So many of you have emailed me with questions about my life here so I decided instead of answering them all individually I would answer them in a Blog because I think others might find it interesting. So I hope you all enjoy them.
1. Where does the garbage here go?
Well we don’t have dumps in most places, although in the larger cities they do have trash cans. In terms of an actual dump though like the ones that exist in the states we don’t have them here. Most of the time people burn their trash (which includes plastic, glass and everything else- which is also very harmful for the environment) or other times they just throw it away wherever they are and it’ll decompose or just lie there. There really isn’t trash collection here. It is a project we are working on here in my village though, so maybe one place will have it.
2. Are American holidays celebrated here?
No for the most part. 99% of Kyrgyz people will not celebrate the American holidays. Those that do are either Russians (and they may celebrate Christmas) or are host families of Volunteers. My family celebrates some of the American holidays (like Thanksgiving, Christmas) but for the most part they are not celebrated. One of our peace corps goals is to educate them about American culture and holidays are a great way to do that. So we always try to tell them about a holiday even if its not celebrated.
3. Do they believe in Santa Claus?
Yes. Interestingly Santa Claus is very big here and partly because scientists determined last year that for Santa Claus to supposedly be able to reach every house on Christmas Eve he would leave from Kyrgyzstan because it’s the middle of the world and would allow him access to every place. So next year has actually been declared to be the year of Santa Claus. They do not however have him out at stores and kids do not go and sit on his lap. They know he brings presents and wears a big red coat.
4. Do I cook?
Not really. I have begun to do more food preparation lately, usually around lunch, because my mom is not home then and I’m tired of just eating bread and chia. So I’ll usually make Raman then and have lately been making oatmeal in the mornings but dinners I don’t really make. Although they enjoy eating American food and so I will usually make that food with them whenever I’m inclined to make it. For the most part, though, no I do not cook.
5. How much time do I spend with my family?
That varies on the day and when I get home from work but mostly I spend about two hours every evening with them. On the weekends usually more and I’m always seeing them around and they’ll come into my room and hang out and talk, watch a movie, or whatever. I try, though, to spend at least two hours every day with them.
6. How do I wash clothes in winter?
Well winter hasn’t yet actually hit so I’m still washing them outside but twice because of rain I’ve washed them inside. I live in the big house and there is another room in that house that is a former kitchen and so I was the cloths in there. I put down a plastic tablecloth and put the buckets on there and wash my clothes. It’s actually not too bad.. What stinks is then hanging them up outside to dry because that is where it’s cold.
7. Can I shower every day?
No. Here in the village we don’t have showers. We have a banya that is fired up once a week or once every two weeks. A banya is a small house type place that has three rooms. You walk into the first room and it’s the colder room. In there you take off your clothes and walk into the steam room. In there you clean yourself by filling up with hot and cold water. There’s another room where you can sit in and relax if you want but I never do. Most Kyrgyz people are n the banya for hours but I’m usually only in there for about 30 minutes because it gets so hot. It’s heated by coal and is really warm and feels great.
That’s all for now. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.