June 17, 2013
The next morning I once again awoke early, this time before 7am. Since no one else was awake, the showers were free. I took a long, hot, wonderful shower, which for once I was able to enjoy. Then I went back to bed. Check out time wasn’t until 11am, and I had no idea what time my host family would be picking me up. As such, I figured I’d spend as much time in bed as I could. I slept for a few hours, then got up, packed my things, and checked out. Then I carted my stuff down to Fatboy’s. I snagged a book from their book pile, and sat on their deck eating and reading until around 12:30pm, when Rakhat and Altynbek came to pick me up.
At that point I thought we’d soon be on our way back to Toguz Bulak, but no. First we went to another relative’s house (Altynbek’s niece), where we had tea accompanied by pasta and sheep. After lunch, we returned to the home of Altynbek’s brother up by Dordoi. Rakhat then told me that she needed to visit her sister who was in the hospital, and that I could just wait there until they got back. Um, okay.
The kids (my host family’s three plus their two cousins) and I watched Wall-E dubbed into Russian (not that the movie has all that many words). This was the first time I’d seen the film, and I was very impressed. It was actually quite beautiful. Then I had yet another bout of stomach problems – when Altynbek’s sister-in-law put out yet another meal, I simply could not eat. I was able to drink a couple of glasses of kefir, which helped to settle my stomach somewhat.
When it came time to leave for Toguz Bulak (around 4:30pm), first the six of us crammed back into the Audi. Then we were joined by the two cousins (ages 7 and 15) who were accompanying us back to the village. Yes, eight people crammed into a four-door sedan for a three and a half hour ride. I was really worried that I was going to become violently ill, but that didn’t happen. In fact, I was able to sleep for a little bit, and awoke about an hour into the drive feeling fairly healthy.