Latest Activity

Paula Thompson posted a blog post
23 hours ago
Wilson Paul posted a blog post

Sebastian Panakal left a comment for KASHFIA LATAFAT
Béres Ilona posted a blog post
Nov 19

Jennifer Geist's discussion was featured
Nov 19

Jennifer Geist posted a discussion
Nov 19
Lucy Gray posted discussions
Nov 18
Lucy Gray left a comment for Rhett Oldham
Nov 18

Dana Nistor posted a blog post
Nov 18
Dimitrios Salampasis added a discussion to the group GEC 2015 Volunteers
Nov 18
Suzanne Baraff left a comment for Ozimar da Silva Pereira
Nov 18
Suzanne Baraff left a comment for Karen Fraser Colby-DeMattos
Nov 18
Richard Close posted blog posts
Nov 18
Pedro Néstor Ibáñez posted a discussion
Nov 18

William York posted a group
Nov 18
Susan Zoë's discussion was featured
Nov 18


  • June 28, 2015 -  Global Education Day at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference (ISTE), Philadelphia, PA USA 
  • June 28, 2015 -  The Call for Proposals opens
  • August 1, 2015 -  Rolling session acceptances begin  
  • September 17, 2015 - Global Collaboration Day
  • November 1 - Proposals due for the 2015 Global Education Conference
  • November 16 - November 19, 2015  Conference Week


  • Add Videos
  • View All

Number Three: Arriving to familiar sounds

One always arrives in Bishkek in the middle of the night. It is the final destination of flights, so it is not as though it is a stop over to somewhere more important. And sometimes the plane is even full. But Central Asia is in the middle of the earth……and as you move more deeply into its center, the land underneath is quiet and dark. There is life, there is always life…..but it moves with the sun and the moon, as Central Asia has always now for over 2000 years.

I was whisked away to the VIP lounge where everything was taken care of for me… what to do at 4 AM but order a scotch straight up at the ever open bar and toast my arrival.

The drive into Bishkek was without street lights. It felt very forbidding. I felt the same sense of unease over this darkness with our arrival five years ago, but I have the warm memories of good friends and rewarding work from our first journey, so I know this darkness need not be scary or cold. But still, uneasy. Think of those maps taken by satellite showing where lights shine from our planet seen far off in space. The US is one big light bulb. Central Asia is black. We take comfort in what we are accustomed to…..and again, the dark and silent night feels uneasy.

At 5 AM I stretch out on my bed. My hotel is central to the downtown district, but still tucked away in a neighborhood. Roosters crow, surely mistaking the full moon for a coming dawn. Dogs bark everywhere. Dogs are commonly used in the third world as guard dogs, not as pets who get to sleep on beds and eat off a table, literally (ditto cats!!) Most houses are fenced, guarding precious gardens, which is substance and barter, and these dogs are essential to that garden’s protection. I often walked these neighborhood streets when we lived here, and was truly afraid of any one of those dogs getting out…..they are not friendly. Any one walking down the street – and this place does pulsate with life all throughout the day, regardless of light – will set off these dogs. One barks, they all bark…..up and down the street. I try to fit these sounds into a rhythm so I can sleep when a new sound enters. What is that? It does not fit the pattern I am trying to set in my head. A lyrical voice? Who is singing this hour of the day? I listen more closely… mind losing the battle with the sounds. I draw back the curtain and open the window. I am near the mosque. It is the first day’s call for prayer. While Kyrgyzstan is Muslim, it is largely secular…….a result of the Soviet Union forbidding religious practice for many decades. While there would be many mosques in most Muslim countries, Bishkek has but one. To me this is a lovely sound. While in Lebanon, I lived in the Christian sector of Beirut, which was a truly noisy city. But I could hear over the city coming from West Beirut the lyrical call for prayer before dawn, when I was often up to begin my own day. I wanted to sleep, but I welcomed this sweet sound……it would be over soon enough, and then sleep would follow.

Views: 5


You need to be a member of The Global Education Conference Network to add comments!

Join The Global Education Conference Network

Comment by Samuel Kimani Mwaniki on May 18, 2009 at 9:35am
a great piece of writing. i could almost feel the sounds. the sound of the call to prayer is also a familiar one to me. i love it too - though i am a christian.

© 2015   Created by Lucy Gray.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service