Welcome to my home

Welcome to my home

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Finer Things and Goats

6/24

Bari galust, faithful readers! Things are going pretty well here. It’s been raining almost everyday. So, our normally clear little river is neither clear nor little, but rather a bit milky with sediment brought down by runoff from the mountains, and swollen like an annoying blister—not enough to pop, but enough to be aware of. Anyways, from what I’ve been reading in e-mails from everyone back home, it pales in comparison to the rivers of Iowa. I think Dan Eigenberg said it best when he wrote the “Iowa seems to be trying its best to return to the sea”. If this is true, I do believe it will be the most ambitious thing that the state of Iowa (or any other land locked state for that matter) has attempted in, at least, the millennium. But, it sounds as if everyone has found a relatively high place to hide out from the rising tides.
I myself have been doing my best to maintain some semblance of normalcy in my life here. I must admit that it feels a bit weird to be this far along in life (which I realize isn’t that far, but stay with me on this), and still be waking up to a mother who insists on packing my lunch for the school day. If only I had a pair of red Reeboks to sport on my walk to school. Yeah I walk to school, got a problem with that? But, if a routine is determined by anything, it is determined by my morning rituals. Every other morning, I go running. I think the old men in the village have started a club to watch the “amerikatsi” cross the bridge at an unusual pace, because every time I go across the bridge in the village “center”, there are always a bunch of old men who are standing with no other intention than to stare. But, as soon as I say good morning, they grow more talkative than a hen house (I’m allowed to use that analogy because we have a hen house, and it’s chatty). I think they take bets on what I now know how to say, because they seem to get a kick out of testing my knowledge as I run past them. I can’t help but think that I am disappointing them so far. However, I think I’ve gained a certain amount of street cred, because today, two of the village boys (circa 1996) were standing at my gate, wanting to go running with me. That’s right, I’m in good with the locals, and may have unintentionally started a running club. However, after observing their performance (although enthusiastic), my suspicions about aerobic exercise not being a part of their culture were confirmed. On the other hand, I recently learned what is part of their culture.
Who here has read Lord of the Flies by Sir William Golding? Who here remembers what the “Lord of the Flies” was? Three nights ago, two friends of mine were invited to a cookout, and guess what greeted them at the gate. Mounted on a large metal pike was a goat fresh goat head. I’ll give you about 10 seconds to figure out where the goat was. I, myself, am jealous, because I have not yet gotten to see this cultural gem. However, I have come close. Yesterday, it was raining pretty hard, and I had been sitting inside reading. All of a sudden, my host dad is calling me to come outside quick. So, fast action Scott grabbed his jacket and went outside. What was discovered will forever be remembered. My host dad grabbed my shoulders and walked me over to the fence and pointed in the neighbor’s yard. There, in the midst of a, now, gentle summer shower, hanging from a tree was a goat, strung up by one hoof. This goat, as it hung, was the most remarkable goat I have ever seen. I guess, if we are to continue the literary analogies, while the afore mentioned goat could be considered the Lord of the Flies, this goat would be known as the Headless Horseman. Although I sincerely doubt that this goat will ever be riding a horse. Let’s go ahead and get out the To Do List and check off “Observe a headless goat mass hanging from a tree”. Great.
On a lighter side, a few of my friends from another village came to visit me this weekend. That was great because I got to play tour guide to my town. I took them on a hike in the mountains with three stops: two churches and one castle ruin. I got some pretty phenomenal pictures, and will try to put some on the site when I get a chance to shrink them down a bit. But, for now, you will just have to use your imaginations (which are probably full of goat blood right about now). Life is good, on the whole. And, as language class progresses, I feel less and less like Helen Keller every day. My one great disappointment is that I still have yet to ride a donkey. But, the way I see it, two years is a long time, and I am determined. Feel free to drop a comment.
Much love.

7 comments:

Timothy said...

scottie, sounds like things are going really well man. thanks for the blog updates. its a great way to get by during the work day... and i get to feel like im not actually sitting in a cube and am making a diff. in the world. dont worry the USA is the same. overweight people, bipartisan politics, expensive gas... all that stuff will be waiting for you when you get home. city life is pretty good so far man. def beats living at my parents house. ill write u a proper email soon and fill you in on some stories. stay safe my friend.

mom said...

dear scott, that's "wed weeboks" and cokes at "bwadleys". could have skipped the goat thing. hope it wasn't the goat you gave to me! love you, mom

mom said...

dear scott, that's "wed weeboks" and cokes at "bwadleys". could have skipped the goat thing. hope it wasn't the goat you gave to me! love you, mom

mom said...

Scott, I can't believe that this adventure has "got your goat". So much for the livestock report, ah, to return to the world of pork bellies on the Chicago Board of Trade. Gas prices modulated down a tad this week, who ever thought I would cheer at $3.75 sent gas. Fresno State won College World Series beating Georgia tow out of three. I know it's raining there (has the ark come off the mount, yet?), but what is the temp there like (evenings, days? Do the people make their clothes or buy them in stores (or what passes for stores. How about shoes? Cubs won again (2 of 3 from D-Backs) next a rematch with ChiSox the weekend. Oh, by the way, do your goats look like Jack? I enjoy your writing, you do have a way with words. Love Dad

Dad said...

Scott, I can't believe that this adventure has "got your goat". So much for the livestock report, ah, to return to the world of pork bellies on the Chicago Board of Trade. Gas prices modulated down a tad this week, who ever thought I would cheer at $3.75 sent gas. Fresno State won College World Series beating Georgia tow out of three. I know it's raining there (has the ark come off the mount, yet?), but what is the temp there like (evenings, days? Do the people make their clothes or buy them in stores (or what passes for stores. How about shoes? Cubs won again (2 of 3 from D-Backs) next a rematch with ChiSox the weekend. Oh, by the way, do your goats look like Jack? I enjoy your writing, you do have a way with words. Love Dad

Dan said...

a) I appreciate the quote in your blog, I feel like a pseudo celebrity now. and b) Excellent literary references. I feel like you are the only person I know that would be in the Peace Corps and still make references to American lit. Nicely done on both accounts. As promised, here is the blog wall post. I will however send you an e-mail at some point and keep you posted on goings on (or lack thereof) in my life. If nothing else, I'll get a job working at starbucks.

Alli said...

Mmmm... goat mass. I haven't seen one of those yet in Vermont.

I've linked to your blog from mine. If you're interested in my blog, it's www.rusallika.blogspot.com. I'm planning to keep it up from Russia too, so we can exchange experiences from the tiny Armenian village and the cultural capital of Russia.