The One Where She Has July Favorites 

Lean On by Major Lazor- This is a fucking jam. And a Stephs jam none the less (I’ll get to that don’t worry).

Cool for the Summer by Demi Lovato- Demi girl. You nailed it with this. This is one of those songs that I love listening to on my way to work in a mashrutka and just pump myself up for the day.

Alt-J- You know when you listen to streaming music and you always hear a band and think oh I LOVE this and it’s always the same band? Thanks me with Alt-J and I finally got their first two albums and they’re dreamy and dynamic and I could listen to Dissolve Me on repeat for my entire life.

KITTENS- Ok so. Pets aren’t really a thing here. They are but not in the way they are in America. So when s kitten literally walked into my life I couldn’t believe it when my host Mom said we could keep it(like genuinely lost my mind). Then when that turned out to be the neighbors kitten my family got another one and BOOM a kitten to cuddle and squeeze. There’s a chance the kitten won’t be there when I get home but for a while I had it and loved it.

Mail- Listen to me. I love getting mail. Like I’m the person who likes junk mail because it’s mail. I was lucky enough to get a package from my Mom this month and I know I have a couple on the way and I can’t wait.

Issyk-Kol- I love my site and I love my oblast. Specifically I’ve been able to spend a lot of time on the beach this month which has resulted in everyone saying how “black” I look. But I love this place.

Plov- So plov is a Kyrgyz dish (maybe technically Uzbek?) that consists of rice, carrots, onions and meat. And this stuff is so good. Depending on the area where it’s made it can have some variations like nuts and berries to being more fried or fluffy. But this month it’s all I’ve been wanting and my sister in law knows how to make it that’s for damn sure.

Warm Makeup Trend- This trend of warm eye looks is DOING IT for me. Warm meaning reds oranges coppers yellows golds all mixed in anything from glam to 90s grunge is just so good. It’s definitely a bow to 90s makeup trends but I love it.

Gray and Neutral Lips- So ala Kylie Jenner there’s an excellent trend that while not derived from Kylie directly I think it was definitely influenced by her of grayish lips. Gray/brown/mauve lips sounds weird but I promise it looks good and it looks good on everyone.

Clothes that look like tents- I LOVE me some baggy shapeless clothing. It just works here, doesn’t get dirty and works with the weather and perfect for layering. Slam dunk.

Matching Shirts and Pants- NOW I don’t have this yet but as God is my witness I will have it. There are amazing flowy pants here and the pants usually have matching tops. And that is the dream. Just a unisuit of the same fabric flowy goodness.

The Stephs- So there is another volunteer named Steph who lives about 30 minutes from me. And she is my homie. And having two Stephs has proven to be real obnoxious and real excellent. Aside from the benefits of someone who is a genuine friend and who just fucking gets it there’s the hilarity of the two of us. Introducing ourselves to Kyrgyz people is hilarious because two Stephanie’s is funnier than one. Having my mom refer to us as стефанилер meaning Stephanies has just been too much. So keep waiting for a list of Stephanie Rules and our book “Get out of my Head: A Stephanie Story”

Supportive Friends and Family- Having kind of a shitty month with adjusting to my family life, visa scares, getting my phone stolen, Jeremy fucking impaling himself and just some general tough stuff I am always reassured my those I love those most that they’ve got my back. Whether it’s PCVs, my family or my friends in America I know they get me and will listen to me whine about missing guacamole and listen to me cry when I feel shitty so thanks dudes.

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