While it sometimes feels like we have very little free time (classes 6 days a week can do that to you), we have been able to find time for some entertainment. Most of the things we do here are similar to free time activities we did in the US, just with a twist.
As in the US, we enjoy spending some of our free time reading. Unlike in the US, books are in short supply due to the fact that we’re not in an English speaking country and we had very specific weight restrictions on our luggage. (We were tempted to pack books instead of socks, but opted for the socks at the last minute). Due to our limited supply we find ourselves trading books with other PC trainees and, therefore, reading some books that we probably wouldn’t have read in the US. So far this has turned out to be a good thing as we have read many interesting and entertaining books.
As in the US we enjoy spending time outdoors. This most frequently means walking. We walk each morning and sometimes take a stroll around the neighborhood in the evening. Unlike in the US, we have to be on the look out for…
Watching DVDs is also a favorite free time activity. Similar to the book situation, we are in short supply of DVDs so we borrow those as well. We view DVDs on our computer screen, either just the two of us or with friends.
Traveling is also something that we like to do when we can. Two weeks ago we took a bus ride to a nearby city and walked through the animal bizarre (cows, goats, sheep, horses, ducks, rabbits, turkeys, dogs, chickens—all on sale) and a clothing bizarre. This past weekend we walked to some Buddhist ruins in a neighboring village. Archeologists are currently excavating the ruins.
Hanging out with other PC trainees is always fun. We recently had a pizza and card night at another trainee’s home. The pizza didn’t turn out too badly. We were able to make it with the bread that people commonly eat here (it’s round and has a thick crust, just like pizza dough). We bought tomato sauce, tomatoes, olives, onions and cheese and we were all set! Instead of cooking the pizzas in an oven we put them in a covered frying pan. Playing cards was fun, too, because we learned a few Kyrgyz games from our language teacher.
Playing sports is another way we like to spend our free time. While the soccer/basketball/volleyball that Martin bought has long since deflated, we have been able to play basketball with the village PE teacher using his sports equipment. Basketball games are quite entertaining. Our most recent basketball game included a few trainees, our language teacher, the village PE teacher and a few neighborhood children. The village