воскресенье, мая 29, 2005


Woo! I am in the land of the free... where I am free to pay $2 an hour for internet service and the freakin' Comfort Inn is $150 a night. And I can finally acess things like my blogger account... lucky for you. The Uz-government has seriously clamped down on the internet, so I could not view or log into xanga or here. Many foreign news sites are blocked. Even so, news is slowly trickling out about the events of May 13 in Andijon.

Thank you for your prayers during the last weeks of violence and tension in Uzbekistan. It already feels like last year. However, the US has just issued another terror warning for its citizens in country, and no one knows what will happen next. Uzbekistan needs your prayers--I keep thinking back to my students and all the different friends I made in Uzbekistan... politics, economy... it doesn't really matter. We all know where real change comes from.

I love Uzbekistan, but she is not free. Not free to worship, not free to speak, not free to assemble or anything like that. Even so, I've been consitently convicted to pray for my enemies. It's really hard... I pray for justice to be done too... for God to break the teeth of the wicked, like David in Psalm 58 I think.

It's also hard to be in an English speaking country again. I'm fighting the urge to order in russian or uzbek for lunch. I can understand conversations around me. I can understand the TV and radio and billboards and roadsigns and everything! I'm a freakin' genius!

Russ and I'll be hooking up with none other than the infamous Kerri Fisher this afternoon--look out London!

среда, мая 11, 2005

Baseball and Poker

Speel check is for wimps.

Despite the fact that I've never played poker for real in my life, I taught it in class today. We used candy to bet with and generally had a good time. I highly reccomend it for anyone looking for a way to teach American culture, hook kids on gambling and get them really wound up with sugar.
But wait there's more!
The second lesson today was basball idioms. And holy crap there are a lot of them. Over an hour of straight lecture's worth. Once I started I couldn't stop. I gave up on the stupid 80-20 rule a long time ago. Students don't need to speak to learn, do they? They've got the whole rest of the day to speak! Anyway, I was tired after that and let them go pretty darn early for lunch. And now I'm here, writing this post instead of grading some stuff I need to grade. What am I, lazy?

Anyway, I just realized I have three days of class + one final + one day to give certificates. I don't think I'm going to have time to teach through the major themes of Western Civilization via the LOTR series (including the Hobbit and Silmarillion).

Heroes + Boon = Booyah.

C'mon Sonics. 2-0 doesn't bode well. My fearless predction? Not very feraless: four game sweep by the Spurs OR a Sonics win in seven. Looks like broom time. Could someone return the real Rashard to us? Jeez.

Russ's Victory Day post is awesome. Give him much props.

вторник, мая 10, 2005

Weekend Action

Over the course of the weekend I was able to celebrate Mother's Day (hi mom!) AND Victory in Europe Day. VE Day is remembered more like Victory of the Triumphant Motherland over the Fascist German Pigs Day here, but... whatever. Not all 25 million of those casualties were the German's fault, mother Russia. Actually, VE day used to be a bigger deal than is here--parades and everything. Russia threw a big party, I hear. But I guess Karimov kinda skrimps on vetrans pensions (there are no pensions) and benefits, unlike everyone's favortie politicion, V. Putin. He would win, if he ran for president of Uzbekistan, I think.

The weather this weekend was nice--rainy and cloudy and therefore not 90 degrees. May is too early for 90 degrees. But it is not too early for me to buy a kilo of strawberries for $.30! Booyah! One advantage of living in a developing country--cheap produce!

It's souvenier shopping time too. I'm working on getting a little something for everyone--especially you guys who are getting married this summer. Don't worry mom, I've got your mom's day AND birthday covered. Or at least I will by the time I see you again.

I have two weeks of classes left!
Holy crap!
This buzzard is eating my head!

Shanghai Noon is funnier than I remember. Especially all the references to 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' that I missed the first few times.

Oh yeah, for all of you interested in my summer itenerary here it is:

June 10th: Arrive in Seattle
June 15th: Go to NY
June 29th: Go back to WA
July 16th: Best Man it at Ryan's wedding
Right after that: ESI training in CA
Begining of August: Back to WA
Aug. 13th: Jacob's wedding
End of August: Return to Tashkent

четверг, мая 05, 2005

Russian vs. Uzbek hospitality

A Russian host may toast multiple times during a meal, so I always down some bread right away to absorb the shock of the vodka.
A Russian host is more likely to serve you at a table--a tabel high enough to sit at with chairs.
A Russian host will also invite you to eat beyond your capacity, but since I don't understand Russian as well, I can ignore it better.

An Uzbek host obligated to encourage you to eat. This includes the imperitive, "Oling!" or the invitation, "Marhamat!" being heard two to three zillion times per meal. The more frequent a visitor to the table you're eating from, the less you are told what to do and the easier it is to bend the rules.
An Uzbek host's spread may or may not be actually intended to be eaten--some of it is decoration.
An Uzbek host may comment on your chubbyness as he dishes you up another portion of the fat-based main course.

Both will load the table until it is bowed with the wieght of food and drink and it is no longer possible to find your personal plate or glass.
Hot tea will be copious, no matter the season or weather.
Homemade alcohol is common to both tables--usually some sort of fruity wine, sometimes mixed with gazli water.
Both will load the table until it is bowed with the wieght of food and drink and it is no longer possible to find your personal plate or glass.

A Russian host probably won't serve you osh.
An Uzbek Host probably won't serve you stroganov.
They may both serve you Korean salads, however.

Either way it's exhausting (in a fun way, sometimes) for an introvert like me who usually wants to fall asleep before the main course ever arrives...
The clear winners are the Koreans.

среда, мая 04, 2005

Uh... yeah

I didn't mean to insinuate I'm the sole reason Xanga got shut down in Uzbekistan. I estimate at least 50 regular posters were active in the country--and I'm sure some of them were political. Collegues tell me this happens from time to time, no big deal.

What is a big deal, you ask? Well Jon bought a fan yesterday, that's one. For two, third course grabbed the projector before I could totally screwing my plans for showing 'Office Space' in class today.

It's official, CMBC has split. Suck. Wierd too, since it sounds like the entrie board of elders, the pastor, the secretary (my mom), etc. left also. I don't know who that leaves, but it's enough to keep the statement of faith hyper-dispensational, I guess. Yay for them. I've been asked to help name the new church... here are my suggestions in no particular order:

- Church of Grace but Not Really, We're Actually Pretty Legalistic (CoGBNRWAPL, for short)
- Icicle River Community Church (Wenatchee River, Eagle Creek, Chumstick?)
- Wedge Mountain Community Church (Icicle Ridge, Mountain Home?)
- Church of Rock
- Nate's Church of Funk
- Leavenworth Community Church (boring, but accurate... also probably taken)
- Church of Quitters
- Scum of the Earth Church
- Ship of Fools
- We Love Jesus (more than you) Club
- Cascade Mountain Bible Church Milleneum Edition

Mostly, I don't like names that are in two parts (The Gathering - a community church) becasue it seems much too trendy (and therefore not Leavenworth). I do think the name should have something do do with the local area. Cascade Mountain Bible Church is still pretty much the best name for a church I've ever seen.

... I apologize for the fruity look of the site. It's a little more than I want to deal with right now.

вторник, мая 03, 2005

Uzbek Government Conspiracy

I can't get to my origianl Xanga site anymore. Nothing Xanga related works from Uzbekistan anymore.

My current theroy: I've been censored! Woo!

Not only is it kind of exciting, making me feel like a bad-ass in a geeky journalistic sort of way, but it also feeds my ego, making me think there was something actually of worth on my site. This is total crap, of course. Sure it has happend before and is totaly doable from the government's perspective, but... uh... I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for it all. Not sure how they're going to justify it though--usually they use terrorism and relegious extremeism to justify taking people's rights. People are used to it here. I'm not.

Forum18 has good info on relegious freedom in Uzbekistan (and around the world). Peace.