After several months of getting to know my host family, neighbors, and other community members in Kara Suu, I finally got to meet the one person who had been conspicuously absent all summer – my host-mom, Asel.
This week she finally returned from selling produce at the bazaars in Astana, Kazakhstan and the whole feel of the house has changed. Where I used to spend a lot of my day alone at the house reading or working on my laptop, now there are always neighbors over for tea. Choplon is relieved of her cooking duties which I could tell were starting to get overwhelming on top of her full time job at the bank in Kirovka. Nurkalyi spent a lot of time on the phone chatting with Asel, but now that she’s here we can all spend time together instead. It’s really pretty pleasant.
My first meeting with Asel was a little awkward as she arrived late after I had gone to bed and the next morning there were no other family members around to introduce us. I was fairly certain of who she was, but at the same time, it is not wholly uncommon for people I don’t know to be roaming around the house.
Asel is really patient with my language and really interested in talking with me too. She asked me what my favorite food is (lagman) so that she can make it more often and asked if there were any American foods I know how to make – I think I’ll be making some pizza one of these times.
It’s also nice to have someone around to give a heads up to when I take off for spur of the moment meetings with Damira instead of just disappearing for hours.
I may be an adult (by most legal measures that is) and I can mostly function on my own, but man if it isn’t nice to have a mom around.