Saturday, June 5, 2010

Wecome to the Peace Corps!

This has been a pretty crazy past couple of days. I have been sworn in as an actual volunteer. That’s pretty exciting because now I don’t have to have a very strict schedule planned out for me every day. I stayed in Bishkek for a night because my new village was too far away and it would take too long to get there if I left the same day as swearing in. The great part about that was there was a group of us who went into the city and I called a girl I know from Kyrgyzstan who is living in Bishkek now and I got to see her. She was an exchange student who lived with my best friend’s family when I was in college. I hadn’t seen her in over 6 years. She looks great, her English is still amazing and she was a huge help helping us get back to our hotel. I’m excited to spend more time with her over the next two years. I finally got to leave for my new village in Naryn Oblast at around 9:30 on Friday morning. I met my new host parents for the first time and they have to be the sweetest people on the planet. This is going to be a great two years. Here’s where being in the Peace Corps and not ever knowing what is coming next hits me head on. About 2-3 hours into the trip we stop at a rest stop to get some food, use the bathroom, rest a little… and then my host father walks into the cafĂ© and tells us that the taxi we were riding in broke down and that we would have to wait 3 hours for a new one to come from Bishkek. Well, 3 hours turned into 4 hours and as we sat in the car I began to get sick. I was hot, my stomach was turning, and I just didn’t feel right. We got into the new taxi and I was feeling horrible. I felt so bad because there were three of us crammed into the back of the car with all my bags and other boxes and I had a whole seat to myself. Because I felt so horrible my host parents would let me have any bags around me so I would be comfortable and they had to ride for 4 hours surrounded in my stuff. I guess that was a good thing because two times on the way there I had to yell “Tokto” (Stop in Kyrgyz) and then got sick out the door of the taxi. Not the best way to start when moving to a new place. At least that’s over and I’m starting to feel better!
My new home, family and village are great. I haven’t really had an opportunity to go around the village that much. I really laid low today because my stomach didn’t feel so great. I live with my host parents and they have 5 kids that all live in different places. I have met two of their children. We have a cow, a calf, chickens, and sheep. What more could a girl want? Today my host mom gave me homemade yogurt from our cow’s milk. I love that stuff so much. My host mom is great. I am amazed at how much I can understand her. She speaks very clearly and chooses her words well to make it easy for me to understand. She used to be a Kyrgyz teacher and I can tell by how patient she is. I hope it lasts. I am third volunteer to live with them. The first was two years ago and the second started and two months later had to go home because of medical reasons.

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