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Published: September 13th 2014
We are well into September, and I have been in Kyrgyzstan for over 4 months now. And not to get all Old-Lady on y’all, but wowzers how time has flown!!! I am now a fully fledged Peace Corps volunteer, having been sworn in a couple months back, but only at the end of August really completed the training for the start of service. For the last two weeks I have been back in Osh, my new home, settling back in to an existence of some sort (I’m still carving that existence out, we’ll see what it ends up looking like…), and making plans for upcoming trainings, projects, and adventures! But before I look ahead too much, lets look at Osh, FINALLY!
So Osh is a great city, lets just get that fact out there, on the internet, so everybody knows. It is, it’s great. Osh is the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan, is the oldest city in Central Asia, and is known as the capital of the South. It would have been a major centre back in the Silk Road days, and has been tossed back and forth between several major conquering parties
throughout the years. It is in the Osh Oblast, and is a solid 10-16 hour car drive south of Bishkek. Notice the rather vague time span for that trip, yep, Kyrgyz roads and a few mountain passes don’t really make for straight forward Google Map’esque travel time predictions. And most people, to get to Osh, fly. It’s a 40 minute flight. And you get a plastic cup of water!
Osh has about 300,000 people living here, but that number bloats and heaves, much like everything in Kyrgyzstan, with the seasons. Osh is home to several universities, so students flooded in at the start of September, and depending on agricultural work, numbers can changed based on labor flows. The city straddles a river, the Ak Burra, which varies in both it’s degree of cleanliness and current. I cross the Ak Burra several times a day walking to and from the marshutka, and because I live in the South of the city, it’s pretty clean near me. There is something very soothing about hearing the rush of water. Bad news when I’m running from the marshutka to my outhouse, but that’s like, maybe only a few times a week!
The thing I like about Osh is that it is quite well maintained, for the most part. The sidewalks are swept (really I see women sweeping them when I’m running in the morning!), there are garbage bins everywhere which are actually used, the parks are trimmed, the fountains are clean and actually spew water around (waterless fountains are so depressing!) and people here really take pride in their properties. It is also sitting in a bit of a valley, and has hills on one side of it, which I can gratefully see from my window! Apparently a few terms back, there was a Mayor who put a lot of money into city beautification, and once done, the residents liked it, and now it’s a basic requirement of the City to keep the efforts alive.
...... Hello everybody, I have moved this post, and all posts published afterwards to my new blog www.seehertravel.com
. You can find the rest of this post at http://www.seehertravel.com/osh-osh-osh/Check out my new site!
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