Over the Mountains and a Dead Horse

And… I’m back in Talas again.  The last three weeks in Kengesh were a lot of fun, but it was time to come back to site and work.  This was the fourth trip I’ve made over the mountains between Chui and Talas and much of it was the same old, same old, but it wouldn’t be Kyrgyzstan or the Peace Corps if something strange and unexpected hadn’t happened.  So something strange and unexpected happened.

Ten or so of the Talas Oblast Volunteers were packed in a van.  As we left Bishkek I cringed for the three locals packed with us – they were going to have to listen to our loud, obnoxious, gibberish for six hours.  In the end though, they were pretty won over by our little bit of Kyrgyz.  Kind of a theme at this point.

We were about four hours in, right at the top of the Otmok Pass.  This stretch of highway is flanked by yurts, horses, kymyz stands, and herds of sheep on either side.  It kind of reminds me of Native American goods stands on the sides of the road in the South-Western US.

Suddenly, the driver pulls off the road and starts going cross country back the way we came.

And we pull up next to a couple of guys standing around a horse carcass that they had obviously just finished cleaning.  The driver hopped out and I hopped out too.  I was pretty interested in what we were doing by this point.

The driver explained the horse had been hit by a car and – confirming what I was starting to suspect – we were taking it with us.

We pulled all of the luggage that the Volunteers had packed for the last three weeks, laid it out on the ground, tossed the horse in, and then piled the bags back on top.  It was weird and it smelled. 

We shook hands with the guys who had helped and as we took off again I knew I was back in Talas.

After reading that, you can probably imagine that the photo is a little gruesome.  Grandma, you might not want to scroll down.  

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Yep, there it is.

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About Cole Bedford