It’s been a yucky day today. Rainy and cold.. Blah! Hopefully tomorrow will be better. So the other day I had a surrealism moment. I was talking with my host father about the upcoming election in America and I had an illumination about halfway through the conversation. I was speaking in Kyrgyz (having a full, yet simple, understandable conversation) and my brain suddenly says to me, “You’re speaking in another language and it’s making sense after only studying that language for four months!“ It was an interesting moment and has lead to me realize several other things that I hadn’t really considered up until that part. So consider the following an expression of some of these illuminations.
There are days when I absolutely love everything about this country and it’s people, but there are other days when I can’t stand any of it. Everything that you do and happens to you is known throughout the entire village and people you don’t even know ask you about it. Somedays I’m totally fine with it and other days I just get so frustrated with it. Thankfully my family is pretty good about it all. Sometimes I just want to tell the countless number of kids who scream the only English word they know, “Hello!” to just shut up. There have been time when I want to just yell at my little sister to sit still and to behave (and there are many times I want to give her a spanking in hopes it would stop her temper tantrums). At times I just want to throw the countless cups of tea that I’m forced to drink back at the owner and sometimes I just wish I could have something to drink besides tea and water. I get sick of eating bread for both breakfast and lunch and wonder if these people do not see the need to have other types of food. There are time when no electricity bothers me and having to flag down a ride to the nearest city gets frustrating and many other things. At times even the aspect of a hot banya frustrates me because I know that I’m never ever really fully and completely clean. I sometimes get frustrated with their view of time and how it doesn’t really exist. Yet for each of these there are positives as well. The people are so generous and kind. They are loving and really care. The country is beautiful and the people too. This is a time for me to learn about patience and lack of control and to embrace the here and now. It’s a time to slow down and respect what nature gives and a time to truly understand hard work and hardship. Above all it’s a time for self change. It’s a time to embrace having two younger sisters, one of which will soon be entering puberty and will have someone besides her mom to talk to. It’s a chance for me to really feel enveloped and loved by an entire community, not just a few individual people and it’s a time to really test myself and see what I’m made of.
Therefore, as I’ve come to realize throughout the years there are aspects of every country and culture that I like and others I do not like. It’s a fact of life and this one is no different. Sure the language can be frustrating at times and I always feel tired because my brain is constantly in motion, and yes the amount of tea and bread is annoying, but one learns to cope, to deal, and to “embrace the chaos” as a former volunteer said. For that I wouldn’t have it any other way.