I don’t know much Kyrgyz, but I’ve been picking up pieces here and there after 14 months of living in Kyrgyzstan. In fact, sometimes its hard not to, what with the fluid mixture of Kyrgyz and Russian that happens in Bishkek. (Volunteers call it “Krussian.”) But there are some Kyrgyz words that I have really loved.
Кудай буюрса – kudai buyoorsa – like the Arabic insha’Allah, means “God willing,” and is a catch-all for discussing deadlines and dodging the oft-asked question, “When will you get married?”
Болсун – bolsun – literally means, “may there be much” or “may there be many.” This is great for giving toasts, a much loved Kyrgyz tradition, anything from “May you have health” (Ден Соолук болсун! – den sooluk bolsun!) and “May you have many children!” (Балдар болсун! – baldar bolsun!) to my personal favorite, “May you have many Mercedes Benz!” (Мерцедес Бенз болсун! – Mercedez Benz bolsun!)
Эс ал – es al – to take a rest. A common Kyrgyz saying, and always helpful suggestion. As in, “you have been working too hard, you should take a rest.” Or “Maddie, you look tired. You should take a rest.” So, I’m about to take them up on the suggestion.
I’m going on VACATION!
That’s right, for a few weeks I will be traveling to America to visit family, friends, attend a wedding and the opening of an art exhibit. I’ll be in New York, Cape Cod, Boston, Atlanta, and then back to New York in a whirlwind trip across the States, and I couldn’t be more excited.
After over a year in Kyrgyzstan, it will be wonderful to see friends and family, eat cheeseburgers and avocados, and take a breath before plunging headfirst into year two of Peace Corps service.
Coming to America 2014!
- June 21 – Depart Bishek/Arrive New York City
- June 24 – A Gorgeous Wedding for Gorgeous People in Brewster, Massachusetts
- June 29 – One Night Only in Boston, Massachusetts
- June 30 – Floating with Family on Lake Lanier in Atlanta, Georgia
- July 9 – A Brief Stop Back in New York City
- July 10 – Heading Home
- July 12 – Back in Bishkek, Back to Work
So, if during this little es al in America, you happen to be in one of these places and want me to tell you stories about sheep and Peace Corps and making the most of service and the trials of learning Russian, let me know!
All I can say is Чизбургерлер болсун! – chizburgerler bolsun – May there be many cheeseburgers!