Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's So Purty!

Well, it's about time for a post, and since we don't have a lot of new photos for you, I figured I'd give a guest photographer a shot. But first, a few of us, just so you don't forget who we are.

It's been quite hot lately, and one of the boys' favorite things to do is to go down to the museum. Most of the time, the fountains are on, and when the wind is blowing and a fine cool mist comes off them, it's one of the best places to sit on a hot day. Of course, being small boys, sitting is not their thing, but running up and down the wall next to the fountains, well, that's a different story.

The wetter the better, in Matthew's view.

Daddy and Steven enjoy a break in the action to people-watch a bit.

And when it was time to go home, we splurged on a special treat - an ice cream bar! (50 cents counts as a splurge, right?)

Unfortunately, that's about all I have. We went out to a nearby village to spend the weekend with a friend, but I'll have to post those pictures later. For now, you get to enjoy some of the beauty of T-land, as photographed by our coworker David on his recent trip down near the M border:

This next one makes me think of a Kipling poem, one of my favorites:

Something hidden. Go and find it.
Go and look behind the Ranges --
Something lost behind the Ranges.
Lost and waiting for you. Go!

That's all, folks. Tune in next time, when we'll have all kinds of exciting information, such as whether or not our tax documentation was accepted, and the like. Oh, and maybe a few pictures of what we're up to when we're NOT working on documents as well.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Friends Like to Party All the Time ...

So, in addition to the regular culture and language study, we've also managed to be involved in quite a few celebrations of late. Hence, a party-themed blog post. Between the 4th of July (obviously a critically important holiday in central Asia) and a few birthdays, it's just been that kind of month so far.

But one thing that will kill a partying mood is lack of water. Having lived here for a few years now, we've gotten used to the fact that our hot water is turned off for a few weeks in the summer. After all, maintenance has to happen sometime, and it's much better that it happen now and not in January, when we really need our radiators humming.

But what if the cold water were turned off too? Those of you with incisive reading skills will recognize that as a segway into the fact that they turned off our cold water last week also. Hence the photo of all the bottles we could scrounge up full of water, having carried them from a friend's place. You don't really realize how much water you use every day until you have to carry it from somewhere. It did come on after a couple of days, just long enough to make sure we don't take it for granted any time soon.

The first birthday party we attended was for the son of the people we lived with out in the village when we were teaching English. He was turning 6, and we were invited along to the festivities, which were basically a picnic/barbecue in the hills. While we waited for the car that was to take us to be repaired, we killed some time by teaching Steven the most time-killing sport in existence, baseball.

But eventually we did get out there. And what a spot! I can't get over how beautiful T-land is at times.

We got the barbecue started right away, and in the foreground you can see a separate pot boiling for some T-land tea (the salty, milky stuff). It's even better when you get it made on the fire.

The birthday boy and the gift we brought.

Of course, our kids loved it. Steven and Matthew spend a lot of time cooped up in our apartment, so when they get the chance to run wild they take it! Steven was in heaven exploring the woods and throwing the frisbee.

Of course, it wouldn't be a real T event without some wrestling! This is an action shot, so it's blurry, but the boys all got on a mat and wrestled each other for quite a while. Steven loved it. It was so funny to see him taking on (and getting thrown by) boys twice his size and coming back for more again and again.

This picture was actually taken back at their house before we left, but I can't for the life of me get the website to move it into order, so here it is. One of their kids rode in on his horse, and gave our boys a chance to hop on and ride a bit. It was their first horse ride; I expected Steven to be scared, as last time we lived here he didn't want to go near the horses, but instead he loved it and cried when he had to get off. Matthew didn't really care one way or the other.

Steven and the birthday boy, who of course rides regularly.

This isn't a party shot, but the other night we had our upstairs neighbors over for supper and they wanted to take pictures afterward. We've discovered that the T people LOVE Mexican food – the enchiladas were a huge success.

I also recently celebrated the end of my 20's. Our teammates all came over for cheeseburgers and doughnuts, which was fun. Delicious food and good friends: you can't really beat that for a birthday gift.

That's about it, really. We've purchased our tickets for our westward journey coming up, but before then we've got some more trips/events planned around here, so we'll be posting pictures of them in the weeks to come.

I'll leave you with a picture of Matthew trying to fill Daddy's shoes. I think he needs to grow a bit.