26 May 2012

I'm a Misfit - can I join you?

Have you ever had one of those overwhelming feelings of contentment? Where you stand still exactly where you are and just appreciate every single thing around you? The wind blowing around you. The sun, hiding behind a few clouds as it sets for the day. The colour green that is literally everywhere around you. The mountains with their last bit of snow off in the distance. The fact that it is finally summer again after so many months of it not being summer. Feeling overwhelmingly busy and thinking you don’t have enough time to do anything, but it’s so different from how you’ve been all winter with NOTHING to do (other than watch TV and read books).

Yeah, well, if you couldn’t tell, I just had another one of those moments. And it was blissful. Sometimes I wonder why what I’m going to take away from this experience and if this experience is going to be all that I wanted it to be in the long run. Moments like the one I just had MAKE it exactly that. I might not the biggest difference in my community – there’s no way I’m going to develop a clean water system in the next 14 months (or maybe I will?) or get one of my students a full-ride to some amazing university in the States. I’m being realistic here. But I WILL have a huge appreciation for Kyrgyzstan. And its people. And eating outside under a canopy during the summer. And my host-family.

I guess you can tell that I’ve had a really good day/few days. God, I hope the rest of my summer will be like this – and I’m sure it will be – ‘cause this feeling is just sublime! And if it doesn’t, I hope that I can bottle up this sensation and can recall it when I’m huddled under 4 different blankets this upcoming winter. :) I really am so pumped for everything that’s coming up. Mom and Tif coming in like 20 days! Finally getting to know all the little (they’re so not little, excuse me) K-20s and how it’s been for them since being in country. Hearing how beautifully the Talas GLOW/TOBE camp (girls and boys empowerment camp) went without me. El Campo. Talas Welcome Weekend and then the Talawesome camp. AH, so excited.

On Monday, I finally got my shit together and started a P90x regime. I’m only a week into things, but I’m definitely feeling it. It’s definitely kickin’ my ass. But at the same time, I’m kind of excited about it. It’s something I can ‘look forward’ to doing every day. And it will make me feel better (I hope?) mentally and physically. Not so sure I’m going to get the results that I would like here in country – this whole eating healthy might not work in a world where potatoes and macaroni fried in oil and served up is normal – but I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and hope for the best. This really is something I need. I apologize if you do NOT want to be reading about my new exercise regime, but whatever, I’m going to put it in anyway. If you have any tips on how to do different exercise [Like, how do I do pull ups if I don’t have a bar or have a place to hang an exercise band?] or how to eat healthier (recipes for easy-access fruits and veg), would be GREATLY appreciated.

Onto the frivolous stuff: gone through another show that kills my soul (in a good way) – Misfits. It’s the British version of Heroes, but done correctly. Dear GOD, is it good. Simon. All the feelings. He’s got me feelin’ ‘em. Why are there only three seasons done and why is the fourth one going to be a giant shit show (no Kelly, Simon, or Alisha?!)?! What is the point? Either way, I loved almost every second of the show. Proved to be an interesting 3-4 day obsession with long-standing effects (damn you, Simon!). If anyone needed any more convincing that nerds/quiet guys were attractive – LOOK NO FURTHER. Done and done, thank you very much. And the guy that plays him, he was in London’s Spring Awakening. Dying. <3

In the process of re-watching (and falling in love with) Lost with JSR. It’s oh-so nice to have a geek out buddy once again. At least for this show. And it’s so nice to go back and re-watch all the craziness that happened so long again. Still have SOMUCHLOVE for Charlie, Hurley, Claire, Locke… Good times. Still hate Jack and Kate. Ridiculous.

Alright, now the brain is fried. Going to watch Love Never Dies – I’m going to give the video a chance even though I do NOT like the majority of the music – until I get called to dinner; if I do. Haha. Let me know what you kids are doing back in the good ol’ US of A for the summer. Ri – I fully expect reports on Dan and Philly’s trips to the States. Treat ‘em well and send them my love. Thinking of you all and wishing you the best of summers.

18 May 2012

They're heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere!

They’re here. After such a long time waiting the K-20s are finally here! And let me tell you – they seem like a really wonderful bunch. I’m pleased as punch that these are the kids that accepted their invitations to serve here in the K. Very much an eclectic group of people; young and old, black and white, crazy and crazier. Can’t wait to really get to know them. I keep having this ridiculous feeling that I want to be friends with them but 1) I’m not really quite allowed to be their friend yet; have to maintain my professional distance and be a good trainer and 2) they are NOT havin’ it. Haha. I wonder if we were the same with the 18s (although I think it’s a bit of the reverse in this case), where they tried to befriend us but we were just too involved in our own group to really branch out. Not sure I can handle two months of waiting to be friends – especially since a few of them are headed out in my direction and I want to like them and be ready to spend the next year havin’ a BLAST with them.

Back at site after almost 3 weeks in the Kek. First week was spent saying goodbye to one of my new best friends – BP, as we like to call him. John has been a staple in my Bishkek life over the past six months. Don’t know what I would’ve done without him and our Team Indulgence nights. However, I think that we sent him off (on his glorious 6 week vacation to Uzbekistan, Australia, NZ, Fiji, etc.) in true TI style. As sad as it was, I know that I’ll be able to do it all over again come July when he’s back for a month of consulting work. Good thing that’s when my session of PST will be. :)

Second week was doing our ToT for the K-20 PST. Lots of repetition of things we learned in our own PST, but it feels kind of nice being on the know-it-all end of things this time around and not the holy-shit-what-did-I-get-myself-into end. All of the trainers are going to be great; we have a very enthusiastic and positive energy going on and the LCFs (the language teachers) are ready and rarin’ to go with this new batch of trainees.

Third week kicked off with our jaunt out to the airport at 2 am to great the new trainees. I think that all of the vols who decided to show up – there were about 20 of us – were all so past the point of tired that we were all just giddy silly fools and so excited for them all to arrive safe and sound. A few vols waited inside the airport with PC signs (like they wouldn’t know who we were without them?! *facepalm*) while the rest of us waited outside, jumping up and down and very fidgety. We created a tunnel of sorts for people to walk down – we even got some locals to go through and cheered them on; they thought we were nuts! – just to add to their embarrassment of being up for howevermanyhours and traveled halfway around the world. Lots of them were good sports about it.

After the airport, we all headed to the hotel where the trainees would stay for the first few nights and the vols were let off into the world of 5 am Bishkek. Surprisingly beautiful and serene, I might add. Then we all tried to pull our shit together to manage a few hours of sleep before PST officially began. Lots of information was thrown in the trainees faces, all the trainers seemed way more excited then the rest of them, and the staff seemed incredibly well-put-together and ready to go. Our team this year really is going to be prime time. On Tuesday, they all got matched up with their host families for PST. Everyone was terrified and it was really cathartic knowing that I wasn’t the only one flipping out over this; that it very much is a big deal not speaking the language and getting placed with a family you don’t know anything about. They all took it like champs. I hope they’re doing well. Haven’t heard much to the contrary, so I’m guessing no news is good news.

I am excited to see them all in six weeks time for my session, but am still really nervous about handling them all on my own. The other two sessions for TEFL have two volunteers to work things out. I’m on my lonesome. Sometimes I think that’s a great idea and sometimes I’m scared shitless. I know I’ll be fine and my energy and enthusiasm will be enough to get me through the really awkward times, but at the same time, I want to share all my knowledge about teaching and living in the K with them. Does that make me weird? I hope not. Otherwise this’ll be awkward as hell. Fingers crossed that I’ll figure out what I’m doing before then and that things will go over smoothly.

Still having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that a lot of my best friends from country are either traveling the world right now or are back in America. Can’t fathom it. It seems like only yesterday we were all sitting in a field in Kengesh and I was getting shit for wanting to come to Talas. Wonder if the 20s will feel that way about us in a year. Gosh, I hope they will. It really is interesting how people can get so close after only one year when put in places and experiences like this. Some of the 18s I will remember and love for the rest of my life. Like I said before, don’t know what I’m going to do without them until I really get to know the 20s. I’ll make due, I guess.

Haven’t been reading much lately. Been too wrapped up in TV shows finishing (Glee and Smash, although I haven’t seen the finales to either).  Still trying to work my way through Game of Thrones – I’m on book four – but this one is just not as interesting. Why did he make it so that this book is ‘written’ by the crappy characters and the fifth one is with all the good ones?! Damn him, knowing we HAVE to read one to get to the other. Have Steve Jobs’ biography up next on the queue and am getting ready to rewatch all of Lost with Steve. Found The Avengers, but haven’t watched it yet. Quality is pretty shite and I just can’t bring myself to watch it like that – want to be able to really appreciate RDJ’s dialogue and to stare at Thor’s arms ‘cause… goddamn. Anyone got anything new for me? I’m really starting to need some of the following:
-       A Bit of Fy and Laurie
-       Jeeves and Wooster
-       Less Than Perfect (old skool Zachary Levi, YESFRICKINPLEASE!)
If you have access to any or all of those things, send in my direction, please and thank you.

MOM AND TIF COME IN LESS THAN A MONTH. Sorry, just a wee bit excited. Cannot wait to be able to show off this beautiful country to them and to show off my (not so) amazing Kyrgyz skills. And just to hang out with them again. Miss them so much. And then less than a month after that, Jess comes to visit and help with camp. Going to be one of the best summers ever. Here’s hoping that Diana and Mrs EA find a way to make it in my direction and that my trip with Dad actually pans out. :)

This post has gotten completely incoherent, which means that I need to finish up and do something my brain can handle (Lost, it is then.). Please know that I’m missing you all and wishing the best summers. Hope tornadoes haven’t swept you all away. All my love to you guys.