In 2016, I was nervous. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, we had the opportunity to give presentations about our experiences in Russia and, for me specifically, experiences in Smolensk where I studied Russian language. By that time, I had many experiences to pull from. I had played in a Russian men’s basketball league and thought about the differences between American and Russian play styles. I was a teacher, and the university environment I was in was much different from my alma mater, William & Mary (go Tribe!). I was also extremely fascinated by the cultural importance of a “hello” that was valued by my close Russian peers. Despite all of these interesting topics, one group of women made much more of an impression on me than anything else – the вахтеры of our dorm at Smolensk State University.
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.”
I am delighted to report that our performance in 2014 reflected our excellent team work and was in line with our expectations and guidance on every key metric.
The last year was a truly productive one for Cloudberry. As we said last December, our objective for 2014 was to start playing with the big boys and we managed to accomplish that as we began working with government clients and increased our corporate client base.
In 2014 we added more non-traditional languages to our core languages of Russian, Arabic and Mandarin and provided high-quality interpreting, translation and language instruction services in Tagalog, Indonesian, Swahili, Urdu, Albanian, Twi and Japanese in Illinois, Colorado and other states.
We designed unique language immersion programs for adults and now offer them in Colorado, Michigan, Illinois and North Carolina. You can now immerse yourself in a foreign language 24/7 for a couple of weeks without leaving the country or even your own state.