Friday, April 24, 2009

The First Day and a Half

Some times I find it enjoyable to read others blogs when they are wth us... there is a team here we are working with , and it is fun to look at things from thier perspective, so here is what they experienced in the first day and a half that they were in town.....

I seem to have hit the ground running...... I think we have heard that before somewhere. There is no such thing as settling or relaxing here. Only a constant knowledge that there are so many people whose lives that have been touched here, and how much work there is to be done. This morning I was met at the airport by many friends new and old. At 5am and with many hugs and smiles my baggage was claimed and safely placed into the waiting vans.
Quickly we stopped to empty the van of the 200 plus pounds of "stuff". What kind of stuff? A little of this and a little of that.. I am sure our "stuff" will be the subject of upcoming posts. Maybe not chronilogically. But WE will try our best to keep up to date. to the Bazaar. This is a photographers dream come true. The sights are vibrant and alive with colors at the bazaar. Turn one way and there are brilliant bright blues and reds, turn another and watch the tents swaying in the breeze. Everywhere are people haggling for the best price, and people wanting to help carry your treasures (for a price that is as this is their trade). I think most heightened though were the scents. The bakery, the fruits (pineapples, bananas, apples) But One that was simply amazing to me was the spices. This seemed to evoke all the senses. And made fore some good photos too. This was a swift trip but productive. Bananas and apples by the kilogram (37 pounds of bananas, 20 pounds of apples) even 450 dipers we purchased... All very much appreciated when given to their recipients.

Lunch was a bit of an adventure. Chinese food in Central Asia, the menu written in Russian, with a local translator.. A bit hilarious when placing an order. I think (notice I use that term loosely) I think we had several different Beef platters, a few chicken platters and one mutton platter delivered. Of which we shared family style over some rice (reese in Russian).

Then off to of all things a concert! Put on by friends we met on our first trip . Vladik (my super cutey .. I could not stop hugging him and he is just always all smiles) was in the concert put on by the school children. Traditional dancing, a reading of the traditional poem Manas. What better way to see and experience the heritage of Central Asia.

Then about two hours to collect thoughts and kind of decompress and off for dinner with friends. Lagman~~~ One of my favorite local dishes. I am simply going to have to learn how to cook this dish...
Ooof and now I am frantically trying to get some photos to you all before I pass out for 6 hours and get up and start the next round.

Wow just isn't enough... and neither are words. so the pictures may do Central Asia a bit of justice.


We headed back to the bazaar again today to finish up shopping for the Barbershop renovation. Combs, brushes, a hot pot, razors, mirrors. We had stopped first at a small furniture store for chairs and a vanity style table. Oh and don't forget the supplies for Big Mean Dog! All loaded up we took off for the invalid home. The men were so excited to see our cars pulling in. And equally excited about the furniture being unloaded and brought in. Before entering WE had a ribbon cutting ceremony. We and everyone else could not contain the excitement and there really was jumping for joy happening here.
The room is freshly painted. Small and cozy for a barber shop. But yet in a short time the room was completely full. Workers bringing in the supplies, photographers journalling every step, and at any given time at least 20 men watching in anticipation. Not exactly sure how they decided on the first customer, but in no time flat the barber chair was occupied and the first customers shave was begun. The light and joy and gratitude from all of these men was simply amazing. I know I said this before but words just can't express the joy that these men have knowing that people care.

So off from there we spent an amazing time in a small extremely poor community. A community that seems to be untouched by time. But full of amazing love of one another. The children were ecstatic to receive beanie babies as gifts. A table was set and we all sat around to enjoy a Central Asian tea hour. So many traditional foods and drinks. (I'll have to do a bit of research to know the names of everything) While there a small girl came in. She asked us to come to her house because today was her birthday! I believe she was turning five. So after tea hour at one house we went off to the second for Chai at the second. Pastries were the hit at this party.

Well ... I have to run as my ride will be here shortly. I will post more as I can.

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