Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Separate Experiences

Sometimes I think I've had two completely different experiences here in Kyrgyzstan. For two years I lived in a village on the lake with a host family. I had daily interactions with the people and community. I spoke Kyrgyz everyday and ate Kyrgyz food everyday. I did a lot of guesting and work on a very community based level to combat health problems. Now is completely different. I have my own apartment, cook for myself, live by myself and live in a city. I have less interaction with people and sometimes no interactions with people and I speak much more English than Kyrgyz. I work now on a state level and see less of the community impact than before. So sometimes that makes me wonder...

I sometimes feel that my time here has not been one large accumulation of time (3 years) but two different experiences: village and city. People have asked me which I've liked better and because they are so different I can't even really compare. I think on one hand it’s really interesting in a country this small to have had such varied experiences but on the other why should it be so different. The work is similar so why else? Is it really because one was a city and the other a village or is it something more? Is it the difference of community interaction and integration or something else entirely? I do not think I'll ever truly know. Thoughts?