for my hand. Spurred on by one of the happiest moments in my life, I said “yes!”
A couple of days after we officially announced our engagement to our friends, David swore to learn Russian and converse with my family via Skype in two weeks. He never mentioned exactly when he would start learning the language though.