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Sawmill Girl Galina's Story

I recognized some of these people that had been at my mums funeral in Oskol. Everyone here was smiling and telling me you're going have sooo much fun here.  Fun for me then would never had to have made this move in the first place.

We went to my new home in a van. I was to learn later it was driven by Miller and we call him uncle Miller and is in charge of Sawmill security.  It seemed like it only took a few minutes to drive into the Village where I would be living. The Village doesn't have stores in it only the homes of most of the Kagen family and I will tell you now it is a huge family.

You know, when you're 6 years old you don't really pay much attention to houses and I didn't this beautiful house that has been my home since I had to relocated here from Russia. I love this home now and everything it stands for in my life.

From my first day here my life has not really ever been one of those by the book daily routines. About the only thing normal in here is we do have our meals at a certain time and it's best to be there or we would feel the wrath of our mum and that is nothing we want to deal with.

I got here to Sawmill just as summer was beginning and school was out for summer vacation. I was also blessed that everyone in my family spoke Russian but, English is the first language in our family so I had to start learning almost from day one.

My sisters and cousins kept me very busy from the time I woke up in the mornings until I went to bed at night. I learned to ride a bicycle, swim, play ball and of course, my dad and sis Anuta took me fishing with them a lot so I learned to fish.

We spent most of our summer days out on the farm with our poppa and granny. The farm was like one huge playground for us. Our granny always had us a churn of fresh homemade ice cream or a cold watermelon and anything else that came to mind to feed us starving brats as she called us.

I think after I got over the culture shock and lost some of the homesickness I started having fun with my new family. I was constantly supported by mum and dad, poppa and granny and everyone else here in sawmill. That summer was a bad summer for me but my family never let me fall backwards. They all held me steady and pushed me forward and by the end of the summer I was beginning to accept and enjoy my new life here in Sawmill.

I was getting use to a lot of kids around me and more humor than could possibly be harnessed to generate power with. I was learning to give back more than I had I was receiving. I was learning that in a large family like our family it took a lot of teamwork between all of us to make the family work.

When the summer vacation was almost over I was speaking some pretty good English and could carry on a decent conversation with just about anyone. My mum made the decision that I would be home schooled by her and aunt Marcie and not attend public school until the next school season.

In three months my life had gone from a very scared homesick kid to a kid still with a little homesickness but beginning to accept that this was my home now and this was my family now and I had nowhere else to go but up.

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