I am finally back in the USA! I had a fantastic time and learned so much about the culture in Russia especially about sports, health and education. The people in Russia were very kind and treated us really well. While I was there, some of you may have heard that Russia ended U.S. Agency for International Development operations (USAID).
This ABC News article can give you more information about the decision:
Since this happened in the middle of my stay, some of my site visits were cancelled as schools feared getting in trouble with the government by allowing us to come and run programming there. However, one school still allowed me to come to their PE class and teach 40-minute Girls in the Game session with 14 girls in 3rd grade. We learned the five-finger contract, played octopus tag, stretched, practiced volleyball bump and set skills, and finally did star jumps for clean teeth. We wrapped up and I asked the girls to share one thing they learned in the session. One girl said it was the best day of “Physical Training” she had ever had. They all asked when Liudmila and I were going to come back. I awarded everyone Athlete of the Day and a Girls in the Game pencil as a prize. Since none of the girls spoke English, and I do not speak any Russian, Lyudmila translated everything that I said and I used a lot of body language to instruct.