Reflecting on the Past Eight Months of My Life… in Top Ten List Form!

Ten Things I’ll Miss About Central Asia

  1. The food: Lagman, Beshbarmak, Ganfan, Baursak, Chok-chok, etc.

    Beshbarmak

    Beshbarmak: large noodles and horse meat

  2. The public transportation system: The buses and taxis are a cheap, easy, and (usually) quick way to get across town. I’ve never lived somewhere with such a good public transportation system
  3. Almost everything costing half or a quarter of the price of things in the US: A real dinner for $2.50? I’m so ruined to American prices
  4. Hospitality: people love to make us tons of my first reason I’ll miss Central Asia
  5. How easy it is to make new friends because anyone who even speaks a little English will come and strike up a conversation: Most of the people involved with our group are involved because they heard us speaking English (or saw us looking, well, American) and wanted to hang out
  6. Mountains right outside my window: Gorgeous
  7. All of the genuine friends I’ve made these past 8 months: It’s amazing what happens when you not only share Jesus with people, but also your life

    Dilshod

    Dilshod: Tajik and one of my best friends in Central Asia

  8. The hilarious things people say when English is their second language: Like referring to Jesus as “God’s baby” and saying “Attack!” instead of “hike” in football
  9. The kids at the orphanage: Even if some of them do call me “Mama,” haha
  10. The amazing opportunity to share the Gospel with hundreds of people who’ve never, ever heard it before: Definitely what I’ll miss most

Ten Things I Won’t Miss About Central Asia

  1. Groups of guys shouting “Baby” at me because all the English they know they learned from rap music: Also swear words
  2. Stores and restaurants giving me pieces of candy and gum because they don’t have any change: I’d planned to collect enough of them to completely pay for a meal in gum since they demonstrated to me that it functions as currency, but I never got around to it
  3. Really slow or non-existent internet access: Next year I’ll have better internet, which will significantly cut back on time and money spent in internet cafes. And I can finally learn who this Justin Bieber fella is
  4. Having a curfew even though I’m 24 years old: “I’d love to hang out, but my dorm mom gets cranky when I’m out past 11.”
  5. Group showers and only being able to shower during certain times of the day four days a week: They also break frequently. I “showered” in the sink a couple days ago
  6. Trying to speak to people about complex topics but being unable to because both their English and my Russian isn’t good enough: You try explaining the nature of truth to a post-modern pluralist Muslim—in Russian. Yeah, go ahead
  7. People answering their cell phones no matter how important what they’re currently doing is: Aggghhhhh!!!
  8. 8:30 AM class: I really do enjoy the class, but God did not gift me to function in the morning
  9. People calling me and then hanging up immediately so I have to use my money to call them back (slang: to скинуть [pronounced: ski-newt] someone)/people hanging up on me in the middle of me talking to them: Unlike in America, virtually everyone here uses the pay-as-you-go method for cell phones, so you’re only charged if you make a call, not if you receive it. Hence the skunyt’-ing. For that same reason, people hang up really fast here so as to not waste money—even (especially?) when I’m talking
  10. People telling me they will try to come to something when they have no plan at all to come: “Insha’Allah” (Arabic for God-willing) has become our slang to be the English equivalent of a “NOT!” joke. I.e., “I’ll definitely come to your party, God-willing” = “I’ll definitely come to your party… not!” Only kind of joking

Ten Things I’m Looking Forward to in America

  1. Mexican food: And, honestly, fast food in general. So sue me. I’m American
  2. Book stores: Seriously considering buying a Kindle or iPad so I can still buy all the books I miss out in living in a country without English-language book stores
  3. Netflix (i.e., English-language movies): Man, I’ve missed seeing so many movies. I know Avatar was cool-looking, but wasn’t sure why those mean people killed all those blue things
  4. Driving: Hope I remember how!
  5. Of course, the opposites of many of the things in the Things I Won’t Miss List: I.e., showering every day, good internet, etc.
  6. Swimming: Ok, by swimming, I mean playing in water. Swimming pools cost a lot in Central Asia!
  7. Speaking in my shoddy Russian and having people be amazed: Да, я красавчик
  8. Sharing the things God’s done the past 8 months: Hopefully, I can inspire others to come to this largely unreached part of the world with the stories of Jesus’ grace and goodness here
  9. Continuing to share Jesus with people: my English is a bit better than my Russian, after all
  10. Seeing my friends and family I’ve barely talked to since August: see reason number 3 of Things I Won’t Miss About Central Asia
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7 comments

  1. tiffany · · Reply

    what a great list! I think this is awesome and really helps us. Maybe we can figure out how to make some Central Asian meals when you get to como?!

    We look forward to hanging with you, my friend! I hope you really enjoy these last days and feel the peace from God as you leave to come back to America. Transitions are funny sometimes; I’m praying that it’s fairly smooth.

    1. I would love to! I’m going to learn how to make lagman before I leave, but I bet I could also get my friends to Skype in to show us how to make other stuff. Beshbarmak is made with horse meat. Do you think you could get ahold of that? ;]

      Yeah, definitely pray as we close out the semester. We’re seeing a lot of good things happening, which I’ll write about soon. Can’t wait to see you guys! Love you!

  2. If you come see us in Dayton, we will make you a Mexican meal that will BLOW YOUR MIND. We’ve gotten really good at it :)

    1. Pending my vehicle situation, I’m 90% sure I will visit you guys in Dayton. It’s just a matter of figuring out when’s best for us. Do you have an idea of when would be good for you?

  3. Amanda Forasteros · · Reply

    ANYTIME is good for us! If you come up during the week, you get to see the cafe and we can make you some yummy drinks! if you come up during the weekend, we can get some good hang time and then come to our awesome church!

  4. Dude, man! I’m so stinken excited to hear that you’re at least coming to the US for a brief bit. I do hope that it includes seeing your besties here in CoMO. ;)

    If you do come to CoMO… Let me know!! I can’t wait to give you a hug and hear about all this awesomeness in person. :D

    1. scott · · Reply

      I’ll see you sometime this summer, but I’ll mostly be in Herculaneum. I love my friends, but gotta give my family priority. I look forward to seeing you, though.

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