breaking free

Freedom is that instant between when someone tells you to do something and when you decide how to respond. -Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein

Monday, March 16, 2009

Here are some pics of my students and house...enjoy!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Valentine’s Day

They don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in Turkmenistan, but since I enjoy the holiday I decided to teach all my lessons about this lovely holiday. We started out the class with a spelling bee and the winner got a pack of sweethearts and a butterfly tattoo Valentine’s Day card from America (compliments of my Mamaw). After that, I explained what Valentine’s Day was. Most of them knew, but there were a lot of giggles in the classroom when I told them it was a day of love. Then I told them that they were all going to make cards and I taught them the poem

Roses are red
Violets are blue
You’re the best Mom ever
And I love you.

Bägüller gyzyl
Fialki gök
Sen iň gowy Eje
We men seni söýýän

Since they’re younger (and you’re not supposed to date here) I told them they could write to their Mom or a friend. I pre-cut hearts out and passed out colored pencils. They loved it and even the boys were coloring their hearts out. I was so great. Some of the students even made their cards for me. It was so precious and I practically melted on the spot. I have some really great kids in my classes.
After my last class of the day, two of my advanced students and one of my beginner students surprised me. They made me a poster that said Happy Valentine’s Day Bobbie Jo. In smaller letters there were plenty of XOXO’s, Be my Valentine, and other sentiments. They put a ton of work into it and now it hangs in my bedroom. They also brought me cards, a cake and some Fanta and juice. I am so excited that I am working with such thoughtful students. This Valentine’s Day has been one of the best I’ve ever had.

Monday, February 02, 2009

New Years Pics

Hey everyone. I'm going try to put up some more pics. The first two are from the carnival musicals. The third picture is my family minus my sister Dilnoza who is away studying. Zohre, Firuza, Me, Aziz, Saida, and Chary (they usually smile more). Chary is in traditional Turkmen dress. The fourth picture is my brother in law Aylik and my brother Aziz playing dutars. I hope you all had a fantastic New Years!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Happy New Year!

New Years is one of the biggest holidays for the Turkmen people. These last few weeks I’ve been to many celebrations and even stumbled upon some amazing performances. The last week of school, before winter break, I decided to go exploring around my school. I heard some music and ended up finding a children’s musical going on. It was absolutely wonderful. The girls were all wearing white dresses and the boys in black suits. They sang many songs and entertained the crowd with dances. When I woke up that day, I had no idea of the treat that I was going to see. All of the families were there to watch their children and the parents even supplied food for all of the guests. This just further showed me the hospitality that the Turkmen people possess. This was not the only celebration I saw. My little sister Zohre took me to her school a few days later where the 9th and 10th graders put on a show themselves. They danced many different styles including traditional Turkmen and Uzbek, slow dancing, and hip hop. In between they held contests in which the winners received gifts from the winter queen and Ayez Baba (Santa Clause). Afterwards they held a dance with just as diverse music. One minute I was dancing to Turkmen music and the next, Usher’s, Yeah.

It was a holiday season full of firsts, but I enjoyed each new experience. I tried to post some pics but the internet wouldn't let me. I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Bobbie Jo

Saturday, December 06, 2008

My First Thanksgiving in Turkmenistan

For Thanksgiving this year the Americans in my group decided to get together and have our own Thanksgiving dinner. It was absolutely delicious and a ton of fun. We ate way too much, sang many songs ranging from bon jovi to the eagles to outkast. After that, we headed out to the stadium for some soccer and ultimate frisbee. It wasn't quite the Fryman Family Thanksgiving with basketball, but it did make me feel at home. Overall, my first holiday here was a sucess. The first picture is my friend Nancy dancing with one of the host fathers, the next is bon jovi sing along time and the other two are just of dinner. I love you and miss you all! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Pics

Hey Everyone!!! Here are some more pics. These are the school children in T-stan. It is the standard uniform and everyone must wear it. The other picture is of my new room. It's not very roomy, but it has a great view. Well, maybe it's where the people who pick cotton take their break.