peace corps

Thanksgiving in Kyrgyzstan

Posted by Judson L Moore

Happy Thanksgiving!

Things here were very eventful on Thursday but not a a holiday. However,this week has been quite amazing. On Tuesday I returned to Bishkek fromKarakol (ski town in the far east of Kyrgyzstan) and went to Rotary for the1st time where I met (among others) some exchange students from the USA,who I then joined for Mexican food (1st time!) the next day for lunch.After the meeting I went to a cafe and sat in with a band for a while. Iknocked their socks off! Apparently, though Kyrgyzstan has no shortage oftalented musicians, there are not many drummers, and even as out ofpractice as I am, I was among the best they had ever heard. As a result, Iwas invited to a studio on Thursday and then to play a 2-hour gig onFriday. Unfortunately I could not make the Friday gig due to thisconference I am at now. But I will be back here for a week in December andI will almost certainly be able to play a gig then.

This current conference is part of the UNESCO series I have been attendingevery 6 weeks for the lasst few months, but this one is the mostinteresting. It is a technical training.. all the local participants gotnew Dell laptops, recording devices, headphone.. the works. The trainingsfocus on how to conduct interviews. For fun we decided to see a movie lastnight and then interview other movie-goers. Seth (PC Country Director)told me of a local film, “Bishkek I love You” which he thought was quitegood and he knew the director. So I suggested we go to that movie. I wasable to contact the director and he, the producer and 1 actress joined usfor dinner after the film and took interviews. I think I have some newfriends there! (The director is Kyrgyz but is also a graduate of WestPoint… who knew you could do that?!)

On Saturday we went to the national art gallery but it was closed so wewent to the national history museum instead. I will get photos up of thaton Facebook soon. After the museum I departed from the conference for therest of the day to celebrate Thanksgiving with the PC staff and Bishkekvolunteers. We had 3 20lbs Butterball turkeys curtsey the Embassy. At thelunch I gave my first public guitar performance and also accompanied the PCdoctor on guitar and drums. We did sing-alongs to American Pie and StandBy Me. It was a great success.

The conference ends today and I should be going back to site after beingaway for 2 weeks. I am very ready to be home but the bad weather in themountains will probably force us to go through Kazakhstan which is a nicedrive but takes twice as long. Since we wont leave until after 3pm todayis likely to be quite exhausting!

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Judson L Moore
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Travel addict. Ambitious about making the world a better place. Writing what I learn along the way.

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