Sunday, February 23, 2014

My Day Job

Wonder what I do as I wander?

Mindful Teachers just posted an interview that may make you wonder or want to wander.

Enjoy the read!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Warriors of the Steppe

Recently, we enjoyed a four-day weekend and decided to get out of town while the getting was still good. It turned out to be a windy, but beautiful fall day and we traveled about 2 1/2 hours from Astana to Lake Borovoe. Watching the Steppe slowly change into hills and rocky outcroppings surrounded by water and trees was magnificent. Highlights included meeting up with friends from Astana almost everywhere we stopped (hey, there isn't a lot of nature accessible from the capital city), buying delicious honey on the roadside, paying for a "special" zoo tour on its day off, roaming around the lake path and meeting a group of young men from Aktau who were excited to meet foreigners, and just chilling out away from home.

Here's my favorite picture from our visit - three of us nomadic types getting ready to fight the onset of winter (or those rival tribes?).


More pictures, for your viewing pleasure:













Sunday, October 06, 2013

Life around 3030 or Zozo

Despite the drama and U.S. government shutdown that happened midtrip in Kyrgyzstan, I enjoyed a journey through the country. Up over the mountains, the highest roadside peak is called "Zozo" because the sign sharing its elevation of 3030 looks like the Cyrillic "Z". Real life is always outside of the capitals and cities (I've always thought this about the U.S. as well), and I had a great time bouncing over the roads of Kochkor, Naryn, and Issyk Kul. Delights were found around every corner. Take a look!

The town of Kochkor

These weavings are traditionally used to decorate the inside of yurts

Tour of the Naryn city museum with students


An evening out for shashlik



Zozo (3030)




What is that over yonder?

CAMELS!

Kyrgyz cowboy and his herd

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Catching Up: From Central Asia to Uludag

Lucky woman was I to travel to Turkey on the coattails of students and teachers from Central Asia to attend the first few days of an international youth summer camp in Uludag. Normally a mountain ski resort, the hotels and town are converted into a summer camp paradise called Camp Future Stars. The few days I spent in Turkey this August were memorable for the great cross-cultural experiences of the campers as well as the pretty environment in Uludag and nearby Bursa. Taken out of their home environments, these kids and their chaperones took part in two weeks of solidarity-building, leadership training, sports, nature activities, and English learning. I have few doubts that given 15-20 years, these amazing young people will be the ones leading all of us forward.

I remember as a kid that when I would return from Girl Scout camp or band camp or school programs like Girls State, I would feel a kind of empty homesickness-like aching for those new friends and times we spent together. My departure from this camp has left me with similar feelings of nostalgia for our time together, knowing that an assembly of the same persons in the same place at the same time is nearly impossible.

Camp

Baseball in Uludag

Bursa city trip




Scrumptious Bursa peaches are famous and were in season

Iskander kabob


Catching Up: The Silk Road in Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

On a blistering hot summer weekend in June, I was lucky enough to go on a site visit to the ancient city of Buhkara. Lots of history and beautiful buildings to discover, not to mention the intricate textiles and suzani. Here's a short trip for those of you that are contemplating a journey on the silk road. Perhaps it will be enticing enough to bring you a bit closer!