The Dangers of Irrigation Channels

I came home from class the other day to a bunch of kids and people gathered on the street next to the house.  In and of itself, that’s not too weird though, because in the evenings people tend to gather around outside and just hang out, chat, and take in the news.  But when I saw Kuban, who always moves at something of a measured pace come jogging around the corner, I was actually a bit concerned.  When I got closer I could see that Sultan was standing up to his thighs in the irrigation channel that runs next to the street and one of the neighbor kids was standing there crying too.

Usually the channel, that is something like three feet deep and two feet wide, only runs with a foot or so of water, but with the storm last night it was flowing almost totally full.  Kids like to play in the water, especially during the hot days we’ve had lately, and it became clear pretty quick that this particular kid lost his balance and got swept a ways down the channel.  He had a few bumps and bruises, but he was really just upset because Kuban swatted him upside the head.

His mom showed up and he relayed the story to her hoping for some sympathy, but her attitude was basically, “if you got hurt you were probably doing something dumb so as long as you’re not dying you’re on your own.”  So, see?  Kyrgyzstan isn’t really that different.  We all got the same response from our parents growing up, except for us it was for getting scratched by the cat after teasing it or something.  But pretty much the same thing, right?

Anyway, in the end, other than the neighbor kid and Sultan getting wet, the whole thing turned out to be no big deal and I can chalk it up to one more strange thing going on in Kyrgyzstan.


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About Cole Bedford