Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan

Monday, August 29, 2005

Here's what the inside of a roadside Kumys-selling Yurt looks like. The hanging leather pouch that I am standing next to holds your fresh fermented mare's milk. Acquiring a taste for this sour refreshment is a must in Kyrgyzstan!

Kyrgyz Stop&Go: August 18th: You can buy fresh Kumys (fermented mare's milk) in these roadside Yurts between Osh and Bishkek.

Kyrgyz Landscape

Aug. 18th: Trip from Osh to Bishkek. Mountain Storm

Waiting for the tunnel to clear on the Osh to Bishkek road. The trip took 13 hours by taxi.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Petaling A Purple Universe

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Please Help Me Help My Students.

Click Here to Learn About the Technology Project that I am working on and How to make a contribution.

Thank you for your committment to education.


Larry Tweed
Center for American Studies (CAS)
Project for Advancing Critical Technology
Peace Corps Volunteer
Kyrgyz Republic

Monday, August 15, 2005

Eating Right: Osh has lots to offer on the Food front.

This colorful dish is called "Gahn Fahn". It is a Uighur (pronounced like "wee-gurr") dish. When served with noodles instead of rice it is called "Lagman" (pronounced lahg-mahn). Ummm ummm tasty. The drink in the upper left corner is called "beer" (pronounced "beer") when served with tomatoe juice it is called "red-beer" (pronounced "red-beer"). These two items complement each other nicely on a warm summer day.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Rattus rattus Amongus

The pestilent, sewer-seeking, black-furred, tapering-bald-tailed creatures are making the local news in Osh. Last week an appalled newscaster looked firmly into the camera and declared—what everyone already knew—that “We, the good people of Osh, have a rat problem.”

I first noticed the problem last March when one of these furry couriers of death leapt out of the sewer and landed on my shoe. First, I froze. Then I screamed like a little girl. The beady black-eyed whisker-twitching overgrown mouse, calmly looked at me, blinked and scurried away, chuckling quietly behind those beaver-sized incisors of his.

Three months later, in June, another rat scampered right-over both my feet as I returned to work from my lunch. I poured Vodka (a popular disinfectant) over my shoes and then soaked them in bleach for a week. Unfortunately, the shoes eventually succumbed to the chemicals and dissolved, but the point is these four-legged nocturnal scavengers are now “sunlighting” and I resent the effects that their unnatural work ethic has on me and my bi-pedal brethren.

The Rat Facts***

Your average rat can:
• wriggle through a hole no larger than a quarter;
• scale a brick wall as though it had rungs;
• swim half a mile, and tread water for three days;
• gnaw through lead pipes and cinder blocks with chisel teeth that exert an incredible 24,000 pounds per square inch;
• survive being flushed down a toilet, and enter buildings by the same route;
• multiply so rapidly that a pair could have 15,000 descendants in a year's life span;
• plummet five stories to the ground and scurry off unharmed.

After rattling off that list, I also discovered that the black rat (rattus rattus—A.K.A. “the roof rat”) is indigenous to Central Asia and has the rather dubious distinction of being the bearer of the plague that decimated Europe (wiping out over 25% of its population).

This frightening information was brought to you by Larry Tweed, who just finished taping his toilet lid shut and who plans on remaining indoors until the complete and total eratication (hey, I spell things like they sound) of these foul and loathsome monsters.

Historical Note: Little Larry Tweed once kept two white lab rats as pets. Their names were George and Holly respectively. Both rats died under mysterious circumstances. Mr. Tweed was acquitted of all charges.

***The Rat Facts (bulleted above) were brought to you by Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, because irRATional fears should only be validated and ratified by powerful corporations which control all portals of information.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


a breeze feathers down
tickling the leaves of the apple tree

Sprites of sunlight flutter past its canopy
through the dust glazed window
dappling my walls in a drunken dance

I lay watching
reminded of the flames of a fire
or the roil of a river's water

Everything around me is changing.

a wind stirs the leaves from silence
I listen to their muted applause
It is August
The sun sleeps longer

The leaves are slowly drying
Their edges curl underneath
like a poster rolled too long in a tube
Soon all purpose will abandon them
They will wither and fall and
crackle under my languid stride

I will miss them too late.

Another year passes
shapeless in the mind
and my memories melt
like bits of ice on an April pond
or merge as shadows
into the darkness of a dying day

During this Afternoon of my life
I write so that I may forgive my self

Everything will be forgotten.