Sunday, May 1, 2011

the downside of things. i think i handled it rather well.

where do i even begin? it has been a whirlwind the past few weeks.

last weekend a group of us trainees went to almaty and rented an apartment to stay the night. it was a blast. we ate donor kebabs (my once fav. street food: meat, french fries, pickles, carrots, tomatoes, sour cream, and hot sauce? inside a burrito. mmm, hung out all night, woke-up and went to central park. it is this beautfiul park where you walk through tons of giant trees and green plants and suddenly you spot the ferris wheel. within minutes you are surrounded by an amusement park. you have to pay to do each ride, but it is really neat. we sat at a café and ordered mojiotos and french fries with meat on top. this was the beginning of my demise.

within an hour i was not feeling well. we went as a group and took a nap in the sun in a field of dandilions. it was beautiful and comfortable, but when i woke up my stomach was screaming at me. we walked back to pick a marshutka up to take back to ecik. moments before getting on the marshutka i had to urgently pay to use the squatter on the side of the street. (you have to pay to use public toilets here. 40 tenge isn't much, but it is not cool when you have to stop at a cashier before you can go puke your lungs out.) which is exaclty what i did. & imagine for a moment puking in a squatter on the sidewalk where the whole world can hear. it was difficult and slightly embarassing. i then had to ride in a packed marshutka on the way home with no windows, 80 degree weather, and too many potholes for an hour and fifteen minutes. it wasn't pretty.

and that was the start of my unfortunate week. my coughing from the week before was getting worse and i couldn't keep anything down. i had to call the peace corps medical officer. i then spent quite a bit of time this week shuttling back and forth between ecik and the peace corps office in almaty. i got to see the almaty hospital though. three times actually. that was nice. after quite a bit of poking and prodding and more than a few meals lost, i am finally feeling better. looking better too i might add. not the most enjoyable diet i've been on, but clearly the most effective ☺

i missed quite a bit of class this week. i also missed teaching three of my own classes. (which by the way, i am feeling much more comfortable with. i might even be a decent teacher by the end of two years.) i even missed seeting the romeo & juliet ballet in almaty that i was super excited for. but o well, at least i am well now. && my brochitis is almost gone too.

& as an awesome end to this crazy week i was startled out of bed this morning by an earthquake. you can imagine with the craziness going on in the world, i was rather frightened when my apartment started shaking. i hopped out of bed and my host mom was grabbing me to run out the door. (apparently these soviet apartment buildings don't put up too much of a fight when gravtiy comes calling). i was prepared to leave the house in my pjs with no shoes, but fortunately the shaking stopped. the eerie swaying of the apartment bulding hung around a few seconds after.

apparently it was a 5.4 on the richter scale 44 miles northeast of almaty. i'm east of almaty somewhere. i think. but since i survived the minor earthquake & it is may day, i went to the city center to see a parade, dancing, and a concert and then traveled to the bazaar and bought a pair of fabulous shoes. black flats with sparkles on the front and a little shoelace. 1200 tenge. that's like 8 bucks in the states. love it. although on my peace corps budget that's a splurge. one i felt i most definitely deserved after this week.

since may day is a big holiday here classes for tomorrow and tuesday are cancelled. peace corps is taking all the trainees to medeo. the famous ice skating rink in the mountains in almaty. it should be beautiful and fun. i teach two classes on thursday and it looks like my last class to teach on friday will be cancelled as well. (you can see how seriously they take school around here. not really. but kind of.) &&&&& on saturday is site placement day. we have all reached the point where we are exhausted and ready to move to our new sites. i am only slightly a.ka. terribly nervous about repacking and getting my now 3 bags down four flights of stairs and onto a train. good thing i have been walking so much here, i'm gonna need those strong legs.

waiting on the next unexpected adventure,


  1. It is with a happy heart that I read your post today, Emily. I got to spend time with your mom when I visited No. Virginia last week, and felt like I partically lived through your illness with you, praying continually for your improvement. What an ordeal! You are one strong young woman! I pray that your assignment is one that is just right for you, and that you will soon be greatly encouraged. Much love and God's peace to you. Mrs. Kate Mauck

  2. Sorry you have been so sick Emily. Glad you are on the mend though and were able to enjoy May Day celebrations. Good luck on your next adventure!!