I have not been able to post much this month because school is starting, so I am catching up. I would like to blog more this year. Time is going by so quickly and I like to pause and reflect on my life and savor the time with my family and friends. I love summer and as I get older I am appreciating the simpler things in life. Tonight it is a swim in my pool, a cold bowl of watermelon and feeling the cool night breeze of Tashkent while working on the table next to my son who is researching the bombing of Nagasaki. Pure heaven!
My friend Abdulahad produces beautiful, hand -weaved, natural-dye carpets in his factory/workshop in Samarkand. We visited the factory last New Years. He lives in Tashkent and we went over to his house to see his latest carpets. They are so beautiful and knowing that a large carpet took 3-6 months to make really makes it special to have in our home. Nadia purchased several the past year and we love having them brighten our home. I hope we have a big enough house when we leave Tashkent to display them. Homes are big here and perfect for carpets.
The longer the pandemic continues, the more this craziness seems normal. Above is a scene from the Tashkent International Airport. Uzbekistan’s borders are still closed and only special charter flights can come in. All arriving passengers from red zones (ex. USA) cannot just enter the city, but need to go to designated quarantine hotels. We had some school personnel arrive and so I went out to the airport to meet them. The police escort the buses to the hotel and they are confined to their rooms. It was 14 days and it has been reduced to 7 days with a negative test result.
We got into the spirit of the pandemic and Nadia, Owen and I were tested at our local clinic. One of the teachers tested positive for Covid-19 and I was with her a significant amount of time, so I was tired of self-isolating from my family. We were all negative and none of us felt symptoms. The index case who I was in contact with tested negative twice after receiving a positive test, so I think it was a false positive. Nadia and Owen describe the experience in the video above.
The savior of my sanity in this pandemic has been my morning bicycle rides about the city. The restrictions on cars has meant blissfully open roads and I have rode thousands of kilometers around Tashkent. I’ve realized I like drier climates! Growing up in Michigan where we get a lot of snow and rain, often it is miserable to go outside. I prefer the desert, sunny climate of places like Tashkent, Perth and Mallorca, Spain where I’ve spent a lot of time in my life. The blue skies and dry conditions allow for more and easier, outdoor time. It is one of the things I love about Tashkent is the weather. I snapped the photo above of a large park in Tashkent while on a morning ride.
We are loving being dog owners! We bought a Shi Tzu puppy a couple of months ago and he has absolutely won over our hearts. The little guy is so quiet but just loves attention and he is getting plenty of it. I think the dog has brought our family closer together and the kids spend more time with us as we care for and play with him.
I end this post with a photo of my first tomatoes! A friend gave me a couple of small plants and this one survived and two tomatoes were produced. I will eat them tomorrow.