Hello UGRADers!!! Hello everyone!!!
It’s been three days since we all left Washington DC. The place where we all had so much fun and made a lot of friends. All activities we did was beyond everybody’s expectation. Everything was well-organized and wonderful. Spending some time with all outstanding students from CIS countries and beyond those borders, sharing experience with them is remarkable event of a person’s life and definitely those days will be highlighted on my personal calendar. During this period of time I learned a lot about neighboring countries that changed my perception of them upside down. After three splendid days in Washington DC, we all left for our host institutions. I never thought it would be so tough to say goodbye to the people you know for just two days… :( On August 11, I together with my friends arrived in Monroe, Louisiana. To be honest, before my arrival I did small research on the internet about the city, people and culture and I was expecting it to be very hot and simple American town. But once I got off the plane I encountered warmth. Not the warmth of the weather but warmth of people around. The first words that I came across were WE ARE MONROE PROUD and that shows a great sense of patriotism and passion for homeland.
At the airport we were welcomed by Dr. Bill Ramblin, former international student officer. This is the person that you may only find one in a big crowd and I think he is the funniest person in Monroe. He is sincere, kind and treats everyone just like his children. He knows everyone and thanks to him we have been fortunate to get acquainted with MISS LOUISIANA at Monroe airport. Believe me she was so gorgeous :) I though on the first day in town I would go to bed and have a long rest after a long trip to Monroe. But Bill (he prefers to be called like this) invited us to the activity called “VINE HARVEST” where a lot of people gather together, drink vine and also have a chance to squeeze vine from grapes.
It was fantastic since we had a change to dance, eat a tasty meal, and take some pictures. Afterward, he invited us to his house. He lives near the small stream and has a garden full of flowers and beautiful trees. Next day he invited us to his house to make Central Asian dish. Although “PLOV” is the most national and Central Asian food, I together with Begaiym Mamatova from Kyrgyzstan decided to cook “Dimlama”. I was in charge of that and she was my assistant. We invited Dr. Mara Loeb current International Student Adviser and Bill’s sister-in-law to our meal and we had amazing dinner. After dinner we all watched the closing ceremony of London Olympics and it was the end of our day. Despite a short period of time, I have a lot of impressions and I start adoring this place more and more day by day. These are my first impressions and thoughts about beautiful town Monroe.
Thanks for your time and reading my blog! :)