Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saturday, April 16th, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan


We're in a hotel a few blocks from the park-surrounded Parliament buildings in Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyzstan.  We've traveled a thousand kilometers from Kazakhstan into Kyrgyzstan, to a sport recreation facility on Lake Issyk-Kol, to one of the country's eastern door of the Silk Road, and back along it to Bishkek.

We've seen the impact of those who occupied this land over the past 5,000 years.  Carved in the rocks, and buried in the mounds, they left images and materials showing how they lived and what they worshipped.   They hunted goats with trained snow leopards, and fought and traveled on domesticated horses and camels.

Their flag is tribute to the sun and the yurt, and the nomadic tribes which moved about these steppe lands surrounded by long, high mountains have made the best use of both.

And what drew Asians west, and Russian south, is now attracting Europeans east.  Always a rich agricultural resource, and for centuries a pleasant outpost for Central Asia's energy researchers, the land still stirs foreign imaginations.  Oil, water, natural gas, and minerals fuel the pursuit, but don't overlook the skiing and hiking in 500 kilometer-long snow-capped mountain ranges, and trout-fishing and river-rafting on its even longer rivers.

The most impressive resource, however, has to be its people.   Etched into the faces of everyone you see are dozens of local cultures, languages, and tribal histories.  These folks have long histories of being ruled by invaders.  It's now their time to learn how to have their moment in the sun.  Their most recent confederation of independent states should build a powerful force to harness their entrepreneurial spirit.  I can't wait to see their future.
To see the photos taken in the last three days, click on:
Thursday, April 14th
Friday, April 15th
Saturday, April 16th

1 comment:

Wayne Seden said...

Gregory and Pat. The pictures and narrative are excellent, as always.