Последний звонок – literally, the Last Bell – is the Russian Equivalent of a high school graduation. It’s more of a celebration here – with waltzes, songs, and poetry readings – before a little girl hoisted on the shoulder of one of the upcoming seniors rings a bell, denoting the end of school for some 25 kids in our village. Among them were host sisters and host cousins and friends made as we built relationships in this little community.
Our Russian Language Group was lucky enough to be able to speak at graduation, wishing the new graduates luck, health, and good fortune. (Then we stumbled through the chorus of Vitamin C’s classic hit, “Graduation Song,” as silly as that sounds. Ridiculous graduation traditions have been extended to Kyrgyzstan.)
It is hard to believe that we are only about three weeks from leaving here, our Pre-Service Training host families, and all the other trainees. Soon we will be building relationships in our new communities, struggling through the local language with new people, and beginning our work in Kyrgyzstan. It was great, however, to be able to be a part of this important day for the village before we leave.