06 September 2007

So Many Enemies, So Little Time

I stumbled on this interesting little book at the library a few weeks ago. It written by Elinor Burkett about her stint as a Fulbrighter in Kyrgyzstan 4 years before we went. So many of her experiences were so familiar, but she had a little different perspective at times, of course.

About half the book is spent on Burkett's and her husband's travels around Asia, some sponsored by the Fulbright program and others independent. They travel to Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, and more. It's an interesting look at what you can do with a sense of adventure, plenty of money (there is no way we could have afforded the travel they did), and two united adults (children put a real damper on worming your way into Afghanistan).

My Kyrgyzstan was a bit different from Burkett's and I don't think it can all be contributed to the time difference in when we went since it was just four years. If it had been 10 or even 6 or 7, that would have been a significant difference. But Burkett seems to focus a bit more on what they don't have there instead of what they do have, especially at the beginning. Her travels in China were interesting, especially after living in Bishkek, as were ours. China has a totally different impression on you after being in KG instead of the US.



  1. I have been searching and searching... Can you tell me how to properly pronounce Kyrgyzstan? I heard an audio clip of a Kyrgyz saying it, "Kur-guh-stan", but I've heard "Keer" a lot more--from Americans, obviously since I don't know any Kyrgyz. I'd appreciate it so much!

  2. Here's a link to a post I wrote about this:


    Kur-guh-stan is relatively close to the Kyrgyz pronounciation. I usually just end up saying kir-giz-stan.