Weddings, babies, goodbyes and such

We had lots of weddings this August/September. My neighbor across the street has six boys and her oldest boy got married in September. My neighbor is so excited to have a daughter to help her out at home now and there was a whole lot of dancing involved in celebrating. The picture on the right is after the big party at the restaurant (left pictures), when they brought to her new home.

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We met Ayu (Ah-SHU) and Eric in Osh in September. They’re from Argentina. They had been traveling, writing a book for almost two years. Their first year of travel they explored South America. Their second year they have spent traveling by land from Malaysia (where they had arrived 10 months prior) to the Middle East. When we met them we told them that if they happened to come through the south of our country, they should stay with us. And they did! You should check out their journey on FB: Ayu Santana and Eric Lancon.

We had to say goodbye to our dear, dear, dear friend, Deb, in October. She has become a part of our family but it was time for her to return to the states to her other family to be there for her mom & dad. Boy do we miss her! Before she went she, our friend Rahel and I had a salon day in Dushanbe (we do this twice a year) where we do all the beauty stuff and then go out to a nice restaurant (this time it was Indian – yum!). The top two pics are from our drive home. It is still a little funny sometimes that this is our equivalent to I-5 and yet we still have livestock cross the highway and pass little cars carrying big loads of stuff – like the guy with all the cotton stacked on top of his car.

Our Tajik family had the joy of welcoming a great-grandbaby into the world. The top left picture is baby Subhinoz’ grandma (who is my age). Once a baby is 40 days old, they can be brought out and about and if the mom had the baby at her own mom’s house, after 40 days she and baby come home to her husband’s house and all the family and neighbors come to celebrate. This was a fun day for me because I drove the mom, baby, grandma, and great-grandma to their home in Dushanbe and got to just chat and laugh with my Tajik mom there and back and hang out with all our extended family. At this celebration, the grandmas or great-grandmas, as was the case, wrap the baby in the traditional cradle (“gavara”). The last picture is what it looks like when baby is all wrapped in there.

A couple of Rees’ former students, now co-workers and friends got married and had babies recently too. The picture above is at the home of a young man who Rees had as a student six years ago (he was a high school student then) and has now finished college, got married, had a baby (in Rees’ arms) and is working with Rees as an English teacher. We are so proud of how these young men are growing up and Rees loves to take the opportunity to tell their parents. They want to build good relationships in their marriages, in their families, with their coworkers and they want to live honestly.

Fall is such a nice time here. We definitely miss the colors and crispness of the Pac NW in the fall and Rees really misses hunting season. The weather starts to calm down a bit – first giving us cooler mornings and evenings but staying in the 90s/low 100s during the day but by the end of October we are turning on the heat in the mornings and evenings and you can sit in the sun in the middle of the day and not be overheated. We start making fires outside during the fall and having cookouts. Ironically, the couple who visited us from Argentina came on a day we were doing family cookout and ate hot dogs with American mustard (which we bought in Kyrgyzstan – give a cheer for globalization) and they got to make s’mores with us. So go figure, you travel to Tajikistan and try s’mores for the first time (with marshmallows bought in Turkey, incidentally). Hannah and I are both taking piano lessons and Hannah is really thriving doing that. Our teacher is fantastic too. She has such a kind way of telling me that Hannah’s memory is great and mine is not. Emmett bought a little goat with the money he’d saved over the last few years, her name is Pearl, she’s really cute and our five sheep have now accepted her. The last picture is of the kinds of backyard shenanigans the kids are up to in the fall. Our yard is not beautiful but it sure is fun.

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