I am writing this from an internet cafe in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. We have been here nearly a full week and my head is full of sights, sounds, and memories. I have been writing (handwriting!) a journal every day. It's a different experience than blogging. Perhaps becasue I know I am writing it only for myself. Certainly, I have more time to consider my words and thoughts when I handwrite, as I can type far faster. There are so many memorable experiences here, I don't even know where to begin, but the one thing I will say is I have never met a more open, gracious people in my life.
Poor in material things, they are rich in culture and hospitality. I am picking up a few words here and there. Rachmat is thank you. And one very important phrase: Men toi doom. It means "I am full." Which is very important in a culture where feeding guests is a high art. I wish I could share some of the amazing photos my husband took of our 12 hour trip up through 3 mountain passes through the only north/south road in the country. The hairpin turns and switchback were a white knuckle experience at times, but the scenery was breathtaking. If only our driver hadn't blasted Russian pop music the entire trip.
Tomorrow we head to the countryside again, for a Yurt (tent) stay. No net access in the jailoo (summer pasture). :)