When Raymond native Sarah Weitekamp leaves for Russia on Sept. 12 to begin her stint as an English teacher through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, there is a pretty good chance there is going to be a significant amount of culture shock. Eventually though, the people of Russia will get used to it.
" It's going to be hard. In Russia, they don't smile on the street and I'm so used to doing that," said the recent Grinnell College graduate. "I have this attitude where I need to get to know everybody, where I need to be friendly with everybody. I think that's because if you're in a small town walking down the street, you're going to see someone you know so you have to try to be friendly all the time. That's not necessarily the attitude that they have in Russia."
While Weitekamp's bubbly happy-go-lucky attitude may not mesh with the Russians' normally somber exterior, growing up on her family's farm makes her a unique asset for the Fulbright Program.