Amy: So we're back in KZ and back into school. Trying to fit back into old rhythms in the midst of new students and increased traffic is proving difficult. I have such a great group of students and parents this year, but I didn't realize how used I had gotten to last year's group and how unprepared I was for a transition to a new class. It just takes some readjusting, and I feel it coming. It's going to be a good year. But the traffic...maybe I just got used to Indiana traffic over the summer, but it seems worse this year...probably because of all the construction on the roads around the school...rumor has it that the local golf course is holding a European PGA tournament. That's why all the road maintenance. One night we left the school at 8pm and normally a drive home that takes us only 10-15 minutes took us two hours. We were detoured South towards the mountains, however when you're detoured in Almaty, there are no bright orange and black signs telling you which way to go every few feet. You just have to follow the traffic and hope everyone else knows where they are going. It just so happened that we were in front this time, and by the number of cars that were following us, we gathered that nobody really knew where they were going. So we wound through dirty, heavily cratered roads for the next two hours, frantically trying to use the type and size of the potholes as landmarks for the roads we already went down. For the first 15 minutes or so it was funny, we actually led a few locals into a deadend, I'm not sure why they all decided to follow the foreigners. But after awhile, it just wasn't funny anymore. We finally ended up back at the school, and found our way home by a different route. Travis, my hero, seems to have taken to the spirit of the roads here rather quickly. Me, I've driven maybe twice since we've been back. I'm in no rush. Anyway, we're settling in, enjoying the neighbor kids again (they often help us carry our things up to our apartment some evenings when we come home in exchange for cookies) and making progress with our Russian. And here it is only September.