суббота, марта 25, 2006

Tulip Revolution

March 24th is a holiday now in Kyrgyzstan and it may not be a good thing. The anniversary of last years revolution isn’t exactly full of fond memories for everyone. On one hand the revolution was a relatively peaceful transition of power. Askar Akayev, a holdover from Soviet days was replaced by Bakiev who appeared to enjoy considerable popular support, particularly in southern Kyrgyzstan. On the other hand, there was considerable looting and damage to downtown Bishkek. Bakiev also appeared to have paid many in the crowd for their support. Now, one year later he appears to be no less corrupt than his predecessor and lacking vision.

Is the holiday a celebration of the people’s victory or an attempt to justify and consolidate Bakiev’s rule? Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised if things don’t go as planned for the president.

The bad news is the mood in Bishkek concerning March 24th was tense at the end of January during my last visit. March 24th will be even more tense. Kygyzstan has been compared recently to the poorest nations in Africa because it has a ton of debt, apparently. The cautious and those with a relative degree of wealth or stability in their lives will most likely stay home. The question is: will anyone else show up? Are there enough people angry with nothing to lose to make a difference? I doubt Bakiev will decline to use force (like Akayev chose to) if they decide to make their voices heard.

That is what makes this March 24th in Kyrgyzstan an important day.

The good news is most people (at least in Bishkek) have more to lose than to gain by another revolution. It’s one thing to shout your disappointments about your government but quite another to replace it. The good news is Kyrgyzstan is still Kyrgyzstan with or without Akayev and Bakiev. Pray for Kyrgyzstan.

Beautiful and mountainous, corrupt and poor. I love it.

среда, марта 22, 2006


Happy new year, yesho raz! This is the fourth new years holiday and the last, as far as I know. You've got the main event on Dec. 31st/Jan. 1st closely followed by 'old new years' (you know, back when the whole western world except Russia changed its calendar in like the 6th century or sometihng). Then there's Chinese new years which is why I got a dozen tiny dogs as gifts.

Today is Nauris (aka Navro'z in Uzebekistan). The new year officialy started again with snow flurries. It actually got colder as the day went on. I met Alana downtown and we watched the parade. It was full of sad looking vetrans and a sadder sounding band and a bunch of chanting sutdents representing all the universities and institutes in town. There was also a group representing fairy tales. Yurtas covered the square downtown and the main road was closed. A large arena was set up where people dressed up as animals (the gorilla had an uncle sam hat on) chased each other and danced to the very loud pop music. In front of the sports hall a contest was underway--climb a log and grab the prize! It was maybe 20 feet high, but really slick with all the rain and snow.

If that's not a good time, I don't know what is.

Stay tuned for a Kyrgyz revolution anniversary (pray!) post on the 24th and an Andijon post in May.

пятница, марта 17, 2006

Tourney Time

Guess who forgot to make his students fill out brackets this year? Sigh.

In the job search back home from overseas via the internet section of my life, things have been going slowly. Basically I'm in the process of weighing teaching high school history for 10-15 years (not counting the 3 years it'd take to get certified and a MA) or work some other random job for maybe less time before going to seminary. Seminary is the ultimate goal, then pastoring in the US and going back to Central Asia because they need mature Men even more than America does. This is a lot to think about while Alana plans the wedding and we both teach... in Kazakhstan.

Still, Super Bowl party Sunday!

суббота, марта 11, 2006


It takes a lot of effort to keep this thing up to date, and sometimes I just don't feel like it.

This week was good--Women's Day was celebrated well on Wednesday (the 8th). We men made breakfast for the K-ganda ladies at their flat, cleaned up afterwards and spend some time affirming each of them. I got flowers for everyone as well. I think this is a holiday Alana and I will continue to celebrate in the states.

Firday was spent in T-tau doing Bible Study with Jamie and Faye. Jon was walking really fast for some reason, way out in front of the group... no idea why, really.

Today I did some actual writing I've been meaning to do for a long time. It's only a 1000 words or so, but I think they're quality. Later today Alana and I will be bayby sitting for the Tuckers. Ben and Joeseph are studs, but Amy... Amy hates me. I could be exaggerating, but then again, she's three.

Brady--I got the 'Hawks tapes Thursday! I haven't had a chance to watch them, but... actually, why don't I take some to the Tuckers with me? Booyah! It's Sunday on a Saturday! Also, a shout-out to the St. Pete girls: Thanks for the collective Soviet Defender's Day card, even if it's not officialy celebrated in K-stan anymore. There is a new man's day coming up in May though.

понедельник, марта 06, 2006


Saturday night I was awakened three different times by fights in the street outside Otrar, the stripclub/resturaunt I live behind. It is not unusual to see violence on the street after dark--I can't count how many drunks I've seen taking swings at each other or kids rolling in the dirt. This was 15 or 20 dudes taking turns going at it while the rest just seemed to be content watching it happen.

Now, since I believe there you can build a just theroy for war, that also means there is a parralel theory (assuming I'm correct) for our interactions as individuals. That is to say, if war is ever justifiable, violence against another person is also sometimes justifiable. This is the line I hold in my mind. I've been faced with a mild dose of reality and suddenly I'm not so sure.

I have no idea why these guys were fighting.
Even from the fifth floor in the dark it was clear some of them were seriously inebriated.
It could have been just. But it was still sickening.

It struck me as I watched half awake how sheltered I am to almost every form of physical violence. I'm sheltered from most every form of physical DISCOMFORT, for crying out loud! I learned I have no idea what I'm talking about war. All those movies made in the last 15 years teaching us the glory of soldiers? Total crap. I aint no pacifist, but vomit inducing special effects cheapen (in a way) the sacrifice soldiers do make so that we can glorify them later. I've gone well beyond me original post-inspiration and now am rambling, stream-o-consciencenous style. Not that it changes the lucidy or quality of my thoughts.

суббота, марта 04, 2006

A note on my financial situation:

The last time I checked, I am well in the balck for this year. I have no more needs as far as ESI is concered. With that in mind, please feel free to continue supporting me. The money you send me helps ESI's cash flow and bottom line, since I will be doing some giving of my own.

However, for future reference, the fund is now called the "Nathan's getting married in July and doesn't have a job Fund". Give wisely.

Thank you all for your generous support.

Where have all the cowboys gone?

As much as I love country music, I've always thought this song had it right. Ok, so I don't really know the song, but I like the title. That's what I'm getting at. The current state of manhood in the church blows like the north wind.

I was going to write a diatribe (a term only loosely understood by the author) about how boys need to man up and all that. I was going to get very angry and bombastic and scare some spine into the boys who don't read this. But, I have a fever and a head-cold and playing with the cat pretty much wiped me out today.

I just want to point out the connection between lust and the lack of Godly men in the Church. It's no secret pornography (I know 'porn' is a cuter name for it but I'm trying to be a hrad-ass here.) is a bigger business than professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey combined. What keeps satelite TV alive? It's not Sesame Street reruns or 20 cooking channels. Think of all the men who love sports. Then, think of the men who have peniss (huh, never had to make that plural before) and eyes. That's about how many men (in America, at least) have a problem with lust.

Our collective inabilty and unwillingness to even TOUCH the issue of sexuality is appalling. The sheer volume of bad advice is almost as sickening. The number of men in bondage is the worst of all. It's destroying us.

Lust may be the #1 reason why women who go to the mission field abroad are virtually taking a vow of chastity. Lust may be the #1 reason for a largely effeminte American church. Lust may be the #1 reason divorce is so damnably high. Lust may be the #1 reason why women feel like they have to chase down, fight off or swear off men. The only men with initiative are Godless creeps.

I am not heaping shame a guilt on the heads of those still in bondage. I've experienced enough of that myself. Most men are convinced they are the single worst sinner of all time, no will understand and that this is something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

LIES, LIES and more LIES!

The problem is the shortage of free men. And yes, it is a gazillion times easier to sit in my Karaganda apartment and point and scream at the problem like a baboon in heat. The solution is Jesus. We all learned that in Sunday school. If you're not in Karaganda and you're tired of being a slave to lust find a Godly man who can teach you what being God's man really means. I can help you find one--especially if you're in the sates of Washington, New York, Ohio or Minnesota. If you need help or want to hear my story, talk to me.

Don't settle for trying harder. Don't settle for anything less than freedom.

пятница, марта 03, 2006


March 8th, "International" Women's Day is rapidly approaching and that means chocolate and flower sellers all around the former Soviet union are going to rake it in next week. It's like Valentine's Day meets Mother's Day only more important than Christmas. You think I'm joking.

Also, yestaerday was full of AMAZING sights. A huge flowing grey mullet that reached all the glorious way down to the wearer's buttocks. A Ford F-350. You know how long it's been since I've seen a pickup? Ok, so I guess that's only two sights, but they are AMAZING.

If anyone knows of a high school that needs a history teacher (or some rich kids who need tutoring) and doesn't care about certification, let me know. It just seems the likelyhood of getting hired as a teacher while I work on certification (wich costs money, damn it all) is slim.

Ok, so I'm goigng to send a newsletter with maybe some real news in it this weekend. I promise.