Last year in November the Kindle I brought with me to Kyrgyzstan suddenly stopped working.  One day, just kaput.  Nothing. It was a sad, expected death that was followed by months of reading the random books lying around the Peace Corps office and brought by other Volunteers including a novel about a girl born with […]

So, last time I posted  it was about supporting the Kyzyl Adyr Municipal Water Expansion Project.  I said that we would be installing 1500 meters of new mainline pipe.  And how families would have reliable water service in their homes.  I said how important all of this was, how much it mattered and how everyone […]

Imagine you’re a merchant living in the North-Western Chinese city of Kashgar around 1400 AD.  You own a little stall at the bazaar which is filled with thick bolts of silk and is shaded by a nice colorful awning.  Your silk is stacked in a neat display that you adjust every few minutes because you’re […]

There is a bookshelf at my parents’ house.  And on this bookshelf is at least one copy of every single novel Louis L’Amour ever wrote.  I say at least one because, as my dad will tell you, you don’t really have them all if you don’t have the separate editions too. If you don’t know, […]

Imagine you’re at a party mingling and having a good time with friends and someone says to you, “hey, you see that guy over there?  He’s from Kyrgyzstan.  Have you ever even heard of that?” You might get really excited at the chance to meet someone from such a foreign place.  You might even go […]

Way back in November I met Bolot.  I got back to the house here in Kara Suu after one training or another in Bishkek to find the house totally empty except for this guy I had never seen sitting in the living room watching TV. “Uh, hi.  Is Asel here?” “Nope.” “Oh. Ok. Ah, do […]

The ak kalpak is to Kyrgyzstan what the ten-gallon hat is to Texas. They’re these tall, narrow, white, felt hats each with a turned up rim around the bottom.  They have a crease down the front, either side of which has a swirly design that differs from kalpak to kalpak.  To top it off (ha! […]