Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

I was thinking through all the things that have felt foreign to me as I have traveled, like language:

Signs in Ireland

And the familiar that isn’t so familiar:

Wedding Party in St. Petersburg, Russia

And architecture that is strange like this in Kyrgyzstan:

Village of Tomchy on Issy Kul

It has been foreign to see how familiar foods are used differently, like the potatoes that were cut in half, put back together with a piece of chicken skin between and then put on a charcoal grill. I had some anxiety about eating a piece of slimy chicken skin but that was discarded – the purpose being to cook the inside of the potato and to add flavor. Very good.

Eating Potatoes at Dacha outside St. Petersburg, Russia

However the most recent experience of “life feeling foreign” was our transition from living at our northern home –

Driving up to Michigan Home

to living in our southern US home!

Turning into Driveway of Florida Home

We change from north to south and back to north again four times a year and each time the new environment feels foreign. Not only the landscape but also where I keep the silverware and scotch tape.

Ahhh, now I can eat my morning cereal.

To see more posts from the Weekly Photo Challenge – Foreign or to add your own fun entry go to the Daily Post at WordPress.com


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Travel Challenge – Animals from Kyrgyzstan


Ailsa’s wonderful travel theme this week is animals. I just happen to have a couple that fit from my trip to Kyrgyzstan. These were taken at Song Kul, where they had been herded for grazing during the arid summer months. I had already used the second photograph in my post How To Milk a Mare but think it is worth posting again.


Milking a Mare

To learn more about this travel theme or to get info on how to participate visit Where’s My Backpack


Weekly Photo Challenge – Solitary

Sometimes a way of living is very solitary. These photos were taken at the mountain plateau of Son Kul in Kyrgyzstan. Families spend the summer months living in yurts and grazing their livestock. There is no electricity, no running water, and from what I observed the only way to get to their home village would be on horseback through the pass and down the mountain. They move here in a hired truck.

To view more posts on the subject of solitary visit http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/weekly-photo-challenge-solitary/

Travel Theme: Red – Decorative Arts in Kyrgyzstan

For this week’s travel theme of red, I chose to focus on the decorative arts in Kyrgyzstan. A lot of their creative work is done through weaving and patch work quilts using wool. We visited a family living in the suburbs of Bishkek and Shereen shared the work that she and her mother had finished.

The inside of yurts are also decorated with woven strips and hangings – with the main color also being red.

This was the yurt my daughter and I slept in when visiting Song Kul.

To see more posts on the travel theme of red, visit http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/09/07/red/

Biskek: The People


I spent a lot of time walking around Bishkek, which has lots of green space and parks. The Kyrgyz love the Russians because they provided the infrastructure to make life much more enjoyable. This is an arid country with lots of water so irrigation ditches were built throughout the central part of the city that allows water to flow on schedule to irrigate the trees that the citizens value highly. The walk from my daughter’s apartment to the American University of Central Asia was along one of these tree-lined streets.

Where we saw trees, they had been painted with a white stripe. We don’t know why and would love to know if anyone has an explanation.

The population of Bishkek is relatively young so you see a lot of young people in the parks in the evening. There is also a small amusement park that is very popular.

It used to be that young people could not take a potential mate home to meet the family until they were engaged. Consequently courting needed to take place in the parks. I understand that the social rule for taking lovers home is changing but obviously the park is still a place for passion.

And a place to hang out and be seen.

The roses were blooming when I was there and they (the roses) demanded that I take their picture. I didn’t want to offend.



My last post of Kyrgyzstan and Bishkek will be on family life.