Monday, April 27, 2009

Fred's Day out.....

Ok I know you guys are trying to figure out who I am talking about. Some of you will already recognise Fred from our brother blogs. Fred is well traveled. He has been all over the world and back. I believe his original residence is Canada. He is extremely happy to have been sprung from the zoo/gift shop from where he came. So without further ado allow me to introduce our guest writer today..... Fred.

Spaceba everyone. I have finally been sprung and had a wonderful day climbing mountains of the Kara Balta Pass. (Kara Balta pass is about an hour ride from Bishkek connecting the valley with Osh.)

The Squazniak was a bit more then I could handle at times. I got blown off some old electric line while trying to get this photo completed..... Man good thing I am made of stuffin or that bump on the rump may have hurt.

Then we were all delighted to find Kyrgyz waterfalls along the pass. So my attendent decided she have a bit of fun and take me rock climbing. I was a bit scared as She set me along this rock. The water was definitely colder then I would have liked, and one wrong move would have sent me swimming and hurtling down the mountain.

Before moving along from here we stopped at the traditional Kyrgyz prayer tree. Here we found many ribbons tied. I hope that all the previous visitors to this tree have found their peace.

As we moved along the weather started to change. Soon we were seeing a trace of snow. Then rounding a corner we faced a snowstorm, but we plunged on determined to get to the top. Nearing the top we stopped for an impromptu snowball fight. Wow... we had a blast.

At the top of the mountain we all got out stretched our legs and had more fun in the snow. Snow angels and footprints in the snow.......

And now after a long day I leave you all.... Hopefully it will not be quite as long between this and my next post...... Signing off from the mountains of Osh...


Oh well I guess you all are wondering what squazniak is? In Kyrgyz Squazniak is the wind or a draft which is feared and said to cause an assortment of ailments.

Day with Jenish

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Catching Up.................................

Ok so I a not doing so good at keeping this updated. But I must write something before I lose track. As it is we do so much in one day, we look back and the next day we feel like what we did yesterday happened 5 days ago. So in continuation of my last story..... From our Chai party we headed out to the new senior home. In a totally unremodeled post WWII building there lives a family who has started probably the first senior center in Bishkek. Babushkas and Dedushkas come into this building from various backgrounds. The building is as structurally sound as they come. The teams here are working hard at getting necessary supplies to them. They are updating as much as possible and trying to make it homier. They are doing a great job. The senior home will have another post later.

Then off to see Big Mean Dog---- Boy. Oh and his family. Aygola and the kids. I am trying feverishly to catch their names correctly. There is Alpeiry (who by the way is celebrating her birthday today Sunday) Turat, Beksultan, Azalla, and Sebierra. ( correct me if I have that wrong!) We suprised the family when we showed up. The kids nor Aygola knew we were coming. And they certainly did not know we were coming. We were outside petty Julie(the donkey) when one of the girls came running!!! Her eyes were as big as saucers when she realized who had come to see them. I so wish we could have caught that on a photo. But even with all the paparazzi around there was no one with a camera to see her face, and my camera was strung around my neck awaiting the hug that was sure to follow the saucer plate eyes!!! One by one the kids realized we were here. One of the girls from last time asked me why we were back in Kyrgyzstan and how long we were staying. My reply... to spend more time with the people we only had a few hours to share time, stories love and break bread with. She was simply amazed.
An impromptu supper was set up and we found ourselves back in the living room where several months ago we had some Beshbarmak. tonights dinner was routisserie chicken, kyrgyz salad and Kyrgyz bread. Oh and don't forget the desserts!!!

Then back on the road and off to home for some much needed sleep. Because tomorrow is another week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A haircut and some Chai

We headed back to the bazaar again today to finish up shopping for the Barbershop renovation. Combs, brushes, a hot pot, razors, mirrors. We had stopped first at a small furniture store for chairs and a vanity style table. Oh and don't forget the supplies for Big Mean Dog! All loaded up we took off for the invalid home. The men were so excited to see our cars pulling in. And equally excited about the furniture being unloaded and brought in. Before entering WE had a ribbon cutting ceremony. We and everyone else could not contain the excitement and there really was jumping for joy happening here.

The room is freshly painted. Small and cozy for a barber shop. But yet in a short time the room was completely full. Workers bringing in the supplies, photographers journalling every step, and at any given time at least 20 men watching in anticipation. Not exactly sure how they decided on the first customer, but in no time flat the barber chair was occupied and the first customers shave was begun. The light and joy and gratitude from all of these men was simply amazing. I know I said this before but words just can't express the joy that these men have knowing that people care.

So off from there we spent an amazing time in a small extremely poor community. A community that seems to be untouched by time. But full of amazing love of one another. The children were ecstatic to receive beanie babies as gifts. A table was set and we all sat around to enjoy a Kyrgyz tea hour. So many traditional foods and drinks. (I'll have to do a bit of research to know the names of everything) While there a small girl came in. She asked us to come to her house because today was her birthday! I believe she was turning five. So after tea hour at one house we went off to the second for Chai at the second. Pastries were the hit at this party.

Well ... I have to run as my ride will be here shortly. I will post more as I can.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hit the ground running..

I think we have heard that before somewhere. There is no such thing as settling or relaxing here. Only a constant knowledge that there are so many people whose lives that have been touched here, and how much work there is to be done. This morning I was met at the airport by many friends new and old. At 5am and with many hugs and smiles my baggage was claimed and safely placed into the waiting vans.

Quickly we stopped to empty the van of the 200 plus pounds of "stuff". What kind of stuff? A little of this and a little of that.. I am sure our "stuff" will be the subject of upcoming posts. Maybe not chronilogically. But WE will try our best to keep up to date. to the Bazaar. This is a photographers dream come true. The sights are vibrant and alive with colors at the bazaar. Turn one way and there are brilliant bright blues and reds, turn another and watch the tents swaying in the breeze. Everywhere are people haggling for the best price, and people wanting to help carry your treasures (for a price that is as this is their trade). I think most heightened though were the scents. The bakery, the fruits (pineapples, bananas, apples) But One that was simply amazing to me was the spices. This seemed to evoke all the senses. And made fore some good photos too. This was a swift trip but productive. Bananas and apples by the kilogram (37 pounds of bananas, 20 pounds of apples) All very much appreciated when given to their recipients.

Lunch was a bit of an adventure. Chinese food in Kyrgyzstan, the menu written in Russian, with a Kyrgyz translator.. A bit hilarious when placing an order. I think (notice I use that term loosely) I think we had several different Beef platters, a few chicken platters and one mutton platter delivered. Of which we shared family style over some rice (reese in Russian).

Then off to of all things a concert! Put on by friends we met on our first trip back in December. Vladik (my super cutey .. I could not stop hugging him and he is just always all smiles) was in the concert put on by the school children. Traditional Kyrgyz dancing, a reading of the traditional Kyrgyz poem Manas. What better way to see and experience the heritage of Kyrgyzstan.

Then about two hours to collect thoughts and kind of decompress and off for dinner with friends. Lagman~~~ One of my favorite Kyrgyz dishes. I am simply going to have to learn how to cook this dish.

Ooof and now I am frantically trying to get some photos to you all before I pass out for 6 hours and get up and start the next round.

Wow just isn't enough... and neither are words. so the pictures may do Kyrgyzstan a bit of justice.

Photos to tell their story

Wow! Hmmm. that about sums it all up, but certainly you all don't want to hear just WOW. So I will start with a bit about what has happened here in the past week. One thing that sticks out is visits to the invalid men's home. Much more about this to come. We have shared stories about the invalid men's home but WE want to put some faces to some of those stories. These men as are receiving hope. The saddness stings... But still over the last few weeks there has been so much done and so much hope restored.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Let the Sun Shine in

The Tulips are in bloom.. They add such a ray of hope.

Symbolism is everywhere!

Yesterday the Barber Shop renovations began!! I know that Tulip worked very hard and WeR2 is very proud to be part oof this project. The news from Iskra always seems so bleek and dark. The men come here and most never leave. They are the invalid men of their country. However a ray of sunshine seems to have fallen on them the last few days. Visits and photos with Tulip, "swimming" with David and Lynn, and soon a completely renovated Barber shop.

Meanwhile in other places around these small villages children are being visited every day. Children who will be hugged on and for just one moment will know they are special. Not very many photos to share. Hopefully next week, internet will Photos will be posted!! And new stories every day!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WE r back

Spring has sprung in Kyrgyzstan and WE are back. WE R 2 are again back with close friends. For the next three weeks we will be able to tell first hand stories of what WE have been working toward over the last few months. Many emails and phone calls have put us in a place where we can again be united in doing what WE started doing back in December. One day has changed our lives forever. One day opened our eyes to things that we want to be a part of changing. We know we can make a difference one heart, one soul, one life at a time.