This is sort of a collection of notes that I have kept about some of my experiences and observations. Not every moment has been a story but these are things worth noting.
Some things I do make me stand out like a sore thumb. They might not be indicators of being “an American” but they scream foreigner.
- Putting my purse on the floor
- Wearing my Burkenstocks
- Wearing my Burkenstocks with a dress or socks
- My tattoos (some of the kids don’t believe they are permanent)
- Drinking soda
- Drinking water (especially cold water….ice doesn’t exist here)
- Teachers (during school / formally) seem to wear long sleeves more frequently. Except when the school year ended and the dress code became much more casual. So when I wore short sleeves I sort of stuck out. Everyone thought I was cold.
- Carrying around a roll of toilet paper in my purse and blowing my nose. (people make fun of me in the US for this also)
There is a strong link to National pride and one way that is demonstrated is through military understanding. There was a military camp for youth at my old site at the beginning of the summer, which simulated boot camp I presume, they have "troupes" of students that sometimes compete in squads during military marches and following commands, and several schools I know of have a military class. There are old soviet posters of how to put on a gas mask / suit and assembling a rifle?
I should also comment that the dental situation in the villages needs some assistance because I have seen some students with black stumps for front teeth
Kazakhstan Fun Fact:
Here the date is formatted like this: 08.09.2011 instead of 9/8/2011
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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