The One Where She’s Sophie and Has to Make A Choice

How do you pick where you’re going to live in an amazing country for two years? That’s like asking who your favorite child is or what do you eat at a buffet. The answer is always all of them/it. Watching presentations from volunteers who are in county and who live in these amazing areas and who genuinely LOVE the area they’re living in make it so hard to narrow down. I thought I wanted some place in particular and then after watching presentations on all the Oblasts (states basically or regions) I couldn’t decide. Do I live somewhere that’s more of a city area? Do I live in a town described as a “college town” but I would have to fly to see anyone in the rest of the country? Do I live in the area that is the coldest but I would essentially be living in the mountains and get an unadulterated Kyrgyz experience? Do I want to live in an area brand new to volunteers and be the pioneer of that Oblast? Or do I want to live around the massive and beautiful sometimes touristy lake? Like how the deuce am I supposed to pick between those places?

I feel like my interview went really well with my Program Leader and I feel as though I was able to really get a good sense of myself across to her considering it was the first time we’ve sat down one on one together. I feel like she was able to really see my personality and hopefully I was able to express the kind of teacher I would like to be and try to be. I feel like in reality while I said I was leaning towards two specific areas I would be happy anywhere and I understand that I can’t control where I’m placed, so much like my placement in country, I’m keeping my options open and thinking positive thoughts. There is a part of me that would dread a long and intensely cold winter but with the sheer amount of carbs we’re eating I think I’ll be able to easily add any extra winter weight to keep me warm if needed. I’m amazed every day of the country I’m in and the things I discover. I’ve said it in a post already but I’ll say it again, the mountains will forever take my breath away. Every morning I hope it’s clear so I can see them on my way to school, to turn the corner off the main road and be greeted by those mountains on my way to class is the best good morning anyone has ever given me. They’ve been the best part of my day every single day since I’ve arrived and I make a point to look at them and think about how amazing what I’m doing is. I know a lot of people who live in Washington or Colorado who have mountains and I’m sure they’re no big deal but listen to me, we don’t have mountains like that in New York. We don’t even have foothills like that in New York. As long as I can see those mountains, I don’t care where you put me.

Sometimes living here things feel normal and it doesn’t feel like I’m living in a vastly different culture than what I’m used to and I’m across the world from my family and friends. Today for example, one minute I’m in my house typing on my computer and then I’m out walking towards the mountains when the Sheppard’s are coming down from the foothills on horseback leading in the herds of sheep, goats and cows. Or when I’m walking to class and have to take a different route because cows block my usual path. Also I don’t care if everyone thinks I’m an idiot but I’ll freak out over the baby sheep, goats, cows and horses every single time, I do not give a fuck they’re adorable. I’m just in awe every single day, I can’t believe I’m here. I said it before I left but I’ve wanted to do this for so long and my application process and acceptance process took so long and then just the waiting once I got accepted it just didn’t feel real anymore. Frankly it wasn’t until that first night alone that was really rough that I realized I was alone and where I was. That small thirty minutes of panic is the only panic I’ve felt about all this. I know this is an emotional thing to be doing and I’m sure I’ll be all over the place emotions wise but right now I couldn’t be happier and I couldn’t be more confident in my choices and where I am.


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