Friday, January 2, 2009

I've caught some awful Kazakhstan fever, but ibuprofen has made me feel a little better. Most importantly, I no longer feel like I want to throw up. It's disappointing that I'm sick, though, because some volunteers from outlying villages were talking about coming into town tonight, and I was looking forward to seeing them. Oh well, next time.

Because of the holidays, my work schedule has been weird for the past few weeks. Some of my students were on break, then others at a different time. The new semester starts soon, though. I guess it's been good to have a somewhat light schedule while I adjust to my site. I suppose I am adjusting further to the culture, too - I voluntarily add mayonnaise to soups, and I ate raspberry jam when I was feeling sick. And while I was a tea drinker in the US, I rarely had more than one cup a day. Here, though, I drink noticeably more, because everyone else does.

My neighbors upstairs really, really like techno music.

Oh, and my Russian is improving, too. I meet once or twice a week with a tutor, and we do the speaking activities from my Russian textbook from the US. Then I do the written exercises in the accompanying workbook at home.

We celebrated New Year's, the biggest holiday of the year here, a few days ago. We ate around 11, watched the president's address (in Kazakh and Russian), watched people set off crazy fireworks outside just after midnight, and then came back inside to have cake and open presents. I ended up finally going to sleep around 5:30 AM.