21 July 2011

High kicks in Talawesome.

Holy God, it’s been almost a month since I’ve last written! Which puts me at almost four months since having left the States. Fuck, that’s crazy. Loads of stuff has happened and loads of stuff has not happened. Some of it is unimportant, some of it is important but of a slightly fragile nature, so I’m tryin’ to stay away from it and keep this entry as positive as possible!

This one is on a slightly similar note as the last one, but hopefully a bit more up than the last one and then there will probably be a shit ton of a babble, just updating everyone on how life’s been in Kyrgyzstan over the last month.

Ready for it?

So, in an attempt to start lesson planning for my sessions at the Talas English Camp at the beginning of August – I’m doing HIV/AIDs awareness-prevention-promotion through photography and promotion of diversity through theatre! – I’ve been looking through my iPhoto. Sometimes this is a really bad decision as I start getting super homesick and start missing experiences long-since gone. But for some reason today, it’s done the opposite. It has made me so excited and happy and reminded me how lucky I have been over the past five years of my life.

[I apologize in advance if the next few paragraphs make me sound entitled or arrogant, it is not meant to. It’s more a reflection on everything and the places it’s gotten me to today. Therefore, please don’t think I’m bragging or anything; I’m not.]

As much as I hated high school – let’s be honest, who didn’t? – I got to do a BUNCH of cool stuff. I mean, who starts a few made-up holidays that actually get continued for years after you’ve left?! Let’s reminisce, shall we? March 2nd. Estrogen Day. Lupper. Emo Day. It’s crazy, looking back on it. The things that my friends and I did during high school just for shits and giggles have been passed down for years through other classes, mainly those within the drama department. And here I was thinking I didn’t make an impact during those awkward years between 16 and 18… Haha.

Very similar things can be said for the four years I spent in college. I fell in love with one of my favourite cities in the US – if you don’t know which one I’m talkin’ about, you do NOT know me – while meeting some of my favourite and closest friends on the planet. So many concerts. So many wonderful memories. And just looking back on all of the things we did when we were so young and stupid and now seeing where we all are today? It’s fucking crazy. During college I studied awesome subjects that have helped shaped the direction in which I’d like to go someday. British history, Islamic studies, Arabic, etc.

And to top it all off, studying in Scotland, where I fed my love for the UK (seriously, mark my words, I will live there for an extended period of time…), just added to all the aforementioned things. Plus, the little trips I got to do on the side. Celebrating JP’s 21st 605-style in Bilbao, ordering drinks in Basque. Introducing Brits to a ‘real’ Thanksgiving and then throwing the turkey (RIP Fred) carcass, with juices, out of a 3rd story window. London Twilight premiere with Kathryn, squealing (me, that is) over the fact we’re in the same room as Robert Pattinson. Spending Christmas in Paris with my mom and brother. Celebrating my 21st with some of my best girlfriends in Inverness, riding a motor-trike around Loch Ness, drinking whisky. Going to the airport and literally getting on the next plane to wherever with Tif, ending up in Amsterdam and loving the whole spontaneous experience. St Patty’s Day in Dublin with Zini – literally no more should be said on that subject. Heading to London with Ri for our epic weekend of concerts and shows, ending up meeting Jamesy and Ingrid. My solo trip to Rome, ending in a HELLISH sunburn, but an intense love for that ancient city. And our goodbye party that cannot be described because of its awesomeness.

And obviously the rest of everything in Chicago, jobs, internships, trips – NZ and Africa – hockey, and life in general has shaped where I am now. I could not be happier about every single one of those experiences and people. I also could not feel more blessed/lucky/privileged to have been able to have all of those things. So, to every single one of you reading this, I thank you. I love you more than words can say and appreciate every single thing you have done for me over the past few years.

Alright, now to the little bit about Kyrgyzstan that’s been happening as of late. This past weekend was one of my favourite weekends thus far having been in country. Basically, a shit ton of K-19 vols from around the country all came to Talas for an epic weekend reunion as well as a music festival that one of the vols helped organize with his placement. Guys, it was amazing. Legit. So much fun. Amazing food was made (I’m seriously becoming SO surprised with some of the stuff that we’ve been able to make in-country). Hawaiian Polar Bear pancakes, for example. Think pancakes with bananas, Snickers bars, Mars bars, and Bounty bars all mixed in. My mouth died with happiness. Everyone who came – Steve, Casey, Ian, Sweens, Johnny D, etc. – had a blast. No drama. Just pure awesomeness. And it all came to a conclusion at the music festival which was just nuts. Johnny D and Alex, one of the Talas vols, were asked to perform ‘Chai Ich’ – ‘Have a Cuppa Tea’ by the Kinks translated into Kyrgyz – because a bunch of counterparts saw it at swearing-in and haven’t stopped talking about it since. Not only did the boys perform, but there was an epic disco where we all just danced around like silly Americans. So. Much. Fun. When we all got back to our hotel at around 1 am, all of a sudden the room and building started to shake. As we all were ‘in the area,’ as SRoot would say, it took us a few minutes to figure out what the hell was going on. I guess there was an earthquake last night? Haha. Apparently it was a rather big one down in the south (like a 7-ish on the Richter), but where we were it wasn’t that bad, only around a 1. Nuts, eh? My first feel-able earthquake. Thank you, Kyrgyzstan.

I can’t believe how much time has passed already. It’s almost the end of July, meaning I’ll have been in country for four months. When the hell did that happen?! We’re already getting emails about IST (In-service training)! Talas’ is near the end of September; can’t even think about the fact that THAT will be 6 months into my two year service. Ugh, brain can’t take that right now. Haha. I have no idea what IST’s going to be like, other than it’ll be a three-day adventure. My guess is that it’ll be a three-day long Hub Day like back in PST. Which will either be AWESOME or it’ll suck hardcore. We shall see. I’ll keep you updated.

Scored a few books on my Kindle today, but as usual, am ALWAYS up for recommendations! Oh, I also have about 10 actual books that I’ve borrowed from people I’ve gotta work through. Reading list is as follows:
-       The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden
-       Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
-       The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
-       Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
-       The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
-       Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (need to finish it)
-       On the Road to Kandahar by Jason Burke (need to finish it)
-       Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
-       Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden (need to finish it)
Then go ahead and include the other almost-90 items that are already on my Kindle to that list and you’ve got my reading material for the rest of the summer. Haha. Thing I’ve got enough to last? And again, if anyone has anything they’ve read recently that’s just FANTASTIC, tell me ASAP. :)

And because I know how much ALL of you are so interested in my television watching habits, I thought I’d update everyone on what I’m up to. I have magically acquired, thanks to Ms Keisha, the entirety of what has aired thus far of Doctor Who. Holy TARDIS as a human Batman! Lots of twists and turns have happened in only 7 episodes and I legit have no idea where they can go from here. LOVED Neil Gaiman’s epi, so much that I spent this morning trying to find some of his books for my Kindle. Ended up scoring Neverwhere and The Good Omen; wanted to get Stardust, ‘cause I heart the movie so much, but they don’t have it in Kindle format. Might have to somehow find an actual book copy somehow. Enough of the tangent though, back to Who. How is it that Matt Smith has so fucking quickly done so many wonderful things with Eleven and we’ve now already seen his ‘death’ – at least we’ve got 200+ more years with him, right? – since he can’t regenerate. And Karen Gillan crying over Rory after he almost drowned… Girl has gotten much better with the tears. And Arthur Darvill at the beginning of ‘When a Good Man Goes to War,’ oh holy God. Just stay like that forever and ever, will you? Do NOT get between The Last Centurion and his wife/kid. *z snaps* The thing I have with things now is this: is anyone really going to want to watch them have frivolous adventures when Amy’s baby (who’s identity I won’t reveal even though I’m the one who’s like a month late in finding it out) is still in the middle of some evil plot? Let’s be honest. As intrigued as I am about maybe killing Hitler, I want to see Eleven save the shit outta the kid and get rid of EyePatchLady. Any thoughts?

With the possibility that most of you saw it on Facebook (I assume that that’s how you’re reading this – you followed the link I put up there), I successfully made my first batch of granola from scratch. Words cannot describe how fucking tasty it is and how much of an accomplishment it felt like actually working out! I even splurged and went crazy adding peanuts, two different type of raisins and PEANUT BUTTER (Mel left me her Peter Pan when she left)! OhmyGod, is it good. Now the only problem is is that since I’m such a nice person – comments to yourself, please – I shared with a bunch of the people that came into Talas for the reunion/music festival weekend and now my stash is low. Hopefully, this afternoon, maybe even right after I post this, I’ll be able to make another batch. Fingers crossed for me, people. On the topic of food (wow, I just got THE biggest craving for Taco Bell, that’s no good!), I still need people to send me fun recipes that have relatively easy-to-find ingredients and don’t require magic to cook them! For example: Philly’s Shepherd’s Pie, Smoth’s pasta – there has to be SOME kind you can send me that’s easy – and anything anyone else has to offer.

I wish that I had more detailed things to say about how life has been for me in Kstan, but I haven’t been up to all that much. I’m helping with another camp in two weeks, so that’ll be a thing to add on the list, but it’s mostly been watchin’ TV/movies and reading books. Speaking of which: WHO IS BARNEY GETTING READY TO MARRY?! It better be Robin, the two of them are too perfect together! Still don’t want to hear about Harry Potter as I haven’t been able to find a copy of it yet. If anyone does, I WANT IT.

Please know that I love and miss you all. Wishing you the best of summers and hope that everything is treating you well.


  1. As soon as you said Dr Who, I stopped reading because we still have to finish Season 6 and havn't watched any of Season 7 yet. We spent last week watching all the Harry Potter (1-7 in 6 days!) so we could watch Harry Potter 8 in theater. It was awesome!

  2. Haha, Jeff, yeah, that was probably a good idea to stop reading. I stayed as non-spoilery as possible, but there are definitely things in that paragraph which would've ruined stuff for you. Haha. Season 6 (the one I wrote about) is immense. Enjoy watching. And so jealous you guys got to watch part 2 of HP7! Wish I could do that! :(