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.”


  • Your blog will always be the only PC Kyrgyzstan one I read, Larry 3.

    Cause you made me spaghetti.

    By Blogger Sean, At 4:01 AM  

  • Amazing story and very well written. I'm looking into joining PC and I'm very happy to have stumbled across your blog today. That sounds like an indescribable experience, but you did a good job making it real.

    By Blogger David, At 4:25 PM  

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