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?”


“Oh. Ok. Ah, do you know when she’ll be back.”

“No, I guess I’m not really sure.”

“Um, well, I’m Cole.  I’m a volunteer.  I, uh, live here.”

“I’m Bolot.  Good to meet you.”

(On an unrelated note: Bolot is my favorite Kyrgyz name.  It doesn’t have a perfect English translation but the one I like is “that’ll do.”  I’m sure this isn’t exactly how it plays out, but I have this mental image of a young father holding his newborn son for the first time and being like, “Yep. That’s pretty much what I expected. Bolot.”)

Over the next few weeks Bolot became a regular part of the household.  As it turned out he came to stay for the winter months to act as a caretaker for the sheep and horses.  We got to be pretty close playing card games, watching action movies dubbed over in Russian, and sneaking candy from the cabinet when no one else was looking.  Much of the time during the last few months when I was writing about coffee I was sitting in the living room near the heater with Bolot watching TV nearby.

When winter finally started braking, the snow started melting and Bolot let me know he’d be heading back to Naryn at the beginning of March and one nice afternoon the last week of February Bolot invited me down to the reservoir to hang out for a bit.

“Hey Cole, you want to go down to the lake?”

“Sure, what for? Are you taking the sheep?”

“No, just because.  Just to sit and look.  Isn’t that what you do anyway?”

He kind of had me on that point.

“Yeah, that sounds good.”

So we walked the kilometer or so to the lake, stopping at the little store on the way to buy a coke for myself and a pack of cigarettes for Bolot.  And, like with Sultan last fall, we just sat and enjoyed the breeze and view.

When Bolot had finished a few cigarettes and I my coke, we took a few photos and headed back to the house.  The following week he headed back for Naryn.

In all the time we lived together we didn’t really exchange all that many words between us, but I was sure glad to have had a few minutes to sit and just enjoy each others company.


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About Cole Bedford