Monday, January 4, 2010

It's a Horse of Course...



What a weekend! I must say I'm not sure where to start... so I'll just go from the beginning. Yesterday I lesson planned with Saltanat and did some Kazakh tutoring with Dinara. Neither which happened as I had planned. My host mom left at 5 till 10 to "run to school real quick... back in 10" and I was ok with staying home to watch the munchkins for a quick 10, even though I had planned to meet with Saltanat at the school at 10... 30 minutes later, I started getting anxious. Then an hour later, after I had been standing at the door for 30 minutes all suited up and ready to sprint to the school as soon as my host mom walked in the door... Saltanat shows up. I felt terrible but she said that my host mom explained. Why didn't I think of that? To have my host mom tell her to come here instead... but apparently she eventually did. So we planned the lessons here. Then I went to tutoring... also not so great. Dinara had me wait for her for half an hour into our planned time. Then she ended it 10 minutes early too. It was pretty scary, she was yelling and speaking fast. I don't know if I'll keep her as my tutor...

I headed to Taldy with Johnny as soon as tutoring ended. This is when the fun began... We met up with Justin, Kyle, Athena and a volunteer from a Korean Organization at a burger place! Hooray burgers :) That was fun, then, we went ice skating. It was hilarious - we laughed so hard. Johnny fell three times, twice with me. We were doing all kinds of "tricks" haha. I had to work to get him to cooperate with me in the beginning... but I was glad he was up for it. The ice rink was outside, and is a tennis court in the summers... In the end he wanted to do one more spin move with me - I couldn't remember how I did it earlier and so we tried - this was our... or, my worst fall haha. I went one way and he went the other... I got some air to say the least and landed flat on my back!!! haha. We limped away together cracking up and promised each other that this will be our outlet for the winter - it can get us out of the house.... although it was definitely cold!

Today was quite a trip too! (no pun intended). My host mom mentioned the night before that we were going to kill a horse for the winter today...! I woke up and my host mom was frying baursek (triangular bread dough)... which means a celebration/company. After breakfast, they said the horse was here. Saule and I went outside and looked at the poor thing all dirty and tied up with a rope by the outhouse. There were a lot of people over at our house, my host parents' friends and their kids. Before I knew it, I looked out my window and my host dad and his friends had killed the horse and it was on it's back with numbs for legs. It's been such a long day, I can't tell you if I felt sick or not - probably. I didn't go outside... Saule and I just kept filling up buckets of hot water... I thought we were pretty much done after a while. Not true. They just butchered the thing right there on the ground. Rinsing off the meat with water and separating it all out. It was a whole team effort and everybody just knew what to do. The ladies brought in a bucket of meat.. and pulled out the intestines maybe? Then, I thought I was going to be sick, they put another piece of meat through the tubes and pushed some bad stuff out... THEN! They tied off one end of the intestines and blew them up like balloons! I'm not kidding, with their mouthes - they blew air into them like those balloons you make animals out of (ironic). After a while, your numb to all the blood... and the fact that nobody around you is making a big deal out of any of this definitely dulls the shock. I even taped some of the butchering. They stuffed the blown up tubes with some other kind of meat... We stewed, and fried horse and ate it. It was actually really tasty. Talk about fresh! It can't get any fresher! Wow. They kept reminding me how natural they do things here... I get the point - we don't kill our food ourselves in America. I'm impressed. A horse is so much meat! And this horse wasn't huge to begin with. They used basically all o f the meat too. I guess they do this every winter... if people can afford it. I think it's a more luxurious thing to do - like not everyone can do it, but would if they could.

In short, I'm going to be eating horse for the next four months... And I don't ever want to hear anyone say they can eat a whole horse until they come to Kazakhstan and actually do eat a whole horse... hahaha - I'll be able to truthfully say that by spring! Weird.

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