My first full day in site started with a big bowl of chopped tomato and cucumber for breakfast and a chat with Nurkalyi over tea. He left for work, which I’m pretty sure is affiliated with the village government. I went for a walk to dip my toes in the water of introductions with my new neighbors and to get the lay of the land. Because Kara Suu is flanked by the highway on it’s north side instead of it’s going straight through, it is much quieter than some of the other villages. There’s a nice school, three little magazines and a big one by the highway, a soccer field, at least one little mosque, one functioning bridge over the Kara Suu (black water) creek that the town is named after, and another bridge that is currently out.
The two main roads in town each have a water line running along them with water pumps located every 75 yards or so. Some of the people who are lucky enough to live next to one of these lines have connections into their homes, otherwise young kids haul water home from the nearest pump.
A lot of the homes have a car parked out front and there’s actually a fair bit of traffic. The roads are in tough shape though and everyone’s suspension is totally shot because of them.
After my walk, I came back to the house to hide out from the heat and take a nap. Around 5:00 Nurkalyi came home and we drove up to his field to check on the cutting by a neighbor with a tractor of what will be winter feed for his horses and sheep.
We went to Nurkalyi’s friend’s house for dinner and (more) kymyz.
By the time we got back to the house I was about ready to pass out, but we ended up watching on DVD a recording of a traditional Kyrgyz game where two teams on horse back try to get a sheep carcass into their goals on either end of a playing field like soccer. (It’s not nearly as gruesome as it sounds).
Finally, around 11:00 I turned in with my first full day as a Peace Corps Volunteer behind me.