Saturday, November 11, 2006


This is a sad picture as nobody in it except me is still here. Brandon (who I have my arm around) was one my best friends here and a really cool guy from Hawaii. He was one of the most upbeat people I've ever known and always raised your spirits when you were growing discouraged. The couple behind us is Joe and Kate who were two great volunteers who are now back in the states. We miss them.

This is a fresco from a church I've forgotten the name of. Most of these were covered up by the soviets, but there are some really unique ones that have been refurbished.

This is my current host family. They are wonderful people: kind, generous, gracious, funny and very laid back.

The first day I stayed with them we were sitting in the courtyard under the pear tree talking by candlelight. At one point, my host father Omari excused himself, and stepped out of the gate casually. A minute later the street lit up with a flash followed by a loud boom and a dog yelping and staggering into the bushes.

Omari returned holding a rifle. The moral to the story is if you're a stray dog you are not to eat Omari's chickens. I immediately text messaged a bunch of other volunteers with this story and soon my phone was beeping with horrified responses.

"Who is that Ryan?" My host mother asked.

I told her and she just laughed and laughed.

"Ryan, tsudi dzagli." Ryan, bad dog.

The next day our dog went into heat and I helped establish a perimeter to keep the horny male dogs out. I spotted one potential mate sneaking in the gate and chased him out, catching him in the ass with a sweet ricochet shot off the gate with an unripe pear. The dog yelped and took off and my host mother cheered me.

"Kai beechy, Ryan. Kai Beechy." Good boy Ryan. Good boy. Even though I'm 30 I get called good boy all the time.


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