Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Our hotel was once a famous casino during the Soviet era. The layout is very odd for a hotel, but understandable once you know it was designed as a casino. It is very tricky to find the elevators going to the rooms. Almost a maze, but once we got them they were quite accommodating.
Our day was designed was designed outside the city. We first stopped at a private “university” (it grants Bachelor degrees) a private school focused on Business Management, International Relations, and English and Chinese language. We met the guy that put this together, John Clark, a merry man with a very American story.
Can you make out these messages in the conference room? These are the aims of this very small (460 students) institution. That is where we met the man behind the institution. Peace Corps, Georgetown University staff working in the financial office ( very bored) meets a Pearce Corps buddy for lunch in DC where he says he bored, bored, bored. The buddy says – why don’t you apply for the Fulbright? He says, it way too late. Hiss pal says that there is category know as part submissions ands the Committee doesn’t meet until December. He spends an out an hour filling out the application, does some research about which places are least popular and his friend had been there in the Peace Corps. The rest is history.
They are rigorous, they are serious, their students manage to get jobs, and mostly local institutions the produce Bachelor degree folks are driving taxis – ie. not good.
We drive then to a nearby village of Don-Aryk to meet a family and to see their living arrangements.