The first year I came to Harding, I cried because I felt homesick. This year when I came to Harding, I cried from happiness. Harding now feels like home for me.
When people ask me about my summer, of course they expect me to say something like, “It was great! I was in Russia with my family! How was yours?” I will still ask you about your summer, but the rest of my answer will be different. My summer was amazing and horrible at the same time.
When I finished my first year of studying in U.S., I was the happiest girl in the world. I made it. It was time to go back home, to spend time with my folks; but firstly, I was going to visit a family in Maryland that I had never met before. This summer was supposed to be unforgettable.
After traveling by bus from New York to Maryland, spending several great days in The Old Line State, visiting my Russian in Philadelphia, after saying goodbye to America, I flew back to Russia.
Being with my family was amazing. I enjoyed every second. I closed my eyes while tasting my mom’s crepes with sour cream early Sunday morning. I stroked my lovely cat, feeling how smooth his fur is. I smiled when I was driving with my dad and the wind gently touched my face. I hugged my grannies a lot. I enjoyed every sip of coffee. I strolled around and tried to memorize every detail of my city. I died with laugher every day. I was delirious with delight.
However, it would not be me if I didn’t have any crazy adventures. A friend of mine called me on FaceTime with a man from the Republic of Kosovo. He and I began to talk, and soon he was calling me every day. Let’s call him Henry.
Henry touched me with his life story. This 21-year-old man had lost one of his eyes due to cancer when he was three years old. He witnessed the war between Kosovo and Serbia when he was little. He speaks four languages, and was so positive and charismatic.
I was amazed by his power, intelligence, ambition and positive energy, and because of these reasons, when he asked me to lead a project to bring peace to Kosovo, I immediately said yes.
When I came to Istanbul, Turkey to get a visa to go to Kosovo, the embassy said that the documents were fake. I wondered how that could be possible when I paid him so much money for them. When I explained the situation to Henry, he asked me to send him more money to fix it.
I had to stay in Istanbul for a week while I was waiting to receive the documents. I talked to the family who I stayed in Turkey with and together we figured out that Henry was lying. He was lying to this family, to me and to all his friends. I was about to go to Kosovo when I found out the truth.
I was shocked and disappointed. Henry turned out to be a swindler. He stole my family’s money. He fooled me. God knows what would’ve happened if I went to Kosovo.
It was unforgettable summer. Amazing and horrible at the same time.
To sum up, I would advise everyone to take advantage of every moment in your life,
even if it doesn’t seem to be a pleasant moment. Appreciate every day and every opportunity, but be careful and think twice before trusting people. And remember — “It’s great to be at Harding!”