Letters dates March 27 and May 5, 1994 – Kyrgyzstan

The following are bits and pieces from two letters I sent to loved ones back in the U.S. back in 1994 while living in Kyrgyzstan.  I put the two together because much of the other was not relevant for my reading audience on this blog.

March 27, 1994

I did go to TESOL in Baltimore and present my research on learning styles.  I DID meet many friend there and talked on the phone to others.  I DID meet Ken’s three children while in Wash. D.C. I DID eat at many fine restaurants and enjoy the life of leisure.  I DID get back on the plane and arrived safely in my home of Kyrgyzstan on 8:30 a.m on March 22 and went to teach class at 1:00 pm.  Needless to say, I was tired after being in air transit for 21 hours (from D.C. to Almaty) and 3 ½ hour car ride (from Almaty to Bishkek).

I have become so accustomed to traveling and living in strange countries, that any other kind of lifestyle seems foreign to me.  In the last couple of weeks I have felt a growing desire to return to China to visit friends and former students during my summer vacation.

Yesterday was a good day at the sauna.  I usually go every Saturday morning with Olga, Lena, Natasha and other Russian women.  We sit and sweat then jump in a cold pool then sip on tea and repeat the cycle about five times in two hours.  As I was leaving the sauna I thought of my 50 minute walk back home and I was favoring my one foot because I had developed a blister on the way TO the sauna.  There was Olga with her husband Andrey in their car and since I live close by, they offered me a ride home.  I felt very much loved.

May 5, 1994

I just celebrated Easter AGAIN in Almaty with my friend, Tatyana.  The Russian Orthodox church has a different religious calendar which they follow.  The main reason I went to Almaty was to visit Ken and to go to Kazakhstan’s “Grand Canyon.”  It WAS beautiful but cold so we turned around and came back.  Before this trip to Almaty on the public bus (it took 4 ½ hours) I took another trip.  Let me explain…

I walk everywhere in Bishkek since it is a much smaller city than Almaty.  But you really have to look where you are going because the sidewalks and streets are laden with potholes, cracks or other such traps.  When I saw the bus for Almaty pulling out of the bus station, I didn’t want to wait for another hour for the next one.  As a result I sped up my pace and took my eyes off the sidewalk.  There was an inch pipe running from one little garden plot to another.  That is what grabbed my right foot and pounded me to the pavement with a 30 pound backpack on my back.   I was in pain for the whole trip after THAT trip until I got to Ken’s place the next morning where he had plenty of ice packs.  My knee is better now, a week later, but it has ALL colors of the color chart throughout my leg.

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