Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan

Friday, July 28, 2006

Lessons Learned in Kyrgyzstan

“Come with me.” He said and put his arm around my shoulder. We walked outside onto the porch and into the fresh air, then down the stairs and into the flower garden. In the distance I saw a group of children playing soccer and others completing their yard work. The grounds of the orphanage included stables, a few acres of farmland, a pig pen and dozens of caged bunnies.

“You see,” he said, “I used to get drunk every night and chase women. I lived most of my life like that. One day I asked myself, Stephan, what have you done with your life—what do you have to show for yourself?—and the answer was nothing.”

He leaned over and stuck his nose in the white blossoms of a rose and inhaled.

He raised his head and we continued strolling, “At that point in my life I already had a fairly successful business, but I realized that didn’t matter. I looked around and saw all of these children on the streets, abandoned and begging. And I said, there’s something I can do.”

Several of the children spotted Stephan outside and began shouting, “Pappa! Pappa!” A little, sandy-haired girl with wide eyes glowing above her smile sprinted into Stephan’s arms. He lifted her up and looked at me, “now I have twenty-one children that all call me pappa and everything I do, I do for them.”

I took another look around the orphanage and felt as though I was in the center of big family. Stephan knelt and set the little girl back down and looked up into my eyes, “Life should be about love.”

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Veteran Aksakal (respectful term for elderly Kyrgyz men). Photo taken in Osh by Larry Tweed Jr. (aka my father).

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Petraglyph on Lake Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Day trip to Kurshab in June. Dan and Vanessa showed us a great time!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Kids at the orphanage on Lake Issyk Kul. They were great!

These orphaned children had a blast!

Glenn & Linda Brown (AKA "The Buddhists") at Lake Issyk Kul.

Glenn Brown and kids work with puppets behind the scenes. Light cast from a lamp behind them creates the effects you see in the photo below.

Shadow Puppets at an orphanage on Lake Issyk Kul. The story is about a grandfather who grows a giant turnip but can't pull it from the ground. It takes his whole family to free the stubborn turnip and a dog, cat and mouse help out too.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Notice the cuts in the puppets which allows lights to shine through when they cast shadows on the sheet.

Dima loved helping out and asked me when I would be back. I told him I didn't know.