Friday, January 16, 2009

Boarding the plane...

Well, I always end up saying this, but the time has passed so quickly and I "believe" I'm going to be boarding a plane tomorrow! It's a love-hate thing, if you're tracking with me. I have had an amazing time being home, with family, friends, dr. pepper, mexican food, movies, driving, church, and warm weather! I am so thankful God has provided me with a family who shows so much kindness and grace as I seem to be here and there and everywhere! I love yall so much for taking care of me and loving me even when I do have to pick up and leave again. I HATE goodbyes!. But, the reality is time always rolls back around when I get to rejoin all those amazing things. AND.... I really miss Tajikistan! I have missed all my friends, english groups, osh dinners, walking down rudaky, wearing a korta (ok, maybe not that much:) drinking indian milk tea, riding in marshrutkas (also not too much), speaking Tajik, and dancing Tajik style! It's always an adventure boarding a plane and walking through airports... we'll see how this trip unfolds. I am excited about this evening... we're toping off these last two months with a night at the Fr. Worth Stockyard Rodeo! I am Excited, to say the least! Till I return to Texas... Keep in touch!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Since being Home...

I've had so much fun hanging out with family, friends, and enjoyin' Texas! I have been so blessed and taken care of, my heart is truly grateful- you know who you are. After being here a month now, I feel I have come through the "repatriation" or readjusting process and definitely feel more comfortable with American culture and ways...I've also enjoyed spreading the Tajik love to everyone I can! I'm sorry to those I have had the privilege of visiting with and didn't take a photo... I have taken my camera with me, but I am horrible at remembering to use it! Other than the time I've gotten to spend with people, I've enjoyed:
-Target, the Mall, and even, Walmart:)
-taking walks with the dogs
-catching a few episodes of TLC and discovery health
-green beans
-Dr.pepper and sweet tea
-football games
- Christmas parties and festivities
-country music
-reading, (I know, not real!)

I have missed all my friends in Tajikistan and think about them often

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Birthday Bash!

Yes, I turned 24 this weekend, and thanks to all my AMAZING friends I had a really fun time! The day started off with a nice run at 5:45, then I got to hang out with the oldies for a bit at the elderly home... I ordered a bunch of cupcakes from a cafe to take to my friends and co-workers, since you're supposed to bring your own birthday cake here:) I relaxed and was pampered for 3 hours at a salon getting a manicure and pedicure, had a lovely language lesson, and then went to this amazing, quaint French restaurant for dinner with some other foreign friends! Although I wasn't able to be with everyone that I would have liked to (back in the States), It was a really nice birthday... Then Saturday evening I threw a party for all my local friends:) Also a tajik tradition, the birthday guests are "treated" by the birthday person, so I chose a "south of the border" theme, and had tacos, spanish rice, chips and salsa along with the cup cakes and brownies! It was a lot of fun:) They were all sweet, and gave a really nice toast to this next year. I have come to realize I would not survive without friends:)

October 1st was the End of Ramazon Holiday, so Tuesday night I was invited to go out with one of my language teachers, her family, and several other friends to their hometown to spend the "ede" there... We spent the night, and then went visiting and eating all day Wednesday, after the 3 hour drive home we stopped to eat some more at another home, and then had a nice dance party to conclude the evening... what fun:)! Although I was not fasting, I am so happy the fast is over, and feel I have freedom again to eat and drink in public:) Life is so fun! O and I am on the countdown until I return home... I leave here on the 10th of November and can't wait to hug everyone!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another Day, Another friend made, Another memory put on the shelf...

Yes, it's true. I am in love with old people. And, yes, I get to go hang out with them now twice a week! I love my job! So, here are a few pics from this past Friday... I had made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for them for their "tea time", and they went nuts! I didn't think they turned out that good, but O how the small things make life brighter. Well with the 6 Russian words I know, they seemed to enjoy them:) Anyhow... I have found my long lost love!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hello, Did Summer just pass us by??

I have officially let you down. I beg for your kindness even though I have not been faithful with my blogging through the summer... so I'm sure half of the people who cared to read this have given up hope of anything new showing up. But, I honestly feel like Summer came and went, and where was I? Well... I made it back to Turkey in June for 2 weeks, 1 week for a company conference, and another week for vacation. Let me just say that I love Peppermint Mocha Fraps from Starbucks, and had my share while enjoying the other perks of Istanbul. I made it to pretty much every shopping mall and center that is there and loved every minute of it:) Side note, I was kinda overwhelmed with how "stylish" everyone was there. I felt quite out of place and out of touch with the new "in". However, it didn't stop me from enjoying the European Cup and cheering for Turkey in their match against Germany. I would have to say that was probably the closest I've come to a "world cup" experience.

In July I was out at a 2 week kids camp that Convoy put on for 40 kids! It was a lot of fun, God's grace that I didn't go stir crazy having to stay on the camp grounds for the entire 2 weeks, and only a few run ends with some snakes:) What fun we had, what few showers we took, and many sleepless nights with boys invading our room with toothpaste...

I returned home for 2 days, then loaded up with the rest of the Convoy team for a 2 day drive out to the Pamirs! We drove along the Afghan border the majority of the way there, really amazing to see. I got to stay with 2 american friends who work out there, and catch up on life and the sort. We also went to a wedding where we had to dance for a good 5 hours! Amazing to say the least. I LOVE that about Tajik culture. They know how to enjoy life and every big (or small) occasion that takes place. O ya, I had a bit of a fall at one of our "lunch break" stops on the drive out to the Pamirs... Gosh!

We got stuck after a few hours of driving on our way back to Dushanbe because of landslides and the road being full of huge boulders. They had to dynamite the mountain several times, so we were there for a good 9 hours:)

3 Days after arriving from the Pamir's, I packed up again and headed for a good family friends hometown/village with them. Being the only "sister" there with their fam for 4 days, I got to experience life as a Tajik GIRL. Lets see... they work, work some more, and well, work some more:) It was a bit frightening having to cut and help cook the food for meals, but their mom is a really sweet lady and taught me lots:)! When I found myself given just a knife and bowl and asked to make a tomato, cucumber, onion salad, and all the women relatives had gathered around me to inspect my knivery skills, I was a bit nervous, but they were kind and helped me learn how to be quicker about the kitchen duties:) hehe. O and I had brought several instant coffee packets to give the fam, and the first night there, they mixed it up in a baby bottle and fed it to their 5 day old goat! haha. apparently it wasn't feeling so well and the coffee gave it's intestine's a shove. Within minutes the goat had recovered and the whole family was thanking me for helping "heal" the poor thing:) We also got to go out to one of the big really pretty lakes that wasn't too far of a drive from their house. When it came time to come back to Dushanbe the grandma begged me to return after my trip to the States to marry one of the grandsons! She said, "they would love to throw a TUI (wedding) and have me join the fam". Unfortunately I had to refuse the getting married part. Although, a nice tajik girl is going to be very lucky to have them as her family someday. What a fun Summer it has been!

Waiting for the road to be opened, we decided to bust out a game of UNO on the hood of the truck. It was kinda funny, the tajiks had different rules for UNO that none of us had ever heard of:)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


well. Just about a week and a half ago our home was invaded. No, not by something that might be life threatening, but by disgusting, gross, intruding mice! I know they can't do anything to really hurt me, but let's just be honest and say they are completely unpleasant. Two days after having spotted the things I made it to the bazaar to find a trap. I had to laugh when I realized that, there I stood surrounded by the bazaar men 1. trying to describe to them what I needed, 2 .trying to figure out if and how the darn thing worked, and 3. trying to ignore the random bystander man who kept "translating" into English what the shopkeeper man was saying "of course I am going to help find whatever the pretty girl needs!" -even if that was a mouse trap! ha. Needless to say, the trap doesn't work too good and hasn't caught any mice. Our landlady does have a cat, so we brought her in to do the dirty work, but to no avail. Friday night 2 girlfriends came over to bake and watch a movie, and who but the mice decided to come out and play! My friends heard the things scurrying around our pantry/cabinet so I went and got the cat knowing that the mouse was trapped inside the cabinet. Well the cat just went into the back of the cabinet and laid down! A bit irritated, I pushed her out and proceeded to clean out the rat-poop filled cabinet, since it was OBVIOUS there were no mice in the cabinet if the cat just decided to sit down. Well as I got to the top shelf and moved some things out I spotted the mouse wedged into the corner, frozen! Ah. so I ran to get the landlady hoping she would trap it for us.
She didn't seem too disturbed by the news and made her way over to our place- in her time. Well she walks in with a little pitch fork and a gardening glove on the other hand! Yes, she just picked the thing up with her gloved hand, and then was kinda waving it around wondering why we were so scared of this "little thing"! haha. Unfortunately as she was holding the mouse in one hand and trying to find the hole where they have been coming from, my friend spotted another mouse (which freaked her out more so she screamed) and our landlady dropped the mouse that was in her hand! AH. so there went both mice back into their hole, to return at a later time. Needless to say we stayed on the couch trying not to have to cross paths with them. At about midnight/ one am the cat came wandering back into our living/kitchen/dining room and then spots and catches a mouse that was over by the refrigerator! We heard some racket and then this high pitch squeel, the death, and then she brought it back into where we were and played with it for a good 15 minutes before she ate it, there in front of us! About 10 minutes after that she caught another one underneath the stove/oven, however this one was still very much alive. She played with it for like 20 minutes, and she kept letting it out of her mouth and it was dash away, and then she'd catch it again! Ah. finally she killed and ate it. It was a bit traumatizing having to witness this event, and it's a bit disturbing that we keep finding fresh rat poop inside our cabinet. The cat comes in and out, but I don't think she's caught any more! The moral of the story. I've decided to not be bothered by the things. They will lose eventually, but for now I guess there's going to be some type of cohabitation! I have heeded the advice of my mom and washed all of my cooking utensils and eatery, wouldn't want to get the black plague!- thanks mom!:)

Other than that life has been fun! I got to go play baseball with the PE class at Silk Road Academy the other day. I'm pretty sure I threw out my shoulder in my crazy intense -one chance to swing at the ball:)! ha. It had been too long since I'd put on a glove or swung the bat, but I felt a lot of pressure to hit a far one for the kids:) o well. I took it for the team. O, another exciting discovery, 5 somon 30 minute massage! Monday morning my language teacher and I went up to the polyclinic and got 30 minute massages for $1.50! It was an experience but it felt great! I am going back on Thursday for some more therapy.

One of the girls in the Convoy office had her first baby in March. Here you have to wait 40 days until you can go visit the new mom and baby, so after that time all the other women in the office went to her house for lunch... it was fun, we ate, chatted, even danced, and ate some more. It doesn't matter what the occasion, there's going to be food and dancing!

Friday, March 7, 2008


Hey there!
I am sorry that it has been so long since I've updated this thing... I admit I have avoided it:)
Anyhow. March has been a crazy, event filled month! It started out with 2 guests from the states coming for a quick 3 day trip to check things out... It was a lot of fun getting to host the gal, and to also get some good "culture shock/stress" chats in... Convoy was able to do distributions of flour and oil to several different villages... here are some pics from one stop...

Yes, there was a line for the mule to haul their sack of flour up the mountain to their homes:)

A teammate and I were also able to put gift bags together for the 50 women who work out at the invalid orphanage for women's day... despite the cultural "serious" pics, they were excited to get their gifts, and to be appreciated for their hard work:)

One week I was also able to go with my friend Shoira out to a village to visit one of her old friends/classmates...

Easter Weekend was also the big "Nav Ruz" Holiday here, the celebration of a new year and the coming of spring.... we went to the park one day, and I was so excited when we found cotton candy:)

Yes, I got a new korta made with the national "adras" pattern, since that is what a lot of women wear around this time of year..

Below is "Similac", which means "30 angels" and is considered to be "pure"'s made from ground up wheat and cooked from 12-24 hours... usually the women in the family or neighbors will get together and rotate around because it has to be stirred constantly.... really interesting process and background