Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Larry Tweed’s Kyrgyzstan Update: Burlesque Broads & Peacock Politics


I've actually been busy these last few days. Tracked down a Russian Language tutor (ironically she's a professor of english at the University) to work with twice a week (Peace Corps re-imburses us for up to 100 som/per lesson and up to 16 lessons/month). 100 soms = $2.50.

With over half my office involved in election's monitoring related activites, coworkers have been swarming in and out of the office leaving me to work on reviewing reports and search for new sources of funding ("Sustainability" here means--where are we going to find the next grant?). I've also been teaching english lessons twice/week to my co-workers--an activity that's helped remind me (like I really needed a reminder) how difficult language learning really is.

In other news, I think there is a Peacock revolution taking place in Kyrgyzstan. Every woman over the age of 40 owns a long sweater (they come in beige, maroon and gray) with a giant peacock knit into the back. I'm not joking about the every woman over 40 part either. These things are everywhere. We've started competitions to see who could count the most on a one block stroll (I've made it to 17, but I've heard of others reaching 27, 32 and one legendary tally of 37). Perhaps this is a new political party--if so, their candidate will surely win.

Oddity of the day:
Today I saw children holding onto the tailgate of car as it dragged them down a snow covered street.

Hidden Treasure:
I found old black & white photographs of Russian looking people hidden in a cupboard in my apartment along with x-rays (of what i'm assuming is the previous tenant's vertebra).

These photographs are amazing and if I can scan them somewhere I would love to add them to my blog. Most of them appear to be family photos, but there is one hilarious one of two corpulent Russian ladies, hurriedly modeling their brassieres in a burlesque repose and smiling wildly as a locomotive chugs closer from behind. I laughed out loud.

Days are flying by…only 34 until Solena visits.

Take care,

Larry Tweed


  • Dear Larry, It sounds like you're working hard! We hope all's going well for you. Taylor set up a blog site also. Reading everyone's stories and researching Kyrgyz culture makes us at home feel like we're part of the process! Take care!
    Best Regards, Sandy Willis
    p.s. We are planning a trip over end of June.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 7:03 PM  

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