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10.09.2002 ||>  

Yet another Wednesday! Next week I'm going to my permanent site, so we'll see how it goes... But let's get to the dirt, right?

A week or so ago, my host mother and older host sister went to cotton. In Uzbekistan, during the cotton harvest, the government forces school kids from 9th grade up and teachers to harvest this cotton by hand, because they lack the technology or money to install a little John Deere. And there's human rights issues there but whatever. Anyhow, things had already been going sour with them. First, it was my distiller. I have to have a water distiller because I can't drink the water here, and this distiller uses about as much electricity as a light bulb, and only for 4 hours. Peace Corps explains this to the families, but apparently my old mom didn't get it and she would constantly bitch about the electricity to me, in front of strangers, etc. Then I had Peace Corps step in and explain it again to them, that they were getting paid to feed me and for additional electricity, etc. But I heard her on the phone later, yelling about it, telling a friend that, well, I drink tea, so I don't really need a distiller. Yeah, I drink tea, so what? She thought I didn't understand the Russian maybe, but I understood all of it, and it pissed me off, the things she was saying. Then, I was taking a bath and they didn't tell me guests were coming over, just watched me boil the bath water and fill up the buckets, everything. Then I exit the bath in a skimpy house robe in front of a bunch of Uzbeks in full dress with head scarves and all. I was so embarrassed. This is on top of the general unfriendliness and not really talking to me. Plus a couple other incidents. Anyway, I was pretty unhappy but had resolved to stick it out.

Anyhow, one friday my director tells me and another trainee that our families are going to cotton. The other trainee knew, but I didn't, my family didn't even tell me. I was really pissed. Anyhow, I was supposed to guest that night somewhere and then pack to move the next day. So I go home and ask my family where the apartment is of the people I am supposed to guest with. They look at me like I'm speaking english, which I was not. Anyway, after a half hour of trying to figure out what I want, they start yelling at me, saying that if I want to go, then I should just go. And I started to freak out... anyway, it got to the point after a while where the yelling got to me too much and I yelled back, which I had resolved not to do, so I yelled in English that I just wanted to know where it was I was supposed to go. Then my host mom screamed back that she didn't understand, and I yelled, this time in Russian, that I didn't understand either. She whipped around and told me that I'm the one who's supposed to know Russian. There's more to this story, involving her being a huge freaking bitch, but I think that last line pretty much sums it up. Like I could know the whole Russian language in 5 weeks. I'm pretty ok at Russian and can get around for the most part, but I'm not even close to fluent... Bitch. Anyhow, I got Peace Corps to take me out that night and I stayed the night at a friend's and went to my new host family the next day.

My new host family is... wonderful. My issue with the last one that really ripped me was that they didn't want me. It's totally the opposite with this one. My host family's pretty young, there's a 2 year old baby who's absolutely adorable, the mom is the sweetest, hardest working person I've seen here, and the father is seriously cool. I can joke with them, they like talking to me, and we go places together. Another trainee told me that I seem like a whole new, happier person with this family. I almost don't want to go to my permanent site, because I don't want to leave them.

Anyhow, that's my story for the week. :)

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