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valerie
she/her
a blog of my adventures, both little and grand 😊 interests: foreign languages, reading, writing, travel, taking pictures of nature, running, Pokémon
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valerie
@val

May 19, 2024 - sunrise on a recent morning walk

dark mountains with a little bit of snow on them; pink/orange outline of sky above the mountain peaks, dark gray sky above that

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valerie
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May 18, 2024 - mosque on the other side of my village

beige mosque across a road

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@ericmwalk looks beautiful though, despite the heat!

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@skoobz Hope he's able to return home soon and that the doctors are able to figure out what's going on 🙁

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May 17, 2024 - today’s morning walk companions. I don’t think the cat belonged to anyone, at least none of the women with me, because they all ignored it (most Kyrgyz people dislike cats). But it was so sweet 🥺 Host mom is in the middle

three women and a cat on a road

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May 16, 2024 - along the road where I usually walk or run in the morning. first time going out in about a week, and this was not here before. I assume they are bee containers. Wonder why the owner brought them here. And nobody will steal them, because they are bees?

trailer truck without paneling with bee cases inside of it, and other bee cases on the ground outside. mountains in the background

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@chadkoh Those are awesome pictures, thank you for sharing. The plight of ethnic minorities in China is awful, especially for Uyghurs

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May 15, 2024 - from the day I went hiking earlier this month, though as you can see we stayed at the family friend’s house quite late. I’m not sure how to make night pictures look better, but at least this is kind of cool

hills/small mountains under a starry sky

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May 14, 2024 - tractor on my street in the morning about a week and a half ago

blue-green tractor on a dirt road in front of a white house with a green roof

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May 13, 2024 - жапжаңы, “supa fresh” in Kyrgyz. (Literally “brand new”, but we don’t describe produce that way). The Russian word below (свежесть) translates to “freshness”

produce display rack sign which reads "super fresh" in Kyrgyz and "freshness" in Russian

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@val

May 12, 2024 - I’m not a hat person, but oh my god, sunny, 20°C/68°F+ weather at 1,900 m/6233 ft elevation doesn’t feel great! So I went hat shopping in Bishkek and saw this. I was very tempted to buy it.. 😂

white cap with black embroidered cursive text that reads, "Great! but not good enough"

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May 11, 2024 - a few days ago, my grandma made чөбөгө, a kind of spread made from butter

Milk fat frying in oil in a large, gray wok-like pot

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@Miraz I asked my Kyrgyz teacher who also asked me to ask my host family, but she suspects it's a tomb. I saw a similar building while walking around my village with a couple of students, asked what it was, and they said it was a tomb. So looks like that's likely what it is, though I haven't confirmed with my host family yet (I've been in Bishkek for the past couple days)

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May 10, 2024 - recent morning run 😊

snow-capped mountains with pink morning light reflecting off the tops

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@jean Thank you Jean for your contribution to Micro.blog, and best wishes for all that's next!

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May 9, 2024 - the lilacs are in bloom, and some students have been bringing bunches of it to school. some of my students gave me these. (also, I didn’t know that these were lilacs at first…I only knew the Russian name сирень because of this song, and I had to translate it to English 🙃)

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@lzbth Hmm, I guess it could be, but seems odd to find one by itself without any others around it. That said, I don't know a lot about Kyrgyz burial traditions. There's also no name or picture for the deceased anywhere, which I've noticed at actual cemeteries (though there is graffiti inside 🙃)

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@jedda Such a colorful variety of food, and it all looks delicious 🤤

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May 8, 2024 - made it to a new and further landmark on my morning run. To be honest, I don’t know what exactly this building is or what it is/was used for. It’s very small. The inside is like the size of a small walk-in closet

small ancient-looking building made of brown stone/clay(?) with a small domed roof and, a slightly higher wall in front with columns on the right and left sides. wall of a small enclosure made of the same material visible behind, and snow-capped mountains behind that

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@davidcmorris Aww, definitely see why it's one of your favorite recent picture. They look so happy 😊

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@pablomorales Happy birthday! I will also turn 29 in a few months. It was nice to read your current reflections on 28 and your 20s as well as your goals for 29 🙂 Good luck! And as people say in Chinese to encourage each other, 加油 (jia you)!

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May 7, 2024 - find the car!

view from high on a big hill/small mountain, looking across at other big hills/small mountains and the valley below, with a dirt road and white car on it

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@jmanes Happy Coffee Day! And thanks for the mention!

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@Omrrc that's great 😃 will you be checking in with each other along the way?

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@hollyhoneychurch Beautiful! Happy Monday to you, too 😊

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May 6, 2024 - separator that my host mom uses to separate the fat from milk. The milk on the left will be used to make airan (milk-based drink) and suzmo (like milk solid kind of lumps used to make kurut). the yellowish cream on the right will be used to make sari mai (essentially Kyrgyz butter)

plastic blue and white separator, with milk coming out and going into a separate blue bucket on the left side, and yellowish cream coming out and going into a pot on the right

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@odd Thanks for the recommendation! Seems I've looked at LuLu before, but never did anything with it (I had an account that I don't remember creating!). And I think I see why - it looks very customizable but with that brings a degree of complexity that I don't really have the time or energy for

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May 5, 2024 - when we went guesting to a family friend’s house a few days ago, the mother made this. I believe it is быжы, like Kyrgyz sausage made with meat, rice, and sometimes some herbs or vegetables. If it was быжы, I’m sad I didn’t get to try it, because I like it 😂

sliced cucumbers and tomatoes around two stacked 'balls' of sausage, with a carrot protruding from the top ball so that the whole thing looks like a duck

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@sp @cliffordbeshers @jarrod thanks all 😊 the nature is definitely one of the best things about being here

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@lzbth I'm glad, because there will hopefully be a lot more 😁

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May 4, 2024 - yesterday evening worked with my host family in one of their fields, collecting dead plant stuff and trash. then we burned it. my family will plant potatoes here

a small pile of brush, with half of it on fire

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May 3, 2024 - my host sister’s birthday was actually yesterday, but we didn’t get to celebrate until today because yesterday we went guesting to the family friends who live in the mountains

decorated red and white cake on a plastic, black platter with two gold 1 candles on top

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May 2, 2024 - my phone was unputdownable today as I had an opportunity to climb some small hills and had great views. not sure if anyone would recognize the mountains in the distance on the left, but I’ve shown those before in some of my morning walk/run photos

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May 1, 2024 - left the bubble of my village boundaries and went on a walk towards a big rock/hill/small mountain I want to climb. this was taken on the way

mountains in the background, bridge in the foreground over a dry riverbed. a red car parked to the right, off of but next to the bridge

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@jayeless Congratulations! 😊 wishing you a smooth pregnancy

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April 30, 2024 - should have taken a hint from the fact that it seems to say “guacamole WITH avocado”, what else would it be with? tastes like weird mayonnaise with vague avocado flavor. still going to try my best to eat all of it considering how expensive it was. way better guacamole in my hometown

small jar of light green guacamole with an orange price sticker reading 388

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April 29, 2024 - was on a bridge over this canal with my host sister and her friend. The friend was wearing a pink hat, but a drift blew it off her head and into the water before she could catch it. the hat settled here for about a minute, then dropped and disappeared beneath the small waterfall

walled canal. grate over a small waterfall with some sticks, trash and a pink hat on this grate

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April 28, 2024 - road back to my community/village during a recent morning walk

road leading to a village with mountains in the background

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@dejus 😯 wow, that is massive. so the place lets customers come and look upon this indoor storage? can you walk into and through the room? 😅

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@onewildcrow a great find nevertheless! 😁

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April 27, 2024 - we had a surprise emergency consolidation drill yesterday in which all volunteers in my country had to travel to their assigned consolidation point (usually their regional center). After a debriefing about how the drill went, we were able to relax. Here was my shared hotel room

hotel room with two twin beds, a window on the wall at the back of the room between the beds, a wardrobe to the left, and a desk and chair on the right

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April 26, 2024 - host family friend’s critter that I saw last weekend at their house. and they let me ride it. (I did not ask for that, I was more strongly urged to do it. But it was a nice and controlled stroll 😁 way less intimidating to me than riding a horse)

donkey with a saddle standing next to a fence, all in front of small, brown hills

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@patrickrhone Watched the shared video. They were amazing! How did your daughter get into this? It looks really fun, although of course challenging!

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@Mikehendley Wow, this piece really pops off the page. Great job! 🪲

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April 25, 2024 - this is Zoya. I asked why Zoya, and my host mom said, “because it is short and easy to say”. I accidentally let Zoya out of our yard last week. Luckily, some random guy on the street helped me get her back home. She’s almost 2 weeks old now. I assume she has a spine

brown calf standing in a yard on the right side of the photo looking at the camera

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@z428 The weather was warm that day because spring is coming! The sun was shining, and actually I was worried about getting sunburned! But yeah, in winter (and of course at night, when the sun sinks below the mountains) it's probably cold, though I'm not sure how much colder than in my village. Their house is a 15-minute drive away from my village on a dirt road. I did not make it up the mountains, though I would love to 😥

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@z428 Thanks 😊 spring is finally arriving here!

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@jedda I've been here for 8 months now, and it definitely hasn't gotten old! especially seeing the changes that each season brings

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@amerpie I won't be here forever, so trying to soak it in when I can 😊