Sunday, January 18, 2009

Advanced Low

This last week I have been in the capital because of training. It was a nice time for many reasons. One of the primary ones being that for an entire week I was able to have hot running water and electricity all the time. Woohoo! Plus I got good food and got lots more movies from other volunteers. The training itself was well and both my counterpart and I learned a lot. When I go back to site this week we'll talk about everything that we learned and hopefully begin to put it into practice. I got some great ideas for secondary projects and hope to begin incorportating those as well. I finished several grants and now am awaiting the response from Peace Corps and others. It was a good week except I came to one conclusion, traveling around the city really stinks. It's not easy and you have to know where you're going in order to get there. I'm slowing learning it but it's really hard because there are no street signs and none of the public transportation methods tell you where you are. You just have to get on and off at the right place. But, such is life.

However, what really made my day was my when I took my Kygryz language test this last week. At IST the test is optional and at PDM (in March) we are all required to take the test again. Well I wanted to take it this time partly because I'm a nerd but also because I know my language has gotten better and I wanted to see how much I had progressed. People in the village had said it was better and in December much of the language started to begin to really click with me (it helped that my site mate was gone for about two weeks and all I could speak during that time was Kyrgyz). So I took the test and seemed to do well during it. My testor was able to understand me and everything flowed really well. So he has me finish and then tells me that I'm much better than I was at the end of PST and that I sound much more natural and everything flows better. He says I sound like a local, yay! I'm thinking nice, Intermediate High, awesome. He then tells me I jumped two levels and went from intermediate mid to advanced low! I was floored. I knew I had improved but didn't think I had improved that much. Also because there's still loads I have trouble saying but he told me I jumped into the advanced category and he also told me that it's rare for people to jump from the intermediate level to the advanced level in a span of three months. So woohoo!! I was happy and excited and shocked.

So the moral.. come visit because I can probably translate better than I originally thought. :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Kyrgyzstan Randomness

Kyrgyzstan Randomness:

- snow doesn’t keep animals from eating the grass, they somehow seem to find it

- I am now considered a Kyrgyz girl because of my new Kyrgyz winter hat and coat

- sometimes, at night, with the moon shining on our barren trees it reminds me of some weird, twisted scary place that would be put in a movie

- a bucket full of snow makes very little water

- dogs will fight for no apparent reasons

- my room is very toasty

- hygiene is the first thing to go in winter

- holidays are a good time for food

- my language has gotten loads better, although I still can’t say a lot

- I can now be funny in Kyrgyz!

- sometimes culture and culture practices are not understood

- I don’t remember children’s names

- I have the hardest time understanding schoolchildren, especially the ones who get louder and talk faster when you ask them to talk slower

- people here love to dance and have their picture taken

- the internet is precious

- traveling is a hassle

- no matter their way of life people have amazing ideas and are very insinuative