Tuesday, July 15, 2008

In Which The Team Searches for Ice Cream, but I Don't Write About It Because I Don't Want to Sound Crabby

The volunteer coordinator made us all nametags to wear on the jobsite. They're written in Cyrillic letters because they are for the Kyrgyz workers and homeowners. We had a new translator today, and because I am constantly practicing my reading (which is slow like a small child's), I sounded out her name. She caught me staring, so I said, "Is your name Snora?" and she laughed. "This is in English," she said. "My name is Chopa." Then, she threw me a bone. "But you'd be right if it were in Russian." See what problems are caused when they pervert our letters?

We started nailing in the floorboards today - the first semi-skilled labor of the trip. Men kept taking my hammer and my skill saw out of my hands - the universal language of sexism is fluently spoken here. There is a bit of a shortage of hammers. The good news is that I was allowed to continue hammering after they saw me pound in a few nails. The bad news is that the Kyrgyz kid who took my skill saw is less than 20 and used it with no eye protection. Maybe his imagination isn't good enough for him to picture a splinter sticking through his eyeball, but mine is.

Dinner was a long and tedious process, followed by a slightly embarrassing trip to icecream, which is not on the BRAT diet and, therefore, made me crabby since I wanted to go home, but we won't talk about that...

4 comments:

Jill Pellegrini said...

Hi Al! I'm really enjoying your entries (except the parts where you sound intestinally uncomfortable). I guess i should have offered you some Russian language hints before you left. You're figuring it out. Have a great time. All you're missing here is tropical weather. Miss you!

jenn said...

Hey!
Sounds like that part of the trip that is best remembered with rose colored glasses...
Cat & Finn say Hi, and hope you are having fun with hammers. We are all looking forward to more stories, did I tell you they can read now? Back to not napping, in the napping house!

Alex said...

Jill - Skip the hints. You should have come here yourself to keep me company and read the signs to me. It's also tropical here. I'm the only one who can sleep in the heat. Sometimes I even cover up.

Jenn - I've seen a lot of twins here, or maybe they are just little kids of about the same size dressed alike. Of course every tenth woman on the street is visibly pregnant, so the odds are bound to catch up the country eventually and twins will be born. Anyway, none so wonderful as Cat and Finn. I'm so glad they can read, now. 'Bout time.

Sachi said...

Keep up the good work.