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October 26, 2002

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Uzbek family antics, what do Uzbeks do in a day of their life? We spent our day with the Pernaboev family. Their house stands in a village near Tashkent, surrounded by strawberry fields and apple orchards. Cows and chickens graze in the back yard. The architecture is typical of other Uzbekistan houses: it's built in several sections that enclose an inner courtyard where they grow grapes, persimmons, and lemons. Next to the courtyard garden, they bake bread in an open-air, mud brick oven, or they fill pastries with meat and onions and stick them to the sides of the brick oven until they turn a light brown. Rooms inside are large enough to be pool halls, but no furniture, only bright rugs and pillows that splash color. True to their nomadic roots, the Pernaboevs move from one end of the house to the other depending on the seasons, from cooler summer rooms to smaller winter quarters that have heating. The extended family lives in other houses nearby. With Furazi and Dilnari, the two oldest girls acting as our guides, we walk along plumbing pipes which run through the air like telephone wires, to visit every uncle and aunt nearby. They treat us like lost relatives, always bringing us inside for tea, nuts, and fruit.
Bobo, the house patriarch, kept calling me Ed and had no idea what to do with Jill.
Watch out, loose plumbing overhead.
Russian language lesson.