Thursday, December 31, 2009

Its Official

As I anxiously stood at the window waiting for the mailman to show up, I remember that last year hanging out by the Space Needle for New Years fireworks a radio reporter asked me what my resolution for 2009 was. I responded to join the Peace Corps. And when the mailman finally came at five o clock (!), and handed me (because of course I opened the door to rush out and meet him) my packet it looks like that has officially come true. I have been invited to serve in the Kyrgyz Republic (also known as Kyrgyzstan), leaving for my staging (this part is in a US city, though I don’t know which yet) is on March 26th, 2010, and three days later I’ll be chilling (literally, also as an English teacher I should probably practice less vernacular based vocabulary) in the Kyrgyz republic. I come back May 28th, 2012.

As my friend Sarah eloquently put it: “Didn’t we know that eight months ago?” While I was pretty confident, I got more and more nervous when my invite didn’t come. Three and a half weeks ago I received an e-mail saying 400 positions had been cut and all the invites for the program I had been nominated would get invites in the next three weeks. By the time Christmas rolled around and I was invite free my slight anxiety had built up to pretty high levels. Now though, all I have to stress about is packing. It should be noted (in case you haven’t figured it out) this is going to be my Peace Corps blog, so when I’m gone I’ll be able to post updates on this.

Thoughts about Kyrgyzstan: Bordered by China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; the type of government is a republic; 75% Muslim, 20% Russian orthodox, and 5% other; 64.7% speak Kyrgyz and 12.5% Russian; Slightly smaller than South Dakota; temperate in Northern foothills, subtropical in Southwest, dry continental to polar in Mountains; it is referred to as the “Switzerland of Central Asia” sadly not because of chocolate or world peace, but Mountains; the international airport in the major city of Bishek serves London, Moscow, Istanbul, Delhi, and Beijing; I’ll be there.

A roundtrip flight in late June costs 1359, so start saving your money so you can come visit me. And also, happy New Years! PS All pictures are lifted from Wikipedia who probably lifted them from someone else.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let it Snow

Last night there was fire. The cousins have been clamoring for a fire for quite a while and we got a pretty good one going, sitting super close and drinking hot chocolate. A few renditions of ‘Let it Snow’ were even sung.
Oops. Because it did snow, as I was getting ready to leave work, and it is still snowing. Snow used to be something that I loved and wished for every year without fail. My parents and other adults would complain, but me? A half inch and school was canceled, streets were blanketed in a much prettier way than asphalt, and hot chocolate was almost always guaranteed. Then last year, when I was stuck in Vegas for several days (mind you I’m not even old enough to gamble) and the only place to stay was in Newf Rescue. Mind you, more eventful than the entire tour bus confined trip I was just coming back from.This year though not even the long walk with flats that clearly are not waterproof could bring me down. Part of that, I imagine is snow in its all its cliché white goodness falling in what seems to be slow motion.

The other part is that my invitation is in the mail! That’s right, I’ve been invited to the Peace Corps! For those of you that have been following along, I got nominated to serve almost a year ago, medically cleared several months ago, and have been waiting on edge the rest. In a few days (my guess is Saturday) I will know when and where I am going 100% sure.

As I’ve been freaking out about not getting an invitation this is extremely exciting. I’ll post an update once I get the packet in the mail!

PS Getting back with sopping wet shoes is made better when you find a note like this on your bedstand)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pasta Addict has moved!

An outcome of Apollo and Daphne if Apollo hadn't been a pyscho rapist



Not domains or anything, I have officially lived in Portland for a grand total of three days now, and the first was spent mostly driving the car. I’ve been to Powells, the best place on Earth, I’ve been to Vodoo Donuts, and I’ve walked the 20 odd blocks from my new place to the electronics store to buy a charger. Besides that, mostly just work and back.
Which is nice, my commute is about forty minutes but half that is walking slowly. In the neighborhood side I pass by everything stereotypically Portland, bikers, dogs, children, etc. Once I’m over the bridge though everyone seems to be smoking. Maybe I’m just in the sketch part of town (the first day my boss explained to never come too early since we’re a hotspot for the homeless), but either way it seems sort of odd. Even on the Ave it wasn’t this prevalent.
My first few days have been smooth other than the absence of my phone charger. It was a lovely walk to radio shack though (that’s where these pictures are from). I could have driven but I was looking for a photo walk and this one took me by the post office too. Plus it was the first dry day, and not even too cold.
Why, you may ask, is this post not about food? The answer is that my Aunt whom I’m living with is such a good cook and doesn’t want any help in the kitchen. So this will be getting a little more personal, though hopefully still as photogenic.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Turnip Souffle

Turnips are a stranger to my family. As we sat reviewing what we would get in our CSA box this week, we debated for a while wether to change them out or not, before deciding to keep them in and try them. They’re strange looking things, tinted with purple but mostly white, and when I searched for recipes a soufflé caught my eye. It sounded bizarre, but so was this vegetable to me and so I tried it. Overall, positive response. Not ‘I want to eat this every day’ but ‘I’d have this again.’ I even cut up the greens and added them to a salad, its awesome when you can use all of the vegetable. And while I should be working on my last final (ever!) I’m writing this instead.

Turnip Souffle
Adapted from Back to Bakas
Serves 4

3 medium turnips
2 cups of chicken stock
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP brown sugarpinch of salt, pepper
1 TSP baking powder
2 eggs
3 TBSP butter
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs

Peel turnips, cut into ½ inch chunks. Boil in chicken stock like making mashed potatoes. Drain chicken stock (I turned mine into gravy), and mash turnips. Saute bread crumbs with butter in separate pan, and add all other ingredients but egg whites (beaten till fluffy). Fold in the egg whites and spoon into soufflé dishes, put bread crumbs on top. Bake for 25 minutes at 350, and enjoy!

I mixed my bread crumbs in instead of puting them on top and it worked just fine.