Thursday, October 1, 2015

An update to follow soon! I've been busy.

Here's a somewhat typical week of mine now that I got my schedule in place, moreover. White space is filled up with homework, meetings, sometimes naps. Work is floating around the week, with only Chapel shifts being stable.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Keep Going

Every time I get astonished by the ways everything works out for my semester at school. God works in his mysterious ways and provides everything I need, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. But every single time it feels so big, so bountiful - to finally be enrolled in school, to not pay late fees, to not worry about rent, food, etc.

Where big sufferings are, there are big blessings. If you trust the Lord and have faith, you will be blessed. Not all people experience it often, or soon enough. Me personally - just by this experience I am blessed. All the stress I go through pays off by the fact that God shows that he cares, that he has not left me nor stopped helping me. 

When people support me, it gives me strength and motivation to go on. To finish what I started. And keep going, further, higher, deeper. 

I am enrolled for the Fall 2015 semester without late fees! I signed up for a 50%x50% plan, so the rest of my payment is due pretty soon - September 15th. I have $4,110 remaining on my balance. 
Thank you all who already have donated. I hope you will be able to support me in the future. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Wages and Ages.

I asked my mom today about my dad's salary... I am still processing the facts that I can't quite believe yet. 

After calculating the given monthly rate in Russian currency into U.S. $ at today's exchange rate of 64 Russian rubles per $1 (which is twice as much as merely 2 years ago), my dad makes approximately $3/hour. 
This means that I, being on a student visa in the USA with a 20 hours per week work restriction and still barely making enough to pay the bills, make more money in a month than my smart, with an ingineering degree from a respectable Moscow Aviation Institute [], father, with my rate being $10.25/hour before taxes. 

Some shocking facts right there. No wonder he worked through his vacation this year. 

I can't even consider asking my family to help me financially, though I know that they still do - by depositing some money into my home bank account. With today's currency exchange rate, all of that money is basically nothing. 
Despite this, God keeps proving to me that he is faithful. ALL. THE. TIME. I don't know why did I deserve such blessings. In fact, I definitely did not. But he knows better and his grace doesn't need to be explained, it needs to be received. 

My financial aid application for this school year has been revised, and I was awarded another scholarship today. 
This leaves me with $7,026 total left to cover for the Fall 2015 semester, with a downpayment due on Monday, 

...and here I was interrupted with some news about my downpayment actually being covered. Literally. This very moment. 
Revising that, my current statement is $6,000 for the rest of the semester. Please pass it along and help me cover the tuition costs. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight."
- Proberbs 3:5-6

How to donate:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Till Sunrise

My eyes are dry. My fingertips are freezing. My skin smells like coffee. I have just shut down a computer. It took me quite a while to sit down to edit, but I had some productive 8 hours last night. I don't know what is it about me or my brain that gets activated after midnight for this kind of work. Maybe another all nighter and I will finish the project. 

There is something extraordinary about staying up until sunrise. Maybe it is the cold air, or the beauty of the light taking over the darkness of the night... Whatever it is, I love it and I missed it. 

Yesterday I took the last bits of my personal money - including all of the savings I had for a ticket home - to university accounting. Will I ever go see my family before I graduate? I don't know. Will I be able to pay rent this month? No. After all, I am still $3,376 short for my down payment that is due this upcoming Monday, the 17th. 

Please help me raise the money to keep me in school. I do not want to pay late fees. I wish to not loose my student status and to not be deported out of the country. 

Donate to
•Biola accounting: call (562) 903-4760 and give them my name and student ID - Ekaterina Makarova 1554167

•Venmo: @EkaterinaMakarova

Meanwhile, here is a little fun thing I worked on this summer:

Friday, July 17, 2015

I no longer know

"Homesick. Because I no longer know where home is." - [Kings of Convenience]

It still strikes me as wild and unbelievable that I am in a foreign country, attending college, so far away from family. I haven't been home since I came to California. I think a lot about a day when I will get a chance to go 'home'. I wonder how would it feel. Of course I will be very happy to finally see family. But the thought of them still living the same routine as before I left, and me being [radically] changed, brings some uncomfortable awareness of possible disappointments. I wonder, if I to go back to my hometown after college, how would that be? Will I feel as fish in the sea, or as a bird in a cage? After two years away from [my old life in] Moscow, it feels like all the bridges have been burned. Friends I used to know, jobs I used to have, church I used to attend... Will I be able to jump right back onto that wave, or will it take me a long time to catch it, if ever I will be able to?

I am living in between. I no longer belong to my motherland, and I am not yet fully adjusted and accepted by the new land. I do not know how many of you have ever experienced this, if you have ever lived in a different country and culture for long enough. This is quite a weird and at times terrifying feeling - not knowing where home is, not knowing where you belong. 

I still have two more years of college. I hope to figure this out by the end of these two years - where exactly do I belong? At least partially... I got to justify this time of reviewing my identity, I got to get this degree that I came all the way for. 
I am seeking help as I continue to raise support for my college expenses. I recently got a tuition bill for the Fall 2015 of $10,800. Please consider donating and sharing this need. Proceed to the link below for the information on how to donate:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Halfway there

Need to be living more on a prayer.

Two years of college flew by too fast. Half of summer id already gone, too. A lot has happened. It has been stressful, and the white hair on my had will be the witness, but many blessings got me through this far. By the grace of God I got enough money donations on time to pay off my tuition last February and continue my education without being deported out of the US. It was very nice to have it all covered and not worry about other installments throughout the semester.

A big shoutout to Mark the dentist for his generosity and help. If not for him, I would have probably had to quit school and fly out home.
I got a chance to work on couple more projects with great people. For one of them we went up to Redwoods near Santa Cruz for couple of days. A small crew, the beauty of the nature - it made it a great getaway and bonding experience.
I got to go to Minnesota to see my best friend from Russia right after semester ended. She has just graduated college there, and I had the honors to witness her marriage. Not too long ago I got to go to another wedding in Spokane, WA. Me and two of my housemates drove all the way from LA and back in 4 days, spending a day in Portland, OR. Another getaway. Much needed mental rest.

My grades are not as great as they were my first semester of school. I am trying to balance classes, work, and life. I am getting burned out, and losing my interest in everything. It feels like a mad race that I still can't navigate through good enough. Tuition, rent, food, work, classes, homework, filmmaking. A house full of people you can't really ignore. I couldn't afford to go home yet; I want to simply spend a little bit of time with family, touch them, hug them. Every holiday makes me miss them more. Every restriction I face due to my non-resident status reminds me that I do not belong here, that I do not share the same rights with the people around me. The word 'home' or a phrase 'to go home' shifted it's meaning to something vague. Friends and coworkers became my family.

I did not take a full time job this summer, despite the fact that I had to pay double rent for two months because our old house lease overlapped with our new house lease. I do need to pay rent, buy groceries, save for tuition and for a ticket home, but I also desperately need some rest. Days, when I can be alone. Time to sleep in. Time to work on something around the house. I wasn't needed at work the whole of last week, and I doubt I will go in this week. I got a chance to help out with a commercial shoot though. I was quite glad to help out a friend and just have fun doing what I like.

The Fall semester payment is due in a month and a half. Until then, let's see what else the rest of summer will bring my way.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Got a text today from a family in Texas. Mark is the dentist who helped me out. So grateful.