Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Dog Tricks and Tea

Internet Cafe. My Hotmail account works from the Internet cafe in Ivanovka. The internet costs 40 som/hr which is about 95 cents. This may not seem like a lot, but here 95 cents can buy you 11 loaves of fresh bread or 14 kilos of potatoes.

Unfortunately, we lost another member of the K-12 group (this is PCs designation becuase we are the 12th group of volunteers in Kyrgyzstan). I haven't heard exactly what happened and I don't want to be part of the rumor mill but apparently he had to leave for medical reasons and was quite disappointed about his impending departure. We are sad to see him go.

My family continues to impress me with their generosity and concern for my safety. Though they seem perfectly fine with allowing me to make an ass of myself. Yesterday, while preparing a cup of tea, I accidentally added a spoonful of salt instead of sugar. My lips puckered upon the first sip and my sister busted out in hysterics. Apparently she watched the whole thing happen. Her response was simply, I thought you were a Kyrgyz man--they used to put salt in their tea too. Sugar is the container with the lid on it, salt is the one left out in the open--just in case you were wondering.

Dad, your delicious beef jerky now has another purpose. It can save lives by preventing rabies. That's right folks, Jerky saves lives. The two mangy dogs that live outside my door now both stand on their hind legs and turn around (full circle) before I give them a tiny piece of jerky. Of course, my sister and mom think this is hilarious (I am working on our cat--Fyodor--but I call him Dostoevosky since I can't pronounce Fyodor correctly --it's something like Fee ay da).

Anyone who has been in the PC, knows how structured our days are here:Wake up, eat breakfast, 1/2 hr walk to my professor's house, 4 hours of Russian language, 1/2 hr walk back, eat lunch, community training on someday (which is about a 3 hour field trip from what I've gathered) other days after language class I receive technical training in Tokmok and every Wedesdays we meet (also in Tokmok about 1/2 hr by Mashrutka (mini-bus)). I get home around 5:30, study until 7:00, eat dinner and talk with my family until 10:30 and study until about midnight. My sister and mother don't go to bed until midnight and last night (Saturday) my mother stayed up grading tests and my sister processed Citizenship applications (for Tajiks trying to get Kyrgyz citizenship) until 2AM. I think these hours unusual. Most other volunteers I spoke with go to bed around 9 or 10--but to be honest, I am enjoying keeping a similar schedule as I did in the states. I remember in Thailand, I would go to bed around 8:30 because I was so mentally drained. Not that that won't happen, but as long as I feel good and energized I'm gonna use this time.

Here's a shout out to everyone at Thomson/West. I hope you are all well. Does 1800 Ref Atty work internationally? Give me a call!

Well my time's up. Take care and I'll try and write whenever I get a chance. Later,



  • Sounds like training is fun. The language skills are taught by a professor? Do you have group classes or are they individual?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 11:31 AM  

  • Tweed!!
    Good to hear you are well. Is there anything you want/need that we could send. I'll write more later.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 9:01 AM  

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