Reflections: Brandon

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It is impossible to put into words exactly how much this experience means to me. By far the best part of this trip is the relationships that have been created and strengthened between my Russian friends in Perm and I. For those that don’t know me personally, it’s important to know in order to understand the intensity of what I am about to say that I am naturally a very introverted, very detached individual. I have never felt the need to meet new people, make new friends, keep in touch with anyone, or form relationships of any kind with people. I have always been comfortable on my on, and these people have changed that. I truly love all of them more than I can express with words. This trip has been entirely too short and I miss all of the people of Perm that I’ve spent time with so much. I now understand the beauty and value of forming relationships with people and strengthening bonds. I want my Russian friends to know that they have helped change me for the better, and I am forever grateful for that. I wish to know and keep in touch with them throughout the rest of my life. Even if I am not able to see them again, I will never forget them.

Okra and Basil!

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How about the Fighting Okra and our students visiting St. Basil’s Cathedral in the Red Square of Moscow today?! Let Delta State University help you soar to new heights! Join In. Stand Out.

#DeltaStateUniversity #DSU2PSU #Russia #Moscow #travel #international #FearTheOkra #photOKRAphy

Russian musical prodigy

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Nikita

By: Tricia Walker
DMI director

On one of our excursions this week we attended School Number 6, where students and philharmonic director and music teacher Alla Podolskayahad prepared a wonderful musical program especially for us.

The program they prepared was about the origin of the Blues. The students, who were from ages 9-16, sang, danced and played wonderful music for us. After the program was finished, Nikita, a student sat and began to play a piece by Tchaikovsky. He brought me to tears with this gift of music as the first classical music I ever remember hearing was a recording of Concerto No. 1 by Tchaikovsky on an album that my mother brought home from the market as a bonus for buying groceries. To this day it resonates with me immediately.

We learned that Nikita had only been playing piano for two years, but already it is quite obvious that he is a musical prodigy. Once again, music became the universal language between this young man from Russia and visitors from United States. I hope we will have the chance to hear him in concert on a major stage one day.

Leelah and the opera house

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Our second day in Russia, we had the opportunity to see a performance from a British modern dance troupe in Perm’s opera and ballet house. It was quite the experience, but the most memorable part happened after the show for me. We were walking through a room that had little dioramas of past stage sets and the performances that took place on them. Instead of still portraits of the actors/dancers, they had holograms of them in each diorama! The image was so clear, I was fascinated, and sometimes when I get extremely excited, I make excited noises rather than words, like how some people squeal with joy. Well, Jessica was standing next to me, so I pointed at one of the dioramas in disbelief and “said” something akin to, “aaahhhchachachacha!” I turned to face her, and that was when I realized it was not Jessica, nor was it any of the members of our group. It was some strange girl, who I had clearly terrified, staring back at me with wide eyes and confusion. In embarrassment, I squeaked out, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! So sorry,” and proceeded to run away.

Concert wows crowd!

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Today’s concert at Perm State University exemplified true partnership as our universities combined for an emotional performance of both Mississippi and Russian music. A large crowd witnessed Rivers of Music — Rivers of Culture come to life!

Kungur Ice Cave and city

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The group explored the breathtaking Kungur Ice Cave. The gypsum cave is located in the Urals, near the town of Kungur along the Sylva River. It is famous for its ice formations and is a popular tourist landmark. Learn more about the cave here: http://www.kungurcave.com/

Following the cave hike, students from Kungur town provided us with dinner, a detailed tour of the historic city (known for its tea trade) and hosted a tea bag painting session and dancing.

Cultural exchange at its finest!