Monday, October 17, 2005

dropping the communication ball

gosh, what's my deal? i'm slipping when it comes to keeping you fine people up to date on my crazy journey in the former ussr. and hold onto your seat, because this is a real life, adventure-packed post i've got to give you all today. if only i were better at updating. . .

adventure the first: last weekend (as opposed to this past weekend. try to keep up, people.), about ten of us volunteers went camping. i mean, real camping. we slept outside, under the stars, we cooked our dinners on a fire that we made, started and maintained ourselves. it was great. the purpose of this camping trip was to see the ruins of the old walled city of sauram. apparently, it was built sometime in the 16th century as an outpost on the silk road, but was raised, pillaged and otherwise destroyed by the mongols or the huns or somesuch group of roaving, horse-riding ass-kickers. when this city was destroyed, it stayed that way. apparently, there is an old sauramese saying that goes, "to hell with it, we're moving over there!" and true to their word, the people of old sauram built new sauram at an acceptable distance from their demolished city.

the best thing about these ruins, was that they were basically ignored for the next couple hundred years. when we walked around the city, you literally had to try to not step on old pottery shards. there were archiologists there that were excavating, so the good people of the kz are into preserving their history -- but we were allowed to camp just outside of the city gates. after we were done doing our camping thang, we drove to the city of turkistan where there is this super famous and equally holy mausolium. no joke, muslims here say that visiting this mausolium two times is equal to visiting mecca. i don't know what the official muslim word on that topic is, but i'm gonna take the kazakh's word for it on that one (which means i'm half way to salvation and paradise! hoot hoot.)

of course the trip wasn't all ancient walled cities and salvation. . . on the way to old sauram, our marshrutka broke down and we were stopped by the police four times. apparently having an out of town license plate on a marshrutka full of americans driving through the deserts of kazakhstan draws attention. . who knew?

adventure the second: on saturday (we're talking two days ago) i went with my english club and my counterpart's homeroom class to this really cool cave and we spealunked! i'm not talking like cave exploring in america where you have a guide and a safe, paved walkway with handrail and electric lights. oh no. this was real cave exploring, we had a guide and all, but we were definitely in the dark with candles, grabbing onto the walls to keep from getting lost in the caves. and we were allowed to touch everything and take shiny rocks from the cave. there was really only one downside to this adventure. after caving for a good two hours, the students decided to continue our adventure be WALKING 10 KILOMETERS HOME THROUGH THE BACK COUNTRY AND FOOTHILLS! now you know me, i don't like to complain. but i walked for a long time and my tooties were all hurt-y when i got back home.

but it was fun and super worth it. . .

oh, now onto other things, i hate to sound needy but i have another wish (gimme) list:

i still need/want videos or movies from america
any cooking spices would be great
thanksgiving paraphanilia and special food fixings (i can get most of the foods here, but spices are harder to come by)
cookie cutters shaped in holiday designs (any holiday, i'm stocking up here)
any holiday decorations
tights (like pantyhose but thicker. . . and if you can find ashli-sized tights with fun designs to send, that would be even better)
maybe some longsleeve shirts or hoody sweatshirts or sweaters. . . winter, she's a comin'

i just want to end this post by saying, i do check all of your comments and sometimes i can't respond to them or send out emails, and i'm sorry. i do think of all of you every day and i want more than anything to see you all again. please dont' think i'm blowing you off. i guess what i'm saying, is if you're ever in the kz (between now and june of 2007) you have a place to stay. mwah! love to you all (especially ryan)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:58 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

to begin with, i fuckin' hate spammers... that said, i'm hella jealous! when you said spelunkin' i thought of when we went to monmouth cave in KY (not kz), and they had lights and rails and yelled when we tried to touch stuff... the cave you describe and the adventure within sound much more fun than what we did oh so long ago.

on another note (if you care) the Bengals are 5-1! they have one of the best records in the NFL (this tickles me endlessly)

on a more Ashli related note, i'm very happy to know that you love me more than everyone/thing else ever (makes me smile so big) ^_^

love ya, and good luck on eternal salvation (maybe you'll get 40 virgins yourself)

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Hey All!

If any of you were states wide, I found a calling card in which to call our girl with in the derkeh-derkehstan. Here's the link: . I put $15.00 on the card and talked to her for almost 2 hours (in 2 separate phone calls...) so it's pricey but for calling the literal other side of the world, i figured not so bad.

Give it a try and let me/us know if you find something better/cheaper. I think the rate is like $0.27/minute. And remember when you call, she is 11 hours ahead of us (and no, I have not made this mistake... yet...)


Love you 'Shli :)

7:19 AM  
Blogger Mom said...

It sounds like your having a blast!!!!!
I can tell you you have made Charlie very proud!!
I'll see what I can send you off of your list. This time I'll send you some movies.
I'll let you go for now...I Love you Ashli.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous dad uu said...

i can only expect the love you have for your evil brother. It's understood. Also, I find your schmalzt of keeping your uppercse kept, worthy.

]I, myself cannot help but push the SHIFT

ash, are the stuff getting 2 u?

11:19 PM  
Blogger Pop&Bro said...

youur ad dres did no workl,

please for yo to write

11:20 PM  
Anonymous evil stepdad said...

Hi there, Ashli;
You can tell your students about the neo- nazis and their march on the slums of Toledo. Actually, they weren't allowed to march, but we ended up with a mini- race riot anyway (some towns will do anything to make national news).
I hope you enjoyed spelunking- just don't go into the caves while you are spelunking! You will be much safer that way ( how do you think i got to be so old).
As far as American videos, we got an e-mail from Marilyn Chambers, offering free videos, but after a brief screening, we have decided to censor those videos..... guess we'll have to come up with a better slice of Americana for you and your students to watch.
Let us know what would would be a good time to call you at your host family's home and we'll give you a call.
Be good and be safe, sweetheart.... we miss you every day and hope you're doing well.
Hugs and Kisses,
evil one

6:12 PM  
Blogger Pop&Bro said...

Well Ash, the Bengals got beat-up by the Stealers today, in Paul Brown. I'll let your evil brother bring you up to speed on the MAC.

My last correspondence was returned and you said you've received no spices or movies. Write me with an address to return.

Talking about ruins, It caused me to remember Sweet Spring WVa. (On the way to the New River).

But you really should stop enjoying yourself so much and concentrate on doing your job! NOT!!

Weel, Luv, Hugs & stuff


7:40 PM  
Blogger Pop&Bro said...

leotards, fat pantyhose are called LEOTARDS

or, longjohns


10:37 PM  
Blogger Pop&Bro said...

Ashli, don't you even think about dropping no ball. What's up with what you's doin; is far too much aw-some.

By the way, Chicago has the best baseball team in the world.

George and Barbara, sitting there in Marge's seat. As if that's gonna make a Chicago'in think "we ain't go'in ta mess w/ TEja."

swept the Astros.!! Shoe-Less Jackson is smileing. And in his own words (1920) He admitted, that indead he did take a bribe, but it wasn't necessary, the Reds were that good, in 1919.

Please, pick up a pen and write. Miss you and not quiite sure of your safety, crawlin' round underground and what not.

Favorite father AU

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Giffin said...

How would you like a wonderful Ohio University hoody that says Ohio? Happy Halloween from the town that celebrates it the best. I'm glad you are having a blast.

8:12 PM  

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