Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Adventures in blogging

[the first of two posts sent in 29 individual text messages pieced together]
Margaret’s place was fantastic! After a night in Almatay, we drove to her village. Crazy run-in: other ralliers had just sold one car. Guess who was in the gathered crowd-Margaret. Strange to meet someone you know only from email, but she was really cool, as were her brother and his wife Joy who were visiting. Megan, another American, also came by for the fun. Three other teams joined the convoy in staying at the house.

Her host mother played the ‘tea’ joke, where she says she’s serving tea but it’s actually tons of delicious food along with chai. A bunch of toasts and then the real party began, going long after the cows came home. Everyone needed to let loose and they did. Guitars came out around midnight and I’m sure the whole village was kept awake. Patrick brought out ‘somany whales’ at the absolute most perfect moment on the trip. That song really brings everything together. People began heading towards the tents under the apple trees, but P and I magically ended up with beds for the most relaxing sleep of the trip. I think being able to absolutely trust our hosts made a big difference. Even with the most friendly people on this trip that isn’t something we’ve been able to do.

More tea followed in the morning. I was strangely first to rise and everyone else oozed out of their tents subsequently. We walked around to check out the local flora and fauna(village Russian name is after an apple grown here). No one really wanted to leave this friendly little paradise and we ended up eating lunch there. It felt a bit like imposing, but we were served the best fried potatoes. We finally dragged ourselves away in the afternoon after pictures and goodbyes to the baby cow, Lada, and Margaret’s puppy, Snoopy. This really was the only place one the entire trip that I found hard to leave. Thank you so much, Margaret and family!

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