Family Journal: October 1-2, 2022

One of my favorite aspects of Uzbek culture is the choyxona or Tea House. These are restaurants that serve more than just tea but are designed in the traditional Central Asian manner. It is tradition for men to gather to talk and eat without interference from family or other concerns in trestle beds under trees and usually near a river or lake. Today’s modern choyxona are more like restaurants but they maintain private rooms with small tables and pillows for men to dine together. Some of the local guys at school organize occasional choyxona dinners and invite foreign employees to join them. We have a lot of laughs and eat a lot of food! On Friday, we went to Choyhona 25 in the north part of Tashkent. On the menu was lamb neck which I never had. It is a slow-cooked meal that is quite hardy. Of course, it is accompanied by vodka, and the evening’s choice was Anor (pomegranate in Uzbek) Vodka, which was 10 times distilled. A higher number of distillations means a higher quality of vodka. This is what Anthony Bourdain calls in this region, East meeting West. The Russian tradition of vodka with the Central Asian Tea House.

Oliver Taking His SAT

One of the advantages of being an educator is seeing more of your children at school. On Saturday I was checking the Multi-Purpose Room for sound at the start of the SAT exam. I snapped a photo of Oliver while walking through the space. He was in deep concentration and didn’t even notice me. The school is a College Board Testing Center and we were hosting a Terry Fox Run and I was concerned about noise from the run interfering with the test. It was quiet in the room and we were able to have both events run simultaneously. Nadia and I ran 5 kilometers in the Terry Fox Run, a Canadian charity event to raise funds for cancer research. Both of our families have been touched by cancer so it felt good that the school raised $800.

Nadia and I finish the TIS Terry Fox Run

It was Ocean’s birthday on September 26 and so after I got back from Finland, we took her out to Roni Pizza with her best friend Eleanor. It was funny that when the waiter learned it was Ocean’s birthday (he checked her ID) that he brought over 3 alcoholic drink shots for Ocean, Eleanor and Oliver to consume. Never mind they are 15, 15, and 17 years old respectively. These are the moments that remind me we live in a foreign country. Ocean is such a lovely young woman and we are so proud of how she is maturing and growing.

Ocean’s Birthday Dinner

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