Yes, I'm back. It was a whirlwind week of firsts - first international travel (which I could easily get used to - wine! food! free movies! more legroom!), first trip to Turkmenistan, first in person meeting with many internet friends, first Russian bazaar...you get the drift.
I won't write up the entire trip right now, as I'm still playing catch up with all the stuff piled on my desk and barn work. My family (mainly Callie and Zach) did a great job in my absence, but there is still plenty for me to do.
I took many photos, and will get to those sooner or later.
What I came away from the week with:
1. The Turkmen people seem to be extremely nice and VERY patient.
2. Bring your own toilet paper.
3. Wear comfortable shoes.
4. Their horse management is way behind ours, but they are working on it.
5. Being on a paid for trip is lots of fun, mostly. They do expect some photo ops though. (I was on their national TV at least once and probably more). But, I looked good, so it was just fine.
6. Bargaining in the bazaar was lots of fun.
7. They drive like maniacs. I had to sit in the back of the bus after making the mistake of sitting in the front seat, only once. I almost mashed my foot through the floor helping the driver brake. I also assume that my gasps weren't doing any good as nothing changed.
There was plenty more, that I will write about soon. Now I need to get back to my other duties!