and there is more…

July 26, 2007

Things are happening fast.  In just 2 weeks we find out where our permanent site will be.  Wow.  I have been talking (texting actually) with a current PCV in a nearish city.  The low down is that this highly motivated guy has worked his butt off for a completely new project that involves teaching photography to children.  That was the simplistic way of stating the endeavor that this project has become.  M started this project from the ground, doing grant writing, raising funds, gathering equipment, setting budgets, making lesson plans and doing analysis.  In a few months his kids will present their first exhibition.  M is doing right now what I have only dreamed/hoped of doing with youth.  I spent several hours reading through M’s project information, which detailed each step necessary for enabling the proposal to come to life.  I’m really REALLY encouraged by M’s work and indescribably excited to discover if there is a way for me to build on his work and further the project.  I’m trying to find a time to visit M on site to talk over things.  I don’t want to step on toes, but swap ideas and brain storm.  Up until this point, I was rather discouraged; I felt that with an art background (in photography and painting) there might not be much for me to offer.  Silly me.  The issue is that up until M’s project not much (as far as I know) has been done to encourage creative expression in youth.  There is a void of arts based projects aimed towards youth.  Efforts have focused on teaching English and small businesses (which is 100% great) but now that the foundations have been laid, there is the chance to incorporate more arts specific programs.  There are never any castles in my air.  But I do hope that I can harness my enthusiasm towards photography and art into enabling the youth with tools/knowledge for creative expression.


We have all spent more time at the Caspian.  Countless times.  Walking with Jill in the morning.  Smoking ‘n chatting w/ FL.  Time just being.  Last night we took our discussion to the beach.  Watched the sunset.  I can be at the beach in less than 8 min, look to my right and see in the distance the rusted ship (the Satins, or National Geographic Cave equivalent).  Fascination with the Caspian…?  Prolly b/c in Minneapolis we have lakes; hard for me to think of the Caspian as a lake.  On Thursday we had a break before our meeting.  We grabbed lunch and had a picnic on the beach; spent an hour just relaxing.  The food stand nearby had a boom box blaring a Russian station, playing US pop music.  How funny, to be sitting in AZ, on the Caspian, listening to Moscow radio and hearing Limp Biskit “Behind Blue Eyes?

Its sad, completely overwhelming, that I find comfort on sitting on the edge of the most polluted body of water in the world, in the most polluted city in the world.  Reality is strange.


If you thought my texting addiction was finally overcome.  Its worse. Back in the states, I can now admit that I’d text and drive. (mad ninja skills here, yeah that’s right!)  Here, I walk and text, Marshurka it and text, walk to school with my ipod in, glasses on and text, even, (gasp!) cross the deadly streets and text.


It’s a way to cope, if I don’t die by Marshruka first.  Matty actually saw a guy get run over in the street.  The poor gent (or idiot, depending on how you look at it) started to get off, but the driver didn’t realize it, or didn’t care.  The guy fell, the bus ran over his legs, and the driver didn’t blink an eye or stop.  Horrid.  There are 2 very specific rules I follow when riding the ‘goddam Marshrurka’. 

  1. Get on and off fast as hell
    1. This means if you are unfortunate enough to get stuck in the sweltering back, you must launch yourself over/around 8 grumpy people, pay the doorman and save yourself from being run over in under 10 seconds.  If you are fat or have parcels, pray for help.
  2. Do not talk to anyone or make eye contact
    1. Maybe this only applies to Americans…Nate has become an American cowboy star.  If I look, I get marriage proposals and the doorman maneuvering himself to get a view of my cleavage.  My eyes have not been trained at this point, so I wear my shades everywhere.

2 Responses to “and there is more…”

  1. s/// said

    Here in Sydney theres a Cove down by the Botany Bay docks i like to call Matchhead Beach. Its the most polluted cove in the city as its fed by two creeks that run thru refineries and steelworks (not to mention a Kellogs factory..). Its tidal so it can either be full of water or nonme at all, either way the water when you put your finger into it, smells like matchheads, cossa the sulfer content. Nothing lives there, the water is crystal clear… well nothing cept the Soldier crabs and glow in the dark algae… if you go there at the right time, the beach is swarming with thousands of the crabs, which look like Blue n Pink meatballs with legs. The algae glows green as the waves lap onto the sand and with a huge glowing container terminal behind and the airport runways across Botany Bay in front i know entirely what you mean about taking comfort and beauty from pollution and waste.

    BTW, you still using yer US mobile #? Email me yer new one if ya get a chance…

  2. Kate said

    Yikes!!! The whole exiting public transportation ASAP sounds similar to what we experienced in Belize.

    I can’t imagine not being able to look at people though. Good thought with the sunglasses!

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