I thought that I would go ahead and comment on the daily life of a newly enrolled Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan. After a few weeks of settling in my host family home and frantically stalking people to sign my paperwork....I would say that I do not live an exciting existence right now. Don't get me wrong - I am very content. Basically I sleep 10 hours.....eat a deep fried breakfast.....go out for a few hours....come back and drink 100 cups of coffee....read....listen to music....read....coffee....ipod....make visuals for school lessons in the fall.....nap....text 83 messages to people.....day dream.....talk with my host family.....read.....coffee....cookies....deep fried supper....cookies....coffee. I think you catch my drift. My productivity level feels below measurability. After the rapid pace of a frantic preservice training I feel that I have smacked face first into a brick wall of village life.
One goal of the summer is to find the art scene in Kazakhstan. This will be a challenge.....because provocative things are not necessarily supported. I am hoping to find an art supply store, a university / school that teaches art, working Kazakhstani artists, and some galleries of contemporary work. This prep work will hopefully lay the ground work for some exciting future project ideas that I have!
Kazakhstan Fun Fact:
People here LOVE to eat sunflower seeds.
okay...this is a recap of a day we took a fieldtrip to this place called Madeo.
It is a place where they had some of the Asian Winter game events (that happened right before I arrived in March) so there is the highest ice skating rink in the world? maybe....and they have skiing etc. But since it was warmer it is really more like a nature reserve. Part of what you can do is climb this set of stairs that is literally like....820 steps. I thought I was going to die about 15 times but I told those stairs who was boss! Anyway I climbed that beast.....then we also took a ski lift to this deck place with swanky restaurants. Here is one thing I have learned about restaurants here....they will have a huge menu with everything you can think of. You are like....yay! That is exactly what I wanted! But when you go to order....they have no alcohol...bread....or salads....or food. I don't understand how any place stays in business when only a sixth of the menu is in stock? The point is....that is what we experienced at this place. But they did have the beautiful wooden doll house looking hotels that you could rent and stay in overnight. There were beautiful snowcapped mountains and lots of trees etc. It was great....and I think I burned 8 billion calories from walking.
Kazakhstan Fun Fact: Ok this is interesting.... you know when you are in an audience and you clap in appreciation of a performance....well instead of random clapping everyone here claps in unison? It really caught me off guard the first time it happened. It is really impressive how everyone can get in sync so quickly!
I am so behind on my blogging! Anywho....now I am at my permanent site and have settled in over the past week or so.
In this short post, for a small but appreciative crowd, I wanted to comment on the perspective of soda in Kazakhstan. Basic soda products exist here in the smaller villages - pepsi, coke, sprite. I never see locals drinking soda. Despite the fact that people here eat candy like it is going out of style to the point where every tooth in their mouth will rot out.....I get lectured by children at school when I have a 12oz bottle of coke once a month. They patiently inform me.... "Miss Megan....did you know that coke is really bad for your body?" It seems strange to me that there is a widespread cautionary tale here about drinking soda but brushing your teeth or not burning plastic bottles is still normal.
This was a culture shock moment for me.......my world is small. Don't judge me.
Kazakhstan Fun Fact:
People don't really wait in line. For instance at the post office.... you simply ask 'who is the last person.' Then you sit and watch people cut infront of you. :) You just sort of push your way to the front and hope for the
Peace Corps Blog.
click above to play a traditional Kazakh song that I really like called the Karajorga. It is very popular and there is a traditional dance that is performed with it as well.
March 8, 2011 -
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