‘Typical’ Summer Day

Wendy, my friend and hostess extraordinaire, is also a blogger, and excellent at her craft,  so I have to share {and I’m on vacation, so it’s easier to have someone blog for me}: 

Spilling the Sky – Try This With Your Teenagers

What to do, what to do?  It’s hot.  The fun, older cousin/brother is gone.  You can only play so many games of Settlers and Saboteur.  


So Lisa and I got creative and merged The Hunger Games, The Amazing Race and a plain ole scavenger hunt for our teens.

With photos.  Lisa got up on our stairway landing and did a mesmerizing imitation of Effie Trinket announcing the rules and freaking everybody out.  We gave the two teams their lists and 1000 som each.  (Two of the items they actually had to buy and bring home because we needed them for supper.  Effie said if they failed, they would surely be participants in real hunger games.)  

Four bikes.  Two hours. 18 items with some bonus points available.

May the odds be ever in your favor.  And may your bicycle tires not blow up in the heat. (I added that silently.  It’s happened.)

The girls’ team had my phone;  therefore, I have their pictures. They also won.  

 1. A child on a park ride.


 2. The sign of a cake store. 

Plenty of these to choose from in J’bad.

3. Kyrgyz flag.


4.  Russian nesting doll.


5.  Sheep’s lung.

O.K. this was a fail on the girls’ part.  They just went to the bazaar and took a picture of the grossest looking sausage they could find.  But I know my sheep’s lung, and these were definitely NOT it.  The boys found the real thing.

6.  A contestant drinking carbonated water. 


 7. A nut lady.

As opposed to a nutty lady.

8.  Bling. 

This poor woman has no idea her jazz line stretches virtually around the world.

 9. Contestant eating ice cream.


10.  Pee tubes. 

I know I’ve promised to tell you about these, and I will.  It’s too great to rush it though.

11.  Baby chicks.


 12. Kettleballs.

These ain’t your mama’s exercise weights, honey.  No colorful rubber-covered pretties here.  Straight from Soviet-era Russia, I think someone dropped them on the tile.

13.  Contestant doing a handstand on the railroad tracks.

 Because, as adult game writers, we exhibit such prudence for our children’s safety.

14.  Contestant shaking hands with an aksakal.

 FAIL.  This is not an aksakal.  I’ve been trying to photograph one ever since I arrived in K’stan.  Aksakal literally means “white beard”.  These gentlemen walk around kind of bent over with their hands behind their backs, looking very wise.  This guy doesn’t even have a beard.  No dice.  The boys didn’t get it either.  I’m still trying.

 15. Fire.


At this point, the girls rushed home with 20 minutes to spare.  There was no sign of the boys.

“Did you get everything?”  I inquired.

“We don’t know what a round-about is,” they claimed.  European we’re not.

I’d given the boys a clue about the pee tubes because they’d never encountered one, and so I didn’t feel bad about saying a round-about had something to do with cars.

Brain lightbulbs clicked on, and they were off and back again in no time.

16. Round-about.  Five minutes from our house.


The boys arrived two minutes later with lettuce, beans and 16 photos, including four shots of women’s flats with excessive toe bling.  About then I’m imagining what cultural taboos we broke during our little game.

We tallied up the points and passed out chocolate cookie rewards to everyone.

You should try it sometime the next time your neighborhood grocery gets in some sheep’s lung.

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