My roommate and I used to live in Moscow, Russia when we were in third and fourth grade. We attended the Anglo-American School of Moscow, which was the American Embassy school there. Moscow itself is a gorgeous city. There is so much history you can learn just walking through the city.Â Â
Itâ€™s architecture is one you may not come across any where else. The historic domes of the Red Square are enough to look and awe at. They originate from wooden churches that were later updated into brick and vibrant tilework. Their onion shaped domes create a dazzling color scheme of swirls and different patterns.
The Red Square itself was a medieval city guarded by walls. It is on a hill overlooking the Moscow River. The city of course grew outside of these walls; however, the seat of governement remains there to today. It is most famous for its military parades and celebrity scene of legendary concerts such as Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney. It is an ideal place to walk through, especially in the winter, when the snow has peacefully rested on all the buildings, and the contrast of the red brick and white snow is just breathtaking. I remember this because our school used to take us on many field trips during the year, and the Kremlin was one of them.Â We would also go to the outskirts of Moscow where we would take Troika rides on horses, a carriage ride drawn by three horses, and sip tea at a local hotel made of all wooden logs where the owners would share fascinating stories of their region.Â Â
The experiences we shared being in a country so rich with culture and history is one we cannot compare with any other. As winter approached, and temperatures dropped to below 30 degrees Celcius, the school would prepare the ice rink. Yes, we had an ice rink on campus, set up outside, so when P.E. time came, we wouldnâ€™t do the usual basketball game or learn volleyball; we learned ice skating and ice hockey. I remember I tortured my parents to get me ice skates for the next day so I could keep up with the rest of the class. My dad managed to drop off the skates 10 minutes before we went outside. As soon as I stepped onto the ice, I slipped instantly and landed on my bottom, which led me to the nurses office to examine the bruise. The next day, my attempts to stay on the ice were successful and learning ice skating became the most joyous thing for everyone. In a couple of weeks, my third grade class of squirming nine-year-olds was tearing up the ice in a very intense game of ice hockey.Â Â
The teachers and faculty at the school were just as amazing to be with. During our poses for photos on trips, instead of the word â€œcheeseâ€ for a picture, they would tell us to say, â€œVodka!â€ Looking back at it now, all we can say is wow… amazing. All the experiences and memories that we left with are life-long. They create a sense of home in a foreign country you shared a part of your life with. The friendship I got out of it was well… Iâ€™m rooming with her now, so you can make the judgement. Those two years in third and fourth grade are unforgettable, and they keep me attached to the wonderful city and school I commit to visiting every year.Â