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