I'm a Tropical Bird

Trip Start Aug 20, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Kazakhstan  ,
Saturday, December 2, 2006

Random note: I road with my host dad into the city this morning. On the way, in the next village, we were stuck behind a tractor pushing a humongous, house-sized haystack down the road. Holy crap, where were they takingthat thing?!

Last night I opened my window (the whole house was dead asleep, yet somehow this morning my host mom still knew I had opened a window in my stifling room. Supersenses) and just layed in the windowsill (it's about 2 feet wide and 7 feet long) looking out on the steppe. The snow makes the world silent, and muffles the usual sounds of the animals. Everything looked brighter than usual, and in the distance the only different between the steppe and the sky was that the rolling land was a little brighter of a white. The mountains off to one side and the steppe on the other makes the little village seem miles away from any civilization and that it's just a few homes stuck in the middle of an intimidating landscape. The houses end and then there's nothing.

My 5th grade class was back down to a normal size yesterday. I love those little buggers. One was actually bouncing around and picking her nose though- at that moment I definitly loved the hand sanitizer in my purse more. Who knew I would like the 5th grade kids more than the older ones?

I took being taught critical thinking in school for granted. Not even complicated problem solving, but just the little things. Here we're supposed to do critical thinking issues at the same time as English. It's amazing how things we did in elementary school, like pick out your favorite flower at home, is enough to give a Russian teacher a heart attack. sigh...

I keep having to remind myself its the small victories that count here when it comes to language. On the trolleybus, a lady asked me how much the ride cost and I was able to answer her (granted, it's simple stuff, but the point is I didn't do my usual freezing). And on the bus back to the village the other evening, I was able to take up money (everyone just passes their money to the front. Yes, I know it seems to have a great potential for disaster but it works), give it to the driver, and tell him yes, it's for all the way to Tarkhanka and not another village. Small things, Mary, small things.

At the bazaar I need to buy a new pair of black ugly boots. Mine are so cold and slippery even though they are fur lined. My host mom keeps trying to make me wear them instead of my hiking boots, claiming they are warmer. Haha yeah right, in no way shape or form. My feet literally hurt in the snow when I wear the black boots. My hiking boots keep me nice and toasty. I know this from experience. Yeesh.

Well, that's all I have for today! Bye!
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