Jacqui is the Sweetness

And at the time, my weakness too!

When I first arrived in Russia and met the 44 people who I was going to live
with for three months, I was disappointed. Not one future PCV and I
clicked, not that they weren’t cool and all in their own right, just that I
didn’t feel a spark. The first month’s letters to my friends and family
dealt with this point in every letter. I was feeling quite lonely here.
I had 44 new friends, but no one I clicked with.

Me, Noel, Marina, Raquel, and JacquiJust
as I gave up hope of finding a joe-cool friend, into my language class falls
Jacqui. She is a PCV who, after a two year tour in Hungary, decided that
she wanted more torture and joined PC Western Russia. She was a Russian
major in school and always wanted to be a PCV. She is living her dream.

From the left, myself, Noel, Marina (our Russian Language teacher),
Raquel, and Jacqui.

Now the day I met her, I knew she was joe-cool. She was down with DC
slang, and even had some new ones I hadn’t heard. We rapped for a while
and all was well. She made it hard to study Russian though. Sitting
next to me, we would write notes all class long, telling stories and jokes.
After class we would just hang and chat. I was so excited, I had a
new friend!

As training continued, we became good friends, but once training was over
communication became rough. Jacqui lives in St. Petersburg (formerly
Leningrad), about eight hours north by train, and we tried to keep in contact as
much as we could with terrible Russian phone lines and two week snail mail
delay. Eventually our friendship dwindled to a trickle of information
every so often.

I’m sure she is still enjoying life and one of these days we shall meet
again.