This is an oldie, from the first week of October, when I was still in Budarina
It’s been hard to sleep for various reasons. It’s hard to live here knowing that I’m leaving in 4 days. I feel like I’m tricking them. I don’t feel at all bad about leavign my counterpart, who’s a sneaky person. My host father’s extended family had a cookout for me at their ranch a few miles away. It was so much fun. We had excellent excellent shashlik and there was good cheese and chocolates, and just as our hands were turning blue, tea. They were incredibly friendly to me and tried to speak in Kazakh although most of them speak in Russian all the time, since their mother was Russian. I only know a very little Russian. I hope to begin tutoring very soon. But the cookout was one of those times in fall when everything is perfect – a little chilly, a little dampish, yellow trees. We drove very fast over empty fields on the way back because the sun was setting. Telman, next to me, had an open bag of raw meat. I was hoping it wouldn’t jump on me on a bump, since my hands were not available – cars here are always overfull – and because I didn’t think anyone else would be sufficiently worried about raw meat on me. I had a terrible vision of some of it slipping down my turtleneck collar and resting there on my shoulder, marinating with me for twenty minutes.
There was a huge basin with the rib cage and innards of a sheep in the kitchen when I came back. Telman had slaughtered it – his first. I’m to the point that it doesn’t even turn my stomach. There are dead animals everywhere here; it’s just part of life. There are bones in the streets and skeletons in all stages of decay left out in the fields. I know now that there are parts of a sheep that are worse than the liver, but I will never like liver anyway. I don’t understand why of the entire sheep that’s all we’ve eaten for a couple days. Blagh. Soon, in November, I think, they will slaughter the horses.