After weeks of somewhat depression and homesickness, I was finally starting to pull myself together. I met someone at the Thanksgiving dinner who would soon become a really good friend. My new friend, Leonardo, is from Ecuador and is currently studying at Odessa’s Conservatory. His Russian is amazing considering he has only studied the language for six months, but his Spanish is by far better than his English (of course). We hit it off right away after he straight out called me on my ambiguous nationality by simply asking me, “Hablas Espanol?” I was shocked, because most people do not really know I have Latino blood in me, but Leonard saw right through me. He was ecstatic to meet someone who he could speak to in Spanish, because nothing beats your native tongue. After chatting it up for a while, we decided that we would for sure be hanging out over the weekend.
On Saturday, we meet for lunch and feeling rebellious, I ordered a pizza albeit my doctor’s orders were to avoid food that was red. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Leonardo was so patient even though I know my Spanish was extremely rusty given the fact that Russian was slowly creeping up trying to claim its spot as Erica’s preferred second language. We eventually went shopping for book and DVDs in Russian – I am proud of my new full collection of 24 and Star Wars. I will never be lacking for Russian practice with my new purchases.
Eventually, we said good bye and I headed back to my hostel as shortly thereafter, I started to notice more spots appearing on my arms. “Oh no!” I thought, “I knew I shouldn’t have had the pizza.” Again, I went to bed feeling upset at myself, and promised for my very short last week, I would only have potatoes, cabbage and bread.