Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan

Friday, February 25, 2005

For some reason I find this photo very disturbing...look at those scary dolls on the left...weird.

Unknown Soldier: Found in my Osh, Kyrgyzstan Apartment.

Portrait of a Woman

Man & Child

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Kyrgyzstan Elections: News Sources

The following are several sources for news regarding the elections and politics in Kyrgyzstan. For friends and family who have loved one's here in Kyrgyzstan, please know that so far everything has been peaceful. In fact, minus the internet we hear very little about what is taking place in other regions of the country. It's only after I stand back from the individual dabs of news and view the canvas from a distance, that I begin to understand the picture that's being painted. The following articles reveal some of the techniques being used by the political artists as they attempt to brush their way into fame & seems that some citizens, however, know how to identify good art from the bad...Please check out some of the following links and articles below.

For instance this Reuter's article talks about some the campaign violations that are taking place around the country--"We have seen many cases of illegal campaigning. The methods are very simple. Candidates' representatives distribute coal, vodka or potatoes to the people, paint their doorways or simply invite the whole house for a free meal," Elena Voronina of Interbilim told IRIN.

Radio Free Europe--For several stories regarding the elections a story about: One, two, three.

Freedom House--an internation organization promoting democracy worldwide, reports on independent press being shutdown prior to elections.

Volodymyr Campaign--This site does good job of finding international news about Kyrgyzstan.

Zerrissenheit--An expat mother living in Bishkek, reports on some of the news she's been hearing.

Please also check out for a good compilation of Kyrgyzstan's elections news. is also a decent source for news--just click on the Kyrgyzstan link on the left hand side of the page.

S'more Electricity Sounds Good

Entombed in darkness…the only sign of life in my apartment is the burbling trickle of my leaky toilet and the soft, liquid-crystal glow of my laptop. Last night I returned from an evening of Korean cuisine (yes, dog was on the menu) only to discover that my electricity had been shut-off. Unlike the rolling black-outs we experience—this darkness was due to my own dim wit. I forgot to pay the electricity bill. That’s not quite true. I didn’t forget. In fact, I’d been carrying around the crumpled bill and a folded wad of cash for over a week. Everyday, on my way to work, I walked passed the utilities building. Yesterday, I even stopped by over the noon hour only to find a sign on the padlocked door stating everyone was “Out to Lunch”. This legitimate attempt at responsibility apparently buoyed me into believing I was a good for another day. Incorrect. I now type in darkness, hunched over the warm glow of my computer like a man warming his hands over a camp fire. If only I had some marshmallows…

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Here's the first photo: See directly below for the photo I mentioned in my January 27th posting. I took photos of photos with my digital camera. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

This is a digital photo of the photos I mentioned: SEE Thursday, January 27, 2005

Larry Tweed’s Kyrgyzstan Update: Burlesque Broads & Peacock Politics
 Posted by Hello

Check out this article that was written by my friend Alisher who has returned to the U.S. to finish up his studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS

Click the link below:

EurasiaNet Civil Society - For Kyrgyz President, The Parliamentary Vote is a Family Affair

Here's a secret photo of the Peacock cabal during one of their ad hoc political rallies. They may look innocent, but word on the street is these feather rufflers are ready for a revolution. Posted by Hello

My HRDC Co-workers: On the way to Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan. From left to right (back row); Ulugbek, Nurlan, Idris, Atybek, Nigora, Erkin (my counter part), Akjol (director of HRDC), Aygul; and squatting in the middle is Ulan. Posted by Hello

Monday, February 14, 2005

Bridge over Naryn River:Kyrgyzstan, October, 2004 Posted by Hello

Kyrgyz "White Beard" (literal name) Posted by Hello

Muslim Cemetry: Aht-Bashy, Naryn Oblast:2004 Posted by Hello

Naryn:October 2004 Posted by Hello

Monday, February 07, 2005

Incomplete Thoughts & Mixed Metaphors

Osh is the color of cooked salmon…well, at least the majority of buildings on my street are the color of cooked salmon. Cooked Salmon?—Yes, cooked salmon—not that glistening, pink-orange flesh delicately adorning the rice on your sushi platter—No!--we’re talking broiled, baked, pan-fried, grilled, whatever-turns-the-translucent-sun-setting-meat-opaque-and-murky-white Cooked Salmon.

After cooking the vibrant life out of this Chinook city, pepper it with a little diesel dust and…Voila! You’ve got yourself the subtle, lip-smacking flavor of Osh. To be honest with you, I think Cooked Salmon is just the cheapest pigment available at the bazaar—did you know that’s why barns were originally painted red in the U.S.?—it was the cheapest paint money could buy.

I love this city. Is it musty, dusty and rusty? Yes, but those are subtle flavors. Think about a nice Scotch…it’s peaty, smoky, even loamy—and that’s precisely what elevates it to the lips of a sophisticate. The irony is that things so earthy can be so expensive.

In the West, “Refined” now seems to mean tasting the salt of the earth without having to kneel down and stick out your tongue. That’s no fun! I’ll bet Scotch and salmon taste even smokier, oakier (not a word—but work with me), sweeter and meatier when you break a sweat to bring’em home. If that means donning a kilt and casting a fly, then by all means, don and cast away—appreciation comes through toiling for your pleasures—just don’t get lost at sea hiking your skirt and holding your rod…

Friday, February 04, 2005

Larry Tweed: My Office in Osh, Kyrgyzstan

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Great Synopsis of Current Kyrgyz Election News from IWPR (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)

Worth Reading if you have a loved one in Kyrgyzstan or you're simply interested in Central Asian Politics.

Osh, Kyrgyzstan: Larry Tweed's Stomach Demons

Alive and well after battling apocalyptic stomach demons. Porcelain never looked so pretty as Friday night, with my head wedged between the bowl and the sink (see earlier post describing the uncanny construction of my can and its proximity to the hovering sink). Gut-wrenching, I know. Between Friday and Sunday I consumed 1 Snickers bar (the most satifying Snickers ever) and about 10 liters of water and a packet of rehyrdration salts...umm...ummm yummy. This happens to every volunteer at least a couple of times, however, this one seemed to be a virus--probably the flu which is called The GREEP. I love that, The GREEP, doesn't that just sound like something you want to avoid? "Dude, The GREEP almost got me the other night!"

Monday: I finally gave my "Intro to the United States Legal System" lecture. It was just a 40 minute powerpoint presentation. The audience was a group of Russian speaking Law Students who participate in the Human Rights and Democracy Center's Student Legal Clinic. Lest one think I gave the presentation in Russian, I had a translator. The students were great and asked fantastic questions and I tried to throw in some interesting facts (e.g. only 2 women (both currently serving) and only two black men in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court).

Russian Language is improving again now that I have a tutor here in Osh. My tutor, Vera, is a 50+ year old Kyrgyz woman who reprimands me when I speak in English! I use my MP3 player (thanks to some friends back in St. Paul, MN) to record my classes and play them back.

Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary elections in 25 days. Friends and co-workers from my organization were on Osh 3000 (a television station) last night answering questions about the elections (LIVE) from folks who called in. Am I really in Kyrgyzstan? (Snickers bars and Live Television Broadcasts...What an interesting time to be alive in Kyrgyzstan.)

Internet's been unreliable, so let me get this off to the Western World while I still can.