We arrived in Bishkek on Sunday morning, right as the sun was rising (although we were several hours delayed, I think this arrival time worked out better – both for first impressions and for working through jet lag). Current volunteers greeted our sleepy selves with borsok, deep fried bread nuggets, and kurut, dried yogurt balls — a confusing culinary experience on a normal day, let alone after 30 hours of travel and no sleep. We spent all day Sunday and Monday in training, and tomorrow we get to meet the host families we will live with until mid-June. I’ll be living and studying Kyrgyz with 10 other trainees in a village called Internatsional, and once a week everyone will come together in a slightly bigger village for other training.
Until today, I still hadn’t entirely processed that all this – working for Peace Corps, living in Kyrgyzstan – is really happening. Today, it’s finally feeling very, very real. I know that I have a loooot of hours of awkward crawling through Kyrgyz language and navigating the waters of what is rude/shameful/appropriate/expected ahead of me – but I am so excited to figure out the language and culture and share here what I learn.
I don’t have any photographs except those from my 8th floor room, since we couldn’t leave the hotel premises during our orientation in Bishkek. If you squint at this picture, though, you can see a Kyrgyz flag perched on the rolling hills.