How many people love me

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 120

It is so hard to believe I have now been over in Kyrgyzstan for four moths now, and I feel like the cogs are finally turning on my Russian, and I am so glad that I am teaching English because I was feeling like I had been loosing my English gradually from speaking really broken simple English. Also, I know that today is Christmas Eve Eve for the Western part of the world and every thing, but maybe not for the South-Western places like Brazil, Chile and many of those other South American and South of the Equator countries that are on their summer holidays right now. I am still not sure as to what I will be doing on Christmas, it falls on a Sunday and I am in a country that does not celebrate Christmas until the 7th of January, if they celebrate it at all. I am told though that New Years are huge here.

So that enough for the intro and random thought portion for now. So let us recap was has happened in the twenty days since I last posted here. I think quite a lot of things have happened and things have been going up hill quite quickly. Here are the high lights that I will go into depth with: I stayed with my YEO (Youth Exchange Officer, sort of my program director for the youth) for a week, I went to an awesome Rotary Club of Bishkek Winter Ball, I switched families, I started teaching The Queen’s English, my friend from the Ukraine is back in the Ukraine until March and I’m just about to go on my two week Winter Holidays from school.

Okay so first off, I spent a week at my YEO’s apartment for a week, while I was in transit form my first family to my second family. It wasn’t to bad it gave me internet everyday while I was there and I chatted on Skype with various people over the week and stuff, and spent most of the week staying up till mid-night or later so that I could talk to my friends and family back home a little better at times. I met his really nice mother-in-law, who is a sweet old Russian lady, and the mother of his wife. While there I had my first pieces of toast and bowls of cereal since I had arrived in Kyrgyzstan ninety something days before that time. We would eat dinner at his mother’s apartment two doors down, and she had a lot nicer of an apartment than him, I don’t know if it’s because of the way she decorated it or just that it was slightly bigger.

While I was staying with him on my last full day at his place, which was also supposed to be the first time I was supposed to do a video club at my work, but it didn’t happen because only one person showed up. Anyway, it was such a nice ball with so much good food. It was quite a long night and I have posted pictures online and as soon as I can get Picasso online to work with my blog I will try to get them going on my blog too. They had tons of different salads on the tables at first, and than later they brought out the first course which was a really nice butter fish I believe. It was the best fish I had eaten the entire time I had been in Kyrgyzstan, since it’s hard to get fresh fish here, with no real lakes or rivers that have fish. Many a times at the market you will see people selling rotten fish that they didn’t keep on ice, which is why it is rotten or at least rotten smelling. I try to avoid the bazaars at all cost, because they are just so dirty, and a huge maze, not to mention full of pick-pockets.

The next day I switched families, while my YEO, Counsellor and Rotaract President all had a chat about what I found out a few days later when we all meet was it was about an incident that happened with the other two RYE Students in town. They went on a fun night and got caught and had a lecturing or something I don’t know they won’t even tell me some of the stories that they have form that night, which just by the titles of what they call the stories they sound quite entertaining to say the least. My new family is so nice, I have again have both parents and three host siblings, all younger than me, but this family is just over all so much better than my first, they seem more caring and even called me their oldest son when we went to one of their friend’s house last week. The food is also so much less like greasy than with my first family. The parents even take me to work on the weekdays since I work just a few blocks past where the father works.

For those who know me, they know I don’t always have the best English in the world and I have trouble spelling in English and many other languages that I have learned over my life so far. So this is going to be like where is the apocalypse that is going to destroy the world because I am teaching English, but it’s the Queen’s English which I am better at than American English or the President’s English. I may not make much but it is just a blast to work at, the people are so much fun to work with. My students are great they may not understand everything but they are still good kids and students, since I have a wide variety of students one group that ages from 15-19 and one group that is two university student girls, that are quite intelligent for only being on their second month of being Elementary. I still do video and talking club and am getting my Friday classes getting switched to Tuesdays in the New Year, to give me last minute planning time if needed.

Going along with work I made a friend there named Anna who is from the Ukraine and she was like our little ball of sun shine at work. It is sad that on this past Wednesday she had to go back to the Ukraine because her contract had expired. We are all looking forward to March when she comes back, and hopefully she will have a spot since I took over her classes.

When I first started typing this on December 20th, I was just a few days away from my two week break from school. Now on the 26th I am on my two week break until January 9th. The only real down side is the teacher assigned us like three huge homework assignments to do and a small one. I have finished the small one and I really do not want to do the big ones. So far Kyrgyzstan has become the only country that has made me not want to go to school. Now all I really have to look forward to Monday through Friday is going to work after school. Even on my words days of changing schools I have always wanted to go as to see my friends and talk with them.

Don’t waste a minute not being happy. If one window closes, run to the next window — or break down a door.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 100

I know it has only been 10 days since my last post and that is strange for me but I feel like day 100 should be a mile-stone in my journey to learn new things and fulfil “The Seven Bes” that we where given at my home districts last youth training/get-together that we had a few months before everyone started to leave. But to me it is hard to fulfil these when you get lied to, like me host brother told me on the my first day of school that Kyrgyzstan doesn't have annual or monthly bus pass like things, which I have now come to find out are available at the Central Post Office. I still have yet to buy one but I am going to ask one of my friends who speaks English and Russian to help me buy one for December, so even though I have a two week break from school in December for the new year I may want to go somewhere and then I can get my moneys worth out of it.
Also, I haven’t really felt very welcome by my first host family I felt welcome the first few weeks when I was still in the ‘guest phase’ where I was thought of as just a guest and not someone in the family. I am still now allowed to wash my own dishes but my host brothers can wash their dishes and other peoples’ dishes, but when I try my host mother tells me to stop, the only time I get to wash my own dishes is when I am eating by myself and nobody else is in the Kitchen when I finish eating. Sometimes, when I finish it’s like someone just walked in and tells me to stop doing the dishes, I don’t know why I can’t but I still wash my dishes the American way, always with soap here soap is rarely used to clean anything but pots and pans. They wash by just running a rag over the things or just using their hand and swishing the water around on it and then just put it on the drying rack.
Another things about my first host family is I think they randomly on the weekends shut off power to parts of the house and during the weekdays. I think this because parts of the house especially the upstairs loose power way to often to be power outages even if they have  crappy power grid in the area. I especially hate it on the weekends because I don’t have power to watch tele to pass the time or if I want to do something on my comp I am limited by how much battery I have left. Now, when it goes out I turn on the lights in my room and when they actually come on I know that power is back and can go back to do things on my computer and iPod.
I am still continuing my search of colleges in the UK and the inquiry of my eligibility for a Dual Citizenship. I still haven’t looked at the test website but I did shout the UK Border Agency of the Home Office and e-mail inquiring about it listing as much information about where we lived and where I went to school at while I was in England with my family. I did not get a chance to talk with my mate in England to ask her if she had found anything and give her the information I had found in the British Citizenship Act 1981 Ch. 61. I still need to see if there is anything in International Law that could help me, for that I need of either get a hold of my uncle who works in International Law or use Google or both.
One thing I forgot to include in my last post is I am sort of starting to feel like a journalist, because all I do is watch the news program ‘Russia Today’ because it is on 24/7 and they have had some interesting documentaries and things. The documentaries they show vary from one about the Los Angeles Fire Department and Health Care System to following the journey of a Buddhist monk on his journey from his home land to the largest Buddhist temple in the world located about 3-4 days walk across a harsh prairie land area in southern Russia and to an old mining town in the Oklahoma that is gradually killing the people who live there because of all of the things left from its former mining days. In order the names of those are called: Firestorm; Kalmikaya: the monks’ white path (sp?); and Tar Creek. If you want you could probably find them on or The reason I feel like a journalist is because of the news if it talks about something going on in an area I have a friend in it gets me thinking of questions and I type those in a note and then the next time I get on the internet I post them on their Facebook walls’. The biggest things lately has been questions about how they think the EU will handle all the countries that in getting in debit such as Germany, Portugal, Italy, and Greece. Also, about how the Netherlands is talking about how the Euro Zone should be thinned out to be just a few countries, such as itself Germany, France and Italy and the rest of the Euro Zone should just find something else to do.
I think I will never get tired of drinking tea or чай, but I think by the end of the year I will be tired of soups. So far, with my first host family, I have had like 5 different types of soups—don’t get me wrong they are all really good—sometimes though I will be given the same soup for all my meals for two days. Also, I will have eaten in one year about the amount of meat that I have eaten before I came here because they have meat here with every meal and everyday. I am not a vegetarian but I am also not a huge meat fan and I love my fish but here the fish all stinks because its not been kept cold the entire time—I think that they are partially rotten when people buy them. Also, they only have like a man made lake about 5 hours drive from the capital and I don’t think there are fish in it so all the fish I think travels a while and things and is not kept chilled in transit. Another thing that bugs me—I don’t know if it because I know the basic rules of proper kitchen procedure—is that they will cut meats and vegetables on the same cutting board right after each other and then when they wash it after cutting raw meat on it they just rinse it under tempered water.
For those who don’t know what tempered it’s that type of water that is neither hot nor cold. If you get sunburned you can take that type of water and fill a tub with it and some Baking Soda and it will take away the pain. I personally know that it works being the ginger that I am when I do go outside—the rarity that it is—I don’t always have sunscreen on so I get burned. Over the years of getting burned I have searched the web for different remedies then the sticky Aloe Vera gel and I actually do test them out to wake sure they work. One good one I have found is brew a cup of peppermint tea and let it cool down to not super hot and then just dip a sheet of Bounty© Paper Towels and gently dap it, this method is great if it’s on your shoulders or face, if on your shoulders you can even just lightly set the towel there and it relieves the burn and reduces the redness of the burn. Another good method is the one above of the tempered water filled bath tub mixed with about 1/2-1 cup of Baking Soda and just soak and relax in it for about 30ish minutes and then gently dab dry with a clean and soft towel be careful of the burn—I personally recommend not drying off the part where your burn is and just letting it air dry this will let the Baking Soda soak into your skin and help keep the pain down.
I can now say that I have downloaded free music, but this is perfectly legal in Kyrgyzstan they advertise about it and everybody knows about. I have so far only gotten four songs as of 26 November, I got Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO; Stereo Hearts Feat. Adam Levine by Gym Class Heroes; In the Dark by Dev; and Can’t Fight the Moonlight by Leann Rimes. I have a list going and every week when I go and sit in my favourite little cafe that has free Wi-Fi I will get a few more songs. The list starts to get clear then fills again as I hear a good song on the radio because I listen to the radio on my way to and from school, because I haven’t been able to pick up my package from my parents that has new head phones that I can use on my iPod but I still need to clean the ports. I have yet to find rubbing alcohol so I think I might just buy a cheapo bottle of vodka and use that, they have about the same % of alcohol. I am also thinking of buying a new cover for my iPod they sell a bunch of cell phone covers here that are some sort of flip to shut the front cover to protect it.
Technology and housing observation: I have noticed that when people live inside of the city and things they actually have internet at their homes and things and sometimes it is really slow. One of my school friends place World of Warcraft and it took his computer like 2 weeks to do a few hundred Megabyte update for it. His flat that he lives in with his friend they pay together a total of like $400 USD a month for like a run down apartment that has all old furniture the toilet is horrible and its a small flat with a kitchen, living room, one bedroom, a water closet and a shower room. The walls are also in bad shape and look horrible with cracks all over. Another friend has a lot nicer of a place and only pays $500 some of his stuff is old but its a lot nice of a place same number of rooms and he has a faster internet. Than the people who live outside of the city area, like I do, don’t have internet in their houses and use satellite TV and things. Also, for some reason my first host family keeps what looks like the bottom half of a bottle over the receiver which I think it why sometimes especially on cloudy days and when there is snow on the dish they can hardly get anything to come through.
I still am working on figuring out the cost of all of what I would need to buy all the ingredients for cooking dinner for my school friends here. Here is my planned menu I want to make a fresh salad (local style), fresh made bread, a French onion soup, and a lemon meringue pie. I have one friend who has a huge apartment or flat—I am not sure what to call it but it is huge an really nice with a five burner gas stove and a double oven—all I need to do is see what type of pots and pans she ahs I know she has a wok because her friends made Chinese food in it when I first went to her place with some of my friends after we went out to eat at this good cafe and bar.
Thinking about the cafe and what’s in it and the name of it gave me a great idea about it. The name is Obama’s bar and grill and when you walk in there is a cardboard cut out of President Obama and I am going to talk with my school friends and see if we all can go there together and then as we all go in we take a photo of each one of us with Obama and then ask the wait-staff if they can take a picture of all of us with him and then I will post them on Facebook in an album called “Chilin’ with Prez and me mates”. I think it would be hilarious it would be my group and my friend with he big apartment’s group and we would all have so much fun. I think I would tell them that if do it the cost per person will be about 500-700 som or so and ask for them to pay me and I would cover the cost of everything with that money. I think that would be good amount seeing as last time I went we ha a total of four people and the cost was a little bit over 1,900 som and was close to 2,000 som and we had two salads, two French presses of tea, two bowels of fresh hand-made pasta and a freshly made pizza as well as two of them had between them 3 beers but they are both in their thirties.
I got to say a really big ‘Gratias Maximas’ to Magistra Beman for teaching me Latin, because of my years of Latin I got a part-time job teaching English at the Official Representation of the Oxford Press in Kyrgyzstan. I may only be doing talking club and observations to watch how some of the other teachers teach, because the director likes that I am young, know a lot of English grammar and I know the methodologies of teaching a foreign language. She is starting me on talking club especially since they have wanted a native speaker and their current person is a like 50 year old man and she is constantly hearing complaints about him. The administrative person at the place also brought up video club, but the director has not informed me about it yet. I don’t know how much I am going to get paid, but I get to keep my English up and I can talk to a lady from southern England, two hours from London. Hopefully though I can start teaching by January since the last week in May I might be out of country going to the District Conference in Turkey and I want to be able to put on my résumé that I worked for Oxford Language School for 6 months.
Okay so Thursday I meet with D, Mr Arne and Joe and Josette at this Aroma Pizza place, and I was using my iPod there, and I don’t know if I left it there and someone took over the two  hour period that I was away after we finished and it feel out in one of the rooms in AUCA when we were changing from one room to another. I went back and talked with the Manager in Ruslish—Russian and English merged together—she looked at the videos and never saw it stay on the table or in the area, I went there twice because I only asked her to look at three and four o’clock. so, I went back because I wasn’t sure if she looked at five o’clock she said she did I thanked her and apologized. her, two of the servers and I also went through the couch that we all sat on. So I am hoping to ask Daniyar, the Rotaract Club president who also ate with us, if he can check the room that we started in before we switched rooms because I quickly grabbed my things out of the room and went to the other room because I didn’t want to be late for the meeting and my iPod might have been in my pocket of my coat and have fallen. The only other place I can think is that when I got up to go to the bathroom Mr. Arne grabbed it because I was sitting practically on it when our two large pizza came, it might have still be there and he grabbed it and forgot too give it to me because he was sort of in a rush with getting back to work. I asked him on Friday night since I was staying with him for the weekend or so until they have my second family ready.
Again this post is getting really long and it has only been a week and one day since my last blog post. So here are the quote and photo. This time the quote is by Robert Frost, and the photo I think is funny. This quote might be a good especially with all the events that are going on around the world currently and that have happened this year. There have been so many deaths around the world this year in all different kinds of ways from natural disasters to the Arab Spring and to what some people are calling might be an Arab Winter as well. These have caused so many deaths so far and this quote doesn’t make one forget about but it makes one hopeful for what could happen in the future after these events finish, and everybody can stop acting like a soap opera or immature high school students with each other of the whole ‘I am friends with them now, but they just became friends with someone I don’t like so I’m not going to talk to them anymore’.
“In three wordsIMG_0042
I can sum up
everything I’ve
learned about
life: it goes on.”
-Robert Frost

To make up for the 14 paragraphs above I shall provide another quote that I believe to be very powerful. All of these quotes are fantastic and brilliant, and I am going to try and talk with my future boss of teaching English that when I lead talking clubs if we can do a discussion of what people thing are being expressed by these quotes. This quote comes from his holiness the Dalai Lama XIV. To the Buddhist culture and religion his holiness the Dalai Lama is considered to be one of the wisest man in the world and has been able to explore the many different forms of reincarnation. This quote he talks about happiness, which to me is one of the most powerful emotions that anyone or anything can have the only thing that could possibly be stronger and more powerful then happiness is love. Both emotions are what I believe truly make the world go round, money and power don’t make the world go round, this love and happiness that makes the world go round comes for the love of an animate object such as your beloved pet that can always cheer you up when you are down, or you best friend that is always there to offer a shoulder, ear and hug when you are down. There is so much that can be said simply about these two emotions, they don’t come from money or a physical possession, such as sports car but like I said a person on animal that is there for you. Ok now here is the quote from his holiness.
“Happiness is
not something
ready made. It
comes form your
own actions.”
- Dalai Lama XIV

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 90

It seems as the ever so strange and hard to believe day 90 creeps up on me I am at a loss for words that could be used to describe all the different things, besides that fact that I have things vanishing from time to time and I think that my 5 year old host brother is the reason behind it most times, like one day I had 365 som missing from my wallet. The reason I know this money was missing was because I went to count my money for the day, and I had just counted my money in my wallet two days ago when I had finished using the at my favourite little Italianish Cafe in town that has internet. Also, I keep a spread-sheet of all my money coming in and out and all my shopping I do is at places where I will get a receipt in the end. That same day my wallet went missing out of my bed room, where I had left it on the night stand by my bed and then i left the room to go brush my teeth, like I do after I eat usually, and the only person left in my room was my 5 year old host brother, and when I asked he he said he didn’t know, which I think is a big fat lie. Luckily the next morning I got up early an asked my host brother that speaks English to help, and he told his mum and she went and looked and found it and I was tempted to tell them, when they asked me if everything was still in there, that I was missing almost 400 som.

Okay anyway that was my rant I had to get out of the way so we can talk about the more happier and pleasant things that have been going on, such as I made some new friends both foreigners and a local girl who is supposed to be my ‘interpreter, translator, and tour guide while I am in Bishkek’. All the foreigners are from the school and everything some are the students in my school group and some are from another group but we all get along and have a good time at one friend’s flat/apartment which is huge, and cost like 12k USD a month, but she can easily afford it because she is working as an accountant while she is here. The local girl’s name is Alyona, she is 19 and going to one of the local universities, she is from Russia but she has been in living in Kyrgyzstan since she was 4 years old. She is not just my interpreter but Joe and Josette whom are the other two American Rotary students in Bishkek.

I am/was finally getting a handle on my money when the wallet incident happened. I was managing to keep it under control so that I am not spending a couple hundred USD in one month. I have fully decided that once I get all my passport and things figured out and handed back to me from either the school or the consulate's office I am going to try and open two accounts with the same bank, one checking and one savings. The money from Rotary will be put in my savings and maybe the remainders that are left in my checking at the end of the month will also get transferred to savings, because I really need to save up my money the best I can here and things so I can get good things and have some money on hand as I go through the airports.

Last Friday I figured out that both the US & UK allow dual citizenship, so I am going to e-mail the British embassy to the US and see if I meet the criteria and if they will let my 7 years I spent almost 7 years ago count as the time frame of the 5 years that are required according to the Home Office. I need to look at this test tat they want one to take also from, after that or even before that I should try and contact my uncle whom is an International lawyer in the south. I am hoping they will accept it because than that would help me with my dream and hopes of going to university in the UK, so far the best rate I have found was the University of Wales – Newport which only costs 8,280.00 GBP = 13,138.64 USD for foreigners, and I have found some airfare rates to Cardiff, which is the closest airport they say, that are as low as like 750 USD for like 3 connections. I even have one of me mates in the UK helping me and giving everything a second pare of eyes look over.

This Tuesday I went to my first Rotary meeting in the almost three months that I have been in Kyrgyzstan. It is at this famous American hotel called the Hayat Regency Hotel (sp?). They have it in this fairly nice room and they have a meal too, we had a local style fresh salad but it also had lettuce, which is not common in the fresh salads here. A fresh salad is normally just wedge sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and fresh onion rings (the normal type not the battered and fried type) all with just a tiny bit of salt to get the vegetables to release their juices a little I think. After that we had a nice like I think strip steak with like a brandy based barbecue sauce with mashed potatoes and a few pieces of steamed cauliflower. I actually did eat the steak-- which the people who know me know that I absolutely hate steak because I don’t like foods where I am spending a long time chewing a small piece so I can swallow it, but this was actually really good. The guest speaker was from a mining company that is trying to get a mine set up in one of the villages, the mine would produce a gold and copper composite mix that would be exported to China or Germany or maybe Australia. I just can’t really remember for the life of me.

Also, at the meeting Joe, Josette and I met a former Rotary student who was a rotary student 10 years ago to Germany. He is in one of the outer-laying villages with the Peace Corps. We actually all had lunch together at this local Mexican place called the Mexican Cantina, and we all agreed that it was really good and could believe that the beef and chicken where real beef and chicken not like ‘mystery meet’, like is found occasionally throughout the country. He comes in to town just about once a month or so, he is still in town all week but he will be busy finishing up some things that he has to get down before going back to the village. He told us that he is going to try and shout us some e-mails because people have been asking about Rotary Youth Exchanges and things. He is coming back in town for like the 2nd and/or 3rd week(s) in December. After, we all ate and tried to do math to figure out who got what out of the change, we went to this Turkish Supermarket called Beta Stores—I actually have their discount card that cost me only 50 som and gets me a 3% discount on my total—it is a really nice store on the bottom floor then it has 4 more 3 more floors. The 2nd floor has some phones, jewellery, souvenir and clothing stores as well as a barber, the 3rd floor is purely clothing they even have a “The North Face” store, 4th floor is just furniture, a children's play area as well as the toilets that cost 5 som to use. Anyway, we went straight to the third floor because Joe’s host mom wants him to get boots and we all just played about and found some awesome looking shoes, even a pair that had like a bunch of tiny white dots with small black spaces in-between and I did the pick up and go in a circle with it in a friends face thing. Joe complained and didn’t get any shoes so IDK his and Josette’s fate because Joe’s host mom has called Joestte’s host mom to tell Josette about Joe needing shoes.

On a side note that is completely unrelated, which that's just how I am, I decided to wear plastic bags over my shoes to walk to school and found something really good out that if you do that use the high quality super market store bags that we have here and not the ones you get from the bazaars because both shoes where wet by the time i reached school but I had water and slush in the bag from the bazaar and my shoes was completely soaked through to my sock, and my other shoe was only a little damp all over not enough to be felt by my feet through my two pairs of socks. Furthermore I almost completely wiped out on the stairs to the underground areas to cross the streets easily because of the bazaar bag, oh the bazaar bag was like one you might expect to get from a Chinese take out place, a fairly thing and clearish bag that had the yellow smile face saying thank you for shopping. Of course I did get a lot of strange looks from everybody but I felt quite accomplished, because on Tuesday it was raining and because I have to walk town hill and the water from the streets runs on to the side walks so imagine like literally an ankle deep river flowing down the side walks I ran through that so I wouldn’t have to slowly walk through it. I was really glad that I wear my Under Armour thermal pants underneath my Flanner lined Old Navy Khakis, which where soaked on both legs all around from food to knee.

The building I have class in doesn't have a central heating unit so we use two heaters, one slow and pathetic one that the teacher brought from home, and then she has a much better one that can easily be bought for like 25 USD in the bazaar, but I’m not going to buy it since we need it to stand up and shout heat and this things sits on the floor and only shouts a small bit upward and then forward and also I wont use it but on school days. Also, if I get two cold I can wait an hour or so till our ‘rest time’ which is a 30ish more or less sometimes break period where we can get some food and stuff, I actually went and bought my school group, sugar cubes, Nescafe Classic Instant Coffee and some Lipton tea, and the teacher brought an okayish kettle. I say okayish because the seal near the water gauge is not very good anymore and if you leave water sitting in it for a period of time it starts to drip, she put some sort of plastic thingy with a lip and I have to empty it every morning when I get to school and get new water in the kettle and have either a tea or coffee.

Thursday we had our own family Thanks Giving things with out host families, and then Friday was our Rotary Thanks Giving things with all of our host families getting together for it and all meet each other. We were hoping to be able to have Dinara with us but she was still under the weather because with the weather constantly changing in Kyrgyzstan and the climate changes are killing and she has bronchitis from the weather because in her other home outside of Dubai it is still Summer and the warm part of fall, while in Kyrgyzstan we are in the cold, damn cold and super damn cold and wet season, because if it rains in the morning and through the day by evening it is becoming snowing and decides to snow for the day and might continue for a day or so. We all had a good time, and had roast duck and things. Everybody’s family was there except mine.

The day after when I had breakfast I got yelled at by my host mom, and she asked why I sat at a cafe yesterday—she knew why but I don’t think she liked that I wasn’t at home. I tried to invite her the night before because I thought she has been asked on Wednesday when Josette’s mom called her. Then she went on to say that I don’t talk much and that I am not like Austin, and she wants me to be like Austin—Austin was the boy from my Rotary district who was with them maybe two or three years ago—she was saying that Austin would constantly buy things for them like bread and vegetables. I was really tempted to tell her “WELL I AM NOT AUSTIN! I DON’T HAVE A JOB YET! I DON’T HAVE MUCH MONEY WITH YOUR ‘LITTLE BABY KANATA’ IS STEALING MONEY FROM MY WALLET! ALSO, I NEED INTERNET AND YOU DON’T HAVE IT AT HOME AND THAT COSTS ME OVER 100 SOM A MONTH!” I am still tempted to tell her that. Furthermore I have cleared all of my things our of the room they are all packed up into my suitcases, and since I don’t have a second host family I am tempted to grab my stuff and just go and take a bus into town and try and stay in a Rotarian’s house for a while until I can be placed with a new family.

This post seems to be getting longer than I though it was going to get but i guess it is because so many new things have been happening as my Russian improves, I even have it worked out that starting in maybe January I will start taking Turkish along with my Russian I just have to find a place that teaches it maybe my school depending on how much they want. This Turkish could help my even just later this year when I might be going to Turkey for a week for the District Conference since this district here is based out of turkey. I think I shall now start this inspirational quote as the last line of my blogs as well as maybe a funny note or just something I think is fantastic.

So here is the first quote comes from Gandhi and it is something that I think many people in there life should follow and then they could go to sleep at night or lay awake thinking or dreaming of how this can and will change their life.

Be the change028

that you wish

to see in

the world”





Btw, my official day 90 was on Thursday 24 November, because I am not sure when I am going to get to post this because of all of the Thanks Giving things that we had on Thursday and Friday, and Friday is my normal day to stay in town and eat at Olive’s Cafe in town because they have a good bi-lingual menu and wait-staff as well as free Wi-Fi since I currently don’t have Wi-Fi with my first host family.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Okay so the past couple days I have been hanging with some class mates and it makes me feel so much better, and we try to talk Russian most of the time and things. I am glad that I have been doing this it helps me make good friends and we all have a really good time together. Yesterday we worked for a friend and helped him clean up his new apartment and get it clean so the building manager could look at what was wrong. Today we went to the local Philharmonic Hall, and I think 'sqwuated' on the concert. Anyway the concert was really really interesting and fantastic I just wish I could have understood it more.

Going back to yesterday, after we finished working in our friends flat he treated us all to some really good Chinese food, that has menus in Russian, Chinese and Korean. Also, by the way the friend is Korean and really nice and works as a webpage designer I believe. That is besides the point though, but we all had a good time together and decided that if our friend needs help again we will help because the food was really good and things.

Today, for our entire lesson we went and watched the spectacular concert for almost the entire lesson. After, that some of my class mates and I went to a local Bar & Grill called 'Obama's Bar & Grill'. They had really good handmade pasta and pizza there and we all had a real good time. Now as I type this I am sitting in a friend of a friend's house using their WiFi and she is really nice and her Chinese friends make really good food.

Maybe by the end of this year in Kyrgyzstan I will know Russian, English, some French, some Korean, some Chinese and maybe some Turkish. I am hoping to be fluent in Russian by the end of the year and have a good base for Turkish when I leave.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 60

Okay so now as I sit in this nice Italian restaurant like I quite a lot to use their WiFi for different things, it makes it hard to believe today is day 60 in Bishkek and I still don't have my third visa that Rotary Bishkek had to pay 300 USD for last month when my visa first expired. Still not that much is going on here except tennis lessons are over until maybe April since my coach left for a few months in the US, I am thinking of taking some sort of dance class maybe some sort of Central or South American style dance, especially like Belly Dancing which my friend from Florida here asked me if they even let guys take belly dancing classes and I said "IDK but it never hurts to ask."

I still Don't have any more keys, the only key I have here is the one to my school classroom. I don't have a house or gate key yet because my host brother "hasn't had time" for a month to get them made, he is the director of he non-profit organization but he can always take a lunch break or something and go and get the keys made. The other day is was down poringish-depends on where you have lived as to what you would call the rain type- and I had to wait almost 30 minutes (25 after I gave up calling the house and called my host mother) in the rain with my laptop under the little over hang on the front gate, luckily I was wearing my rain coat that is also my winter coat so I wan't cold.

So the major even since my last post is I went to a place called Dordoi which is this huge market in town. They have everything there and its sold out of the giant metal shipping containers, there are two on top of each other the bottom one is the store part and the top one is where they store the extras its is really nice, I spent a little bit over 100USD getting winter things. I bought a really nice coast, a pair of really nice gloves, a really nice scarf, and a new wallet to hold my money because before everything for money was in a sandwich zip-lock in my bag inside of my winter hat. I went there with my YEO's PA who is really sweet, now she is in the US for training and things for 5 day in New-York before she goes down to her year in D.C. for college, even though she has already finished university here.

I am hoping that thinks will get better soon, but my Russian is slowly improving at a snail's pace it seems, because my lessons are from a book that is almost 11 yrs old and stuff, and I am lazy and do my Rosetta Stone only on the weekend to take time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's getting a little better

Thursday, 29 September 2011,

So it’s now been about a week since I typed up my previous post, even though I just posted a few minutes ago, there have been a few more things happen nothing really eventful though. It’s almost the end of my 5th week in Kyrgyzstan and still don’t have keys to the front gate or door, I asked my host mother for them and she said she would get them made on Friday or Sunday—that was last Friday or Sunday. My teacher has said that if I don’t do one more assignment she is going to call my contractor—I have only not done one assignment in the 4 weeks we have had class—she also still doesn’t understand why I can’t remember 300 new words perfectly after 4 weeks, and how all my letters are a different size no matter if they are cursive or print. I think if I didn’t have my iPod and iTunes I would have tried to quite this year, I helped one of my ginger mates not quit her year in Italy.

My tennis lessons are getting to be more fun now, that we are starting to not play with the wall as much because I suck at that part, when it’s a normal person I am not so bad because they can hit back differently than a ball bouncing off a wall. I finally got money to pay for the lessons, I have now paid for September and October, since I don’t have the money to pay for November and I may not have lessons in November because I might get to go to Mumbai for 36 days with Rotaract.

I now get 125 bucks a month, since my parents decided that it seemed hard to live off of just 100 bucks every other month from them and my monthly 25 from Rotary. I pulled the 100 this month and got it converted at suckyish rate or $1 = 44.80com—I did it over my 25 minute rest period and it took me longer then I thought to get to and from the place because I took a 45 minute break which my teacher didn’t like I could care less what she thinks at this point I would just like to either move to a different group or hitting her with some sort of large object—on my walk home from school that day I saw places that where $1 = 44.95com and when you convert $100 that’s 15 more com that’s almost a round trip on a bus here. With this money I paid for tennis I have factored out 400com for the month to cover my 336com needed for all my rides to and from school and that extra 64com to cover trips around town and stuff, also I bought tooth paste with Propolis, a tall shampoo bottle that cleans and lifts hair to add volume and life while leaving it smelling like Satsumas, Lemons, and Oranges, a box of 100 variety of fruit flavoured tea bags for my Kyrgyz friend whose in the states for her first year of college after her exchange last year to my district, and a chocolate bar which I am going to cut out to front cover of it and tape a part at the stop so I can stick a safety pin through it to attach it to my blazer since it was my first chocolate bar I have had here and it has Russian on it J. Today I have to buy an umbrella because I think the rainy season is about to start which means next month or if I have enough money this month I need to get a winter coat and some boots, and gloves, I have a hat, flannel lined khakis, and under armour cold gear top and pants.

My visa expired on the 26th, and they have my new one all done they are just waiting for the 300 bucks to pay for it and an approval letter from the Ministry of Justice. Mika, my YEO’s personal assistant, has been really nice and helping me get it worked out and everything. I learned my geography has really gone down the drain since I left England because I thought Dubai, which is where my Rotary counsellor is moving to in July, was in India when it’s in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I learned where all these countries where in sophomore World History but we didn’t have to know any cities in them, but if I need to figure out the capitol of random Central Asian Countries I can just go and ask my English 11 teacher he spent his summer learning them for some random reason but this is the same man who would be dancing and singing and hopping around the class room at 8:30 in the morning.

School sucks so badly here, my teacher doesn’t like that I am having trouble learning my third/fourth alphabet and that I can’t remember 300 words in a month when most of my class mates, whom are also foreigners, are having trouble with all the words and parts of the alphabet. I have done all but one of the assignments she assigned us, and the one I didn’t do she was all like “why you no do homework? You need to do all homework! It is good for you! If you don’t do another assignment I am going to call your contractor.” So my school sucks since I have one teacher and I have to put up with her for two hours Monday through Friday I really hope that in a few months when I feel strong enough with my Russian that I can learn the rest by talking with people outside of the class room and if I mess up they correct me, and I can change and take Turkish and then to practice it I can talk with my rotary counsellor, she is poly-lingual. She knows Kyrgyz, Russian, Turkish and English; she used to work for the Turkish Embassy in Kyrgyzstan which is how she kept up her proficiency in it also she attended the Kyrgyz Turkish University and learned English in the schools here and then she got into rotary which taught her the rest over the years of helping with it.

I am still working on making friends but it’s hard right now since I don’t speak Japanese, Chinese or Korean and that’s what the people in my class speak. They all are really nice and friendly but none of us can really talk with each other except the Japanese girl who can speak Chinese.

That’s basically my first full month in Kyrgyzstan, nothing too exciting has happened yet. I am hoping that things will get batter next month since my Russian is slowly getting better since in class we learn some of the most random stuff, like we just no started verbs, and all we have are the verbs for to do/to make, to work, to rest, to listen, to read, to repeat, to understand, to think and to know. We haven’t done numbers yet, which logically you would think first you do your alphabet then you do your numbers and then start verbs, but no we did alphabet for 3 weeks, and this week we started verb work. Also, the teacher expects us to memorize long passage and redic long names overnight, or in 2 minutes or 5 minutes and then come stand next to her in front of the class and repeat it perfectly using the pictures she has, and she goes “many pictures, it’s easy.”

4 Weeks down

Thursday, 22 September 2011

As you may notice the date up above does not correspond with the date that this was posted. That is because I did not have the money on my SIM card to be able to use the internet, or the money to take the Marchutras to some place with Wi-Fi, or the money to go to an internet place and use them.

My money seems to come in then go right back out again, I get a lot of money then it is gone in an instant to pay for my rides to school which is $8 a month since they don’t have bus passes, then I have to pay $27 a month for my Tennis lessons, and if I decided to take dance classes it will probably be about the same amount, so that would be over half of my total money because over two months I get $150 maybe, depending on the previous months went spending wise. Things are really cheap here, when you go to the bazaars but I have yet to find all the stuff I need at the Orto-Sai Bazaar which is the only one I have gone to so far. I have priced things at the store that I can walk to in 15 minutes from my school, and stuff is okay but I still need to go to the huge bazaar in town, but when I go I have to be super careful because it is full of pickpockets just looking for a tourist to pickpocket.

So as I sit here on the eve of my four week mark in Kyrgyzstan I can’t help to think to myself, “Self what have we don’t in this one month here compared to many of our colleagues around the world?” Which the answer to that is not really that much, I have barely left my host family’s house—mainly because I don’t have a key to the front gate or to the front door so I have to ask to be let out of the house, yet my host mother constantly tells me to get out of the house and go see the town—I’ve been invited to a few ‘parties’ and I use that world sparingly because those parties that I turned down each invite to where to one of my host brother’s friend’s drinking fest at their house—which normally a fight breaks out during them and I just broke my nose back in February so I don’t need it getting broken in a foreign country—I take tennis lessons for 27 bucks a month, eaten a lot of national delicacies, eaten street vendor food, saw the independence day parade (at least the small part I could see though the crowds before everyone decided to put their five year olds on their shoulders), went to one of the like eight local bazaars, tried salted and unsalted fermented mare’s milk—the salted tasted a lot better than the unsalted version—and watched every video on my iPod and iTunes at least 5 times. Oh also I have hand written almost 20 letters in two days, but I still haven’t figured out the mail system yet because I can’t even find the damn post office and I have to send out letters to 26 people across two continents, six countries, four states and 13 cities.

I currently am living off of the 25 USD I get from my host Rotary club a month plus whatever I have left over from the previous month, which is currently 122 som or 2.71 USD, I start getting the 25 USD a month starting at the end of this month, and I get about 50 USD a month from my family in the states but I can only pull every other month when I have somewhat over 100 USD. Also I spend almost 10 bucks a month just to take the Marshutras, or little van thingies that I have to walk 15 minutes to the bus stop than wait another 15 or so minutes for one to come by—and cram myself in it because they have seating for 10 an then standing room for as many as you can cram in—then I ride it for 30 minutes than get off and walk for 20 minutes, to get to school. So on a good day it can take almost an hour just to get to school. For a three hour lesson in Russian which my teacher can’t understand why I have trouble learning a third alphabet and writing cursive in a foreign language when I can barely read it in English, let alone write it.

National dishes are great, but after a while you do get tired of eating the same things every few days and since my host mother makes them in huge batches we are eating them for all our meals for two to three days. Also, I feel like she is stuffing me like a thanksgiving turkey at times and at others barely giving me anything, like when I have a bowl of soup at 830am for breakfast, then an apple or two for lunch, and don’t eat dinner till almost 7pm at night I am starving at that time, and she gives me another bowl of soup, I know that I am drinking like three bowls of tea and a few slices of bread with each meal but still I am a teenage boy. Don’t get me wrong my host mother is a great cook who when she is home seems to spend all her time either in the kitchen or telling me “computer bad for your eyes” most of the time when I get home from school about 330pm she is gone somewhere with her five year old son, that she babies him by letting him eat where he wants and she spoon feeds him while he plays with his toys and things.

My book is coming along fairly well it seems, one of my ginger mates Horse Whisperer read what I sent her in her long email that I sent her to convince her not to give up her year in Italy because she has been having doubts the entire time. I sent out an email to everyone from my outbound camp and at least five emails have come back saying they can’t be delivered for one reason or another. I don’t know if these people made these mail accounts and forgot to check them so they got close or what, but it makes it harder to get a multi-cultural perspective on it. The book is all about the ups and downs, celebrations and mishaps that Rotary exchange students go through and also what their parents had to deal with. I am hoping to actually get it published because I think it would be a great aid to future students of rotary and their parents as to let them know people have gone through the same thing or something similar and the stories can help them both deal with it and know that they are not alone in dealing with this or these issues that might arise on their year abroad.
I am having really bad downers right now, trying to adjust to a pay as you go phone, which I have never had in my life, and very limited and expensive internet. I get charged 1,90 to 2,80 som per megabyte and just running facebook takes a lot of megs I have found out, my mail when I don’t get to check it every day but like when I check on a Sunday and don’t get to check again until Wednesday it normally will take 10 megs to do because in an average day I get close to 40 emails most days I get closer to 60, that’s why I try to check often. Also, there are supposedly internet cafes but I haven’t found one and there is on connected to my school but I don’t know if that’s for students or for teachers because they don’t mark things here, as in they don’t label the teacher and student bathrooms differently. A less than one minute phone call costs me almost 2 som fro like a 22 second phone call that I make every day to ask for someone to come and open the gate to let me in after school or tennis.

I am still working on finding a scouting unit to join here but no one in my host family knows where I access is at. Atai is not home most of the time so I can’t ask him to call the people and talk to them for me because my Russian is horrible. I really want to see how Kyrgyzstan runs Boy Scouts compared the BSA. I am working on getting some council patches from the US to trade with the scouts here, and if they use different rank patches I may try to trade them those too.

Tomorrow at dinner I am going to ask my host parents if I may get a front gate and front door key, seeing as I have been here one month as of 4am on the 22nd September. I plan on staying with them for a few more months but I would like to have a key so I don’t have to call and interrupt what people are doing so they can let me. I know that the grandfather is always home but I would still like to have my own keys to use that I would return when I switch host families in December since my Rotary counselor won’t be back from Dubai until early to mid-November and she still needs to inspect the possible second families for the other two rotary students and I. She is having some difficulty doing it right now since she is moving to Dubai in July since her husband decided to move there to start up his own business, and she is also a little over four months pregnant now and due in January.

Basically my first month is Kyrgyzstan has been mainly a downer there have been a few ups here and there like joining tennis helps me get over some things, and writing the letters has been helping me feel better as well as the book helping me deal with my culture shock. Seeing as I never had a honey moon phase while I am have been here. I had it on the plane ride here and once I got to passport control and got held up there for at least half an hour and had to pay like 100 bucks for a one month temporary visa really like crushed everything. Also, they put my luggage on the wrong flight so I didn’t have it for a day and stuff, which is not as bad as Josey whose stuff, got lost by British Air Ways for a week. Also, going shopping with her helped me feel better since I had someone to talk to about different things which I can’t really do with my host family or to many people via facebook or texting since everything is a pay as you go. My internet, phone calls and texting are all done through one SIM so it’s not like I can just load my internet SIM and use it when I need the internet and keep the one for my phone things separate. Seeing as how I spent like 1000 som over like 3 days, a few weeks ago, just by mainly checking my email and chatting with people via Skype and Facebook. 

Monday, September 12, 2011


So to start off I am fine in Kyrgyzstan made it safely and its coming to the end of day 18 which means I have 300 days left here in Kyrgyzstan, and in May my good friend Tolkounai comes back from her freshman year of college in the states. My counselor is four month pregnant and is due in may which means that the other two Rotary students might get to go to the feasts that celebrate the birth and first month of life. In June or July she is moving to Dubai with her husband. My YEO is out of country for medical reasons, I am told he is old enough to have bone and blood problems and that is why he is out of country getting medical attention in the states.

Today at school my teacher gave me the bad dog wagging finger thing. This was because my Russian alphabet is horrible, my hand writing is worse then normal because it has to be in cursive, also I can't spell, write and pronounce properly about 130 new words that we learned over the course of last week. On today's spelling test over the last like 60 words we learned out of the 30 I could remember almost every single one was misspelled in some part or the whole word was spelled wrong. Then when I had to write on the board the letter combo things I was going okay for a while then half way through the 'ts' and 'sh' sounds merged when she was saying them. Now she emphases to me that I need to make my writing beautiful, learn all of the words, and my alphabet.

If you are wondering while the title is yuck, it is because of what my friend Joe had me try today. Joe is this guy from southern Florida here in Kyrgyzstan with Rotary just like Josette and myself. We hung out today because Cholpon-my current host mom-has been telling me that I need to leave the house more and stop staring at a computer screen for most of the day. Yesterday I went window shopping with Josette yesterday, who is trying to find a school uniform that doesn't have ruffles on the blouse as well as trying to find her two prom dresses because she is told girls wear two dresses to prom. So back to today, I met up with Joe after my class was over, then we walked to the bus stop to go to the Orto-Sai Bazaar, before we got there he had me try this one drink that is fermented Horse Milk with salt added, it was okay I took about 5 sips and then threw it away it wasn't as bad as some of the stuff I have had to drink for Boy Scouts before. So we took the mini-bus thingy to the bazaar and we wandered round it for a few minutes then we went to his flat that he is living at with his first host family. Had some food and chai there and he had me try the normal fermented horse milk was worse then the salted version, the salt cuts the edge is what I found out through this experience.

I know that I am feeling home sick because I am more board then normal, and still have not heard anything about where some sports clubs and dance studios are in Bishkek and how to get to them since my current host family lives about 20 minutes outside of town so I take a mini-bus into town every weekday to go to school and once I get off that bus I have to walk for about 15 minutes to get to the school gates, so it takes me roughly 45 minutes to get to school because of the 10 minute walk to just get to the bus stop.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today is the DAY

As 1100 draws closer and closer I feel the need to let everyone know that yes, TODAY IS THE BIG DAY. The day I've been waiting for since February when I received confirmation I had a slot in Kyrgyzstan and started talking with Joe and Josette. I have "a strange" flight path according to my friend form Kyrgyzstan whom is now back in the United States to attend University here. This has been happening for so long and this last month or two has now seemed like it passed by in a second when before now it was inching along like a turtle crossing the Highway.

As I look back upon my times before today it has been quite a long and hard life, spending about two years in the US before moving to nine years in Europe, than back to the US for six years now. I have meet many wonderful people that I hope that I never forget, even though I can be very blond at times and forget things in a snap. I do so hope that anyone who might be reading this feels happiness and joy and can try and promote this program to their friends and family because this is full of life changing experiences and hardships that will prepare you for the dog eat dog world outside of the comforts of your own home.

This just means so much to me to have this great opportunity, it may not show on my face or in my body language but all my friends that truly know me and stuff know how I am feeling some have already left for their year abroad, and then some have only a few short days or weeks until they leave. Granted almost no one from my region, except the people going to Asia have as long of flights as myself, having a total of 23 hours of flying, not to include my lay-overs in the different airports around the world. Please excuse if my translations are off, I used Google to figure it out and stuff.

So until we can meet again I wish everyone a happy year with what ever they do, and that it be filled with love, joy and all the wonders that you can find.
Così fino a quando possiamo incontrarci di nuovo Auguro a tutti un felice anno con quello che sempre fanno, e che sia pieno di amore, gioia e tutte le meraviglie che si possono trovare.
Então, até que possamos encontrar novamente Desejo a todos um feliz ano com o que sempre fazem, e que seja cheio de amor, alegria e todas as maravilhas que você pode encontrar.
Так что, пока мы можем встретиться еще раз желаю всем счастливого года с тем, что когда-нибудь они делают, и чтобы он был наполнен любовью, радостью и все чудеса, которые вы можете найти.
Así que hasta que podamos encontrarnos nuevamente Les deseo a todos un feliz año con lo que cada vez lo hacen, y que se llena de amor, alegría y todas las maravillas que se pueden encontrar.
Also, bis wir wieder zu treffen wünsche ich allen ein frohes Jahr, was immer sie tun, und dass es mit Liebe, Freude und all die Wunder, die Sie finden gefüllt werden.
Så indtil vi kan mødes igen Jeg ønsker alle et godt år med, hvad der nogensinde de gør, og at det blive fyldt med kærlighed, glæde og alle de vidundere, som du kan finde.    
Donc, jusqu'à ce que nous pouvons rencontrer à nouveau, je souhaite à tous une bonne et heureuse année à ce que jamais ils le font, et qu'il soit rempli d'amour, de joie et toutes les merveilles que vous pouvez trouver.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Visa Wait is Killing Me

It may not have been really that long since I last posted something but I sort of feel like I might need to do a status report. So officially I am still up in the air because I do not have my visa at all, the only thing I know really is that it is at the Consulate's office and that the people will not answer their phones no matter how fast or how many time you redial. you could call and redial 40 times in a row and still get the same message "we are sorry but all the phone lines are busy at this time, please leave a message after the tone." I really think that they are just all making personal calls on their works phones so that they don't have to answer questions from people like me and some of my friends.

I have friends leaving already or within this weak, Cleo left this past Saturday, Kat leaves this Friday, and the rest of the people that I know are in their final countdowns reaching close to single digit days, the longest wait I know of is an Aussie that leaves in January for his year. All those people having their Plane Tickets and Visa and final departure date just makes me want to grab all my luggage and go to the airport and board my planes, without caring about who wants to stop me on my way there.

Me mates that are going to Kyrgyzstan also with Rotary International Youth Exchange are in somewhat similar boats to me, one of the them got their visa but it got screwed up on the leave month part so he is going on a Traveler's Visa until they can fix up his Student Visa that he waited like three weeks for it to be finished, so he is leaving this Thursday and will not arrive until this Saturday which seems like a long bunch of flights with all the lay-overs included and stuff. I am not sure how far me other mate is doing she applied before me but when she sent her papers she did not have all the papers that she needed for her visa and everything so she is a little bit behind me in the process and like a mile behind the other guy that leaves on Thursday.

So until next time I wish everyone a happy journey and much success, in all their life's ambitions, and remember when you keep your heart open, love will always find its way in.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Guarantee Forms

OK, so I know the biggest thing between my fellow Outbounds lately has been discussing "oh I just got my visa OMG!!!!" or "I leave in so many days." I am so proud of them for having all this information but I feel like I am so far behind in this whole process because just last Monday 25 July 2011 I received my forms and go them sent off o Tzell Park Avenue Travel which is handling all of my things. They received my forms at like 1000 on Wednesday since they were sent on Tuesday on like the express delivery that the US Post Office does.
I said above that the company has my forms but I haven't heard a single thing from them since I mailed them and e-mailed them saying they were on their way to them and should be there by noon the next day. They have all the forms we hope, the only thing we aren't sure if we have everything is the letter of acceptance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyrgyzstan. The travel agency has my application, the US Postal Service Money Order and my passport as well as all of the things I received in the FedEx Envelope so we hope they have every form that they need because I haven't received any emails from them about receiving the forms or them needing anymore forms then I have sent them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Somewhat of an update


Ok, so I know it has been over a month since I last posted something, mainly because nothing has really happened with my exchange process yet. I have a friend, going to the same country as me, whom is freaking out about every little bit but it is a little funny at times and his summer job that he has he gets asked to do some strange things, like put buttermilk on top of a salad. About this time last summer I was being “a creeper” on my fantastically awesome Latin teacher that a few friends and I went to lunch with her at Panera Bread a block from her work

So here is what I know so far about everything for next year. I will be studying as a freshman at the Kyrgyz National University’s International Language Center. I will be staying in the city of Bishkek, which is the capital and is one of the few places in to world that has refused to let McDonalds invade their foodies’ culture, so good on you Kyrgyzstan for keep the deep fried fast food out of your beautiful country. My first host family has three sons, a 20 year old Law major, a twelve year old and an eight year old I believe and the Father is the chief of police for the town and has a PhD in Law. The mother is a professor at my host school; I don’t know what she teaches though so there is the possibility that she could be one of my teachers. Finally, I am one of the 3 studens from the United States going to Kyrgyzstan, and then there are a few going to Kyrgyzstan from Brazil and Mexico.

I would include some photos of my school if I could so instead I will just attach some photos of Kyrgyzstan that I found on Google, they are some pretty sweet photos and so gorgeous.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Awesomeness Known as Brenna Paxton

So at Rotary Youth Exchange Outbound Camp in Oklahoma a few weeks back I meet the awesomeness known as Brenna Paxton, my crazy Argentinian rotex bestie that has an obnoxiously long blog of over 100 posts. She was the head of Blue 1 group of her South American dancers, which were all ladies except for one person Colby. They were some awesome people mainly from Texas all going somewhere in South America, such as Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and places like that. She let me ease drop on her group one night when my group of Team Asia was looking at Japanese and oriental things that didn't related to Kyrgyzstan.

Brenna is so sweet in all ways, and she did an awesome duet with Davis Richardson to "Don't Stop Believing" almost like glee but it was more of Snow White singing to the a walking and talking Yellow Brick Road it was so awesome I wish I could have recorded it for them but it was too dark for my camera to be able to tape it, otherwise it would be blowing up on YouTube. "That girl has a set of pipes on her," is what I imagine would have been some comments if it was on YouTube. I think she should try out for the X Factor or American Idol, or the Voice and do it with Davis to see how far they could get and maybe even win, and Brenna could use her graphic design skills to make team shirts for people to support her with.

There is so much that can be said about Brenna, she is artistic, friendly. If she was a guy she could be a living example of someone whom lives the Boy Scout Oath and Promise, she would be one of the most fun and caring person you could ever meet in your life. She was one of the best rotex at camp and in the same breath one of the strangest ones at camp but she was a blast to hang around. She knows her stuff and is a very knowledgeable person and fashionable, not quite as much as Hope though, sorry Brenna but it’s the truth.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Autism Awarnss Month

Kids with special needs aren't weird or odd. They only want what everyone wants... to be accepted. Can I make a request? Is anyone willing to post this and leave it on your status for at least 1 hour? It is Special Education week & Autism Awareness Month, and this is in honor of all children made in a unique way.

Outbound Camp

 The picture above is of some of the Scandalous Scandinavians plus Zach Graham and myself the night of the dance on Saturday night.

How to start this post is actually harder then one might think, but here goes nothing. Outbound camp I would have to say was the most fun I have ever had at a summer camp in my life so far, the Rotex (students that have gone on an exchange and have returned and where selected from all the students in their region that went on exchanges to work at Outbound camp. They are unpaid volunteers just like all of Rotary is and all of the Rotex and Rotarians where super awesome and friendly. I was in Green 1 a.k.a. Team Asia all of the group is going somewhere in Asia two going to Japan, four going to Taiwan and then there is lonely old me going to Kyrgyzstan. Some of my best memories right now are of Outbound camp thanks to everyone who made it so brilliant.

To all of my new best friends y'all where awesome in everything, Davis Richardson for being a yellow brick road and even was nice enough to lay down with Paige to make a long yellow brick road for photos. Benton Bailey the most awesome dancer for being really tall that we had at camp. Then there is Larry the other Scandalous Scandinavian at camp that let Matthew draw all over you and the rest of you Scandalous Scandinavian except Hanna and your Rotarians. Cayenne, Carissa, and Page all my fellow ginger budys "Gingers Unite!". Hope everyone enjoys their summers and they all get their visas and passports in time while not killing anyone in the process. But my biggest thanks goes out to Hope Arensdorf the Head Rotex for helping me and putting up with my horrible Russian and everything. I just need to upload the photos to link with this blog so that everyone can see all the wonders that go on with teenagers when they are with like 59 other teenagers for five days and everything.

Rotary Youth Exchange

To everyone whom might read this, my name is Gregory James Scarbrough, a.k.a. Rufus Caesar or Gingy and when I'm on crutches I go by Cladus. I am a very strange and sometimes deranged almost 6 foot tall Ginger with a love to travel and help the world and the people I meet along the way. At the beginning of my junior year at Bellevue East High School, that I decided to apply for the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program, a truly brilliant program I would recommend to anyone willing to have to repeat another year of high school or go away from their family for a year and live with a new family in a different hemisphere while bettering your relations with other countries and making new friends as well as a whole 'Mafia Family' there to help you whenyou have an issue.

So now you might be wondering why is this blog titled Let's speak Russian in Asia? To answer all of y'alls questions with this Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) Program I shall be going to one of those like dozen '-stans' in the Middle East and Asia, the country is know to geography teacehers, and that lot as Kyrgyzstan, but the people call their country the Kyrgyz Republic, sort of like China is formally know as the People's Republic of China and everything. I will be staying in the capitol city of Bishkek and hopefully attending the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) from what I here I will be put in their Russian Major classes. I already know that I have an awsome counsler and host family.

If you want to know more just ask, you have this, facebook and Twitter to get a hold of me. Otherwise I dont know what to tell you. Best of luck in all of your journeys to find more information about this program simply go to