Saturday, August 9, 2008

There and Back Again...A Volunteers Tale

I am back. This blog has been a long time coming, but I didn’t feel all that inspired to write it. I felt that not much had happened worth writing about, but I know that there is an ache in all your hearts for another blog update. I couldn’t leave all my fans hanging, frantic to hear more news and witty commentary about life in Kazakhstan. So here you go. Actually, no you don’t. Here goes a short update about my return trip home, and the few things that have been going on since I got back. There is another update below this one about what was going on for the few weeks before I left. Start there if you want continuity.
Lots of flying homeward, a layover in Frankfurt (worst airport in the world) and an agonizing stop in Portland and I finally was back in my mom’s arms! Hurray. They probably would prefer I didn’t mention how they weren’t right there to meet me, but instead I had to wander around looking for them, thinking they hadn’t even shown up yet. (They had, they just got turned around or something. I don’t blame them). Anyway, I won’t bore you all with specific details about my trip; I just thought I’d regale with my favorite PG rated memories.

-Making my niece cry the first time she was left alone in a room with me
-Hiking the top of Iron Peak with my brother and realizing I’m in pretty good shape
-Surprise return of Alex (that’s all I can say to keep it PG)
-Playing 4th Edition hockey (you folks won’t understand this one, so don’t worry about it. You wouldn’t understand my excitement even if you knew what hockey was).
-Making myself sick on good food my first day in America
-Trivia night, even if the “A” team lost to the “B” team
-English everywhere I looked or listened
-Hitting a couple good drives that stayed on the fairway
-Discovering the awesome music of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Gomez
-The Dark Knight (I had a dream about it last night. That I got to see it again).

So that’s what was great about the trip. See all you guys, answering your silly questions (not all were silly) and realizing how much I had missed you guys. And I do miss you all. But I also realized that I don’t need to be in America right now. As much as I loved being back, and loved doing all the things I used to do, I discovered I didn’t need any of it. By the end, I wanted to be back in Kazakhstan, probably the greatest realization and result of my trip (besides mom hugs). I confirmed what I was already pretty sure about; I will survive the next 15 months in this silly country. Life had not changed so much in America and it lacked the excitement and daily interestingness that I find here in Kazakhstan. I get bored sitting in one place, not doing anything. By the time I left, I was spending mornings and afternoons playing computer games at the kitchen counter because I had nothing else to do. Now I’m back, and even if I’m not teaching, I’m at least speaking Russian and getting blindsided by presentations nobody told me I’d have to make. More on that below. Anyway, it was good to see you all, and it’ll be great again in a year, but for now, I’ll get on without you.


m0m0 said...

I know what you mean about not needing everything you've known. Sure it is much more extreme the difference between Seattle and Kazakhstan than Seattle to Wisconsin, but you go back and you appreciate everything you've missed, but you're just fine without it. It was great seeing you back home.

How was 4e? I know a couple of the major differences, but anything that was really game changing?

m0m0 said...

I really don't know why it said my name was m0m0, but its really... me!

m0m0 said...

agh, so strange... anyways... this is Alex in case you still hadn't guessed