December 7, 2023 - my family has been drinking a lot of bozo lately. it’s a fermented drink usually made from millet. I like it! Radio Free Europe has this video about Kyrgyz bozo on their website

cup with a cream-colored drink in it

December 6, 2023 - my host mom bought some Smart & Rich brand tea and hot chocolate today. She also received a booklet with info about their various products inside. This is the page about their hot chocolate (in Kyrgyz). I’m going to use this as reading practice

laminated booklet page with a hot chocolate box picture, title below in red ("hot chocolate with ganoderma (a mushroom)") and a product description  in blue text

December 5, 2023 - I bought this instrument in Bishkek which goes by various names in English but in Kyrgyz is called an ooz komuz (ооз комуз). I’m definitely not an expert after an hour of trying to play, but I am actually making some cool sounds thanks to the help of this video

metal (iron?) jaw harp inside of a wooden case that slides open by rotating the top block to the side

December 4, 2023 - picture from about a month ago of a bag of kurut that my Kyrgyz teacher gave me before our first jog together. I tried a little bit and it was good, but I’m afraid to overindulge in dairy produts with my lactose intolerance

Ziploc of kurut, round-ish white pieces of dried milk

December 3, 2023 - seen while shopping for a winter hat in Bishkek. Was not a fan of the different fonts, but otherwise resonated with the hoodie

black hoodie with a blue cat skating away on a skateboard. white text: "Not my problem", "Take a break", "Bye.", "I am too busy for you", "I don't care, thanks"

December 2, 2023 - walked around the resort last night and found this event room unlocked

dark dining room with tables and chairs, 3 large semi-circle windows in the wall (but divided into different panes) and wood/vine plant ceiling decorations

December 1, 2023 - clear day to see the mountain next to our resort. you can see the wooden steps in the picture (same ones I mentioned in yesterday’s post. i also climbed them again today)

mountain side with trees and wooden stairs going up about halfway

November 30, 2023 - climbed some steps that go up the side of a small mountain at our new hotel (actually a resort) today. this was maybe not the best weather for that. it was cloudy and misty and most of the steps are wooden. but hey, it was a good workout and we survived

wooden steps going down and two people on them; fog behind with lights on a resort building visible, but not the resort itself

November 29, 2023 - there was a small fire in our hotel, and our conference had to move to another hotel. it was a chaotic day, but it was also a little fun and broke up the monotony of our conference 😅

small room with fire damage on the ceiling and upper half of the walls, which are black

November 28, 2023 - staying at a hotel in Bishkek for a conference and noticed this on the ceiling of my room, a sign indicating the direction of Mecca. I’ve never seen this before, so I thought it was cool

rectangular sign on a white ceiling reading "Qibla" with a picture of the Kaaba in Mecca

November 27, 2023 - made gulab jamun yesterday using mix that I brought from America (there were more, but these were just the first batch, to see if they came out edible or not)

fried balls of dough in a bowl with sugar syrup

November 26, 2023 - Georgian food. my first time eating the khachapuri at this restaurant

khachapuri (bread with a lowered part in the middle filled with an egg, cheese and spinach ), plate of 6 khinkali, tea and half of a salad on a table

November 25, 2023 - Swan Lake ballet

11 female ballerinas in white tutus on stage with 2 male ballet dancers, one a protagonist and one an antagonist (wearing all black)

November 24, 2023 - my local colleagues got together for a “Thanksgiving” lunch 🥺 we had a rotisserie chicken instead of turkey, they bought a cake, and gave me three chocolate bars. after we had eaten from the food on the table, my coworkers said, “now let’s order two plates of plov!” 😶🙃😨

table with various plates: rotisserie chicken, cake, fruit, vegetable salads, tea

November 23, 2023 - happy Thanksgiving and happy first real snow from my village! (which is funny to say because all of the snow on the ground melted by 2 pm)

two geese on snow covered ground, small tree behind with some snow on the branches, all in front of a house

November 22, 2023 - host family’s cow eating at sunset

brown cow within a wide pile of hay eating; trees and sunset behind

November 21, 2023 - my host mom came to my room today and said, “витамины тебе” (Vitamins for you, in Russian) as she handed me this plate. I think my host mom’s native language is Kyrgyz, but she did go to a Russian school growing up, so her Russian is pretty good

plate with orange slices, tangerine slices and green grapes

November 20, 2023 - taken during fall break. my family made a kind of salsa that they called приправа (priprava), which is strange because as I understand it, this doesn’t fit the Russian use of the word приправа. I wonder how universal this use is in Kyrgyzstan

bowl of tomato sauce, second bowl of sliced tomatoes next to an ingredient mincing machine

November 19, 2023 - lahmacun that we ate in Kochkor yesterday. I have doubts about its authenticity since it is designated as a Turkish or Armenian dish (and I live in Naryn region, which I’ve read is 99% Kyrgyz), but the most important part, in my opinion, is that it was good

food on a plate that looks like thin pizza but without tomatoes/tomato sauce

November 18, 2023 - morning in the park. Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan

trees without leaves and a tiled path in a park

November 17, 2023 - I like to think my grammar is pretty good, but I was stumped on why we use the form “pulled” in this sentence. Any ideas?

blackboard with a sentence on it: If your tooth hurts, you should have it __ out. Answers are variants of "pull", and the correct answer is "pulled"

November 16, 2023 - this plant was in my room when I first moved in, but I should not be trusted to take care of it. Recently, it grew a few flowers though, so maybe that’s a good sign?

plant in a plastic flowerpot with a couple of white flowers

November 15, 2023 - mural near the entrance of a local colleague’s school in Kochkor

mural on a white school building of a man wearing a white Kyrgyz hat, a little girl, and a woman holding hands. balloons in the woman's second hand and a couple birds and a rainbow above the people

November 14, 2023 - and his name is Jony Cena!
“Cen” (seen, haha, get it? 🙃) at my school

"Jony Cena" written on the bottom of a white windowsill in pencil

November 13, 2023 - mosque (maybe the central mosque?) in Naryn city

zoom in of a mosque with a golden dome roof and white and blue decoration