I really have little desire to study Russian. Never have. And I still don't even after nearly 6 months here. Yes, I am studying it, and I've learned enough to get around Bishkek reasonably well, but I don't want to learn anymore.
I liked studying Arabic and I wanted to learn it before I ever started. I choose to learn it because I wanted to talk to Arabs. I don't have the same desire to talk to Russians even though I like Russians.
I finished the Russian book I was working through. I've learned the basic grammar and it would be silly to completely drop it. I couldn't anyway because I need to use it in Bishkek.
But what I really want to do is switch to Kyrgyz or Uzbek because I want to speak to Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, and have the option of branching out to Uyghur. There aren't a lot of resources for learning Kyrgyz, even in Kyrgyzstan. My brother-in-law was kind enough to download two Kyrgyz language resources for me, and we have our Uzbek books here, so I think it's time for a change.
And I've never learned an agglutinative language. Maybe it will be easier. All I know is I'm sick of the case endings in Russian.
More on China still coming. I was going to do more pictures yesterday, but the phone wasn't working. Bishkek requires patience. It has made a huge difference for my older son for whom patience was never a virtue.
And finally, an interesting article discussing Christian proselytizing in Kazakhstan. Interesting because it's one of the first I've read- from a local or foreign perspective- that has not been entirely critical of proselytizing.