Today is Independence Day! For Kyrgyzstan. Lots of celebrations in Bishkek but first, time to get the family organised. And no rush so a bit of a lie in. The family are always careful to keep quiet and not disturb us until we wake. Which is generous as our bedroom is between them and the bathroom!
We had a leisurely breakfast and then into Bishkek. Umar elects to stay home alone to carry out a number of chores such as cutting up and laying out any fruit ready from the garden. Today it is apples.
Bishkek is still not frightfully busy although there is lot of pomp and ceremony. We head for the main square when there is a concert ongoing. Young and old are singing or dancing. And there are lots of national costumes round about.
After a while we move on in pursuit of other celebrations firstly looking for sports demos but this is not happening where advertised so we move on for some topiary. The children have great fun climbing around and posing on the various animals . Next to this is a small play park with the rides made out of varnished wood.
Aina needs to fetch her work laptop. She works for the UN. So we go to a coffee shop for my first cup of coffee since we arrived in the country and a slice of strudel. Altynai has stayed with us and despite not remembering any English we manage to communicate. Strawberry ice cream! She and Ian then rebond over a game of hide and seek around the coffee shop followed by stories. The people here are very child friendly. Following a walk in one of the lovely parks, we go to the opening of a new kindergarten, a new venture for one of Aine’s friends. A lovely place where they intend to teach English and this is demonstrated by the posters with fruits for example which have the names in three languages, Kyrgyz, Russian and English. We are invited to join them in tea, compote and nibbles. I liked the pumpkin samosas. Time then to go home for a real treat.
Sultan has decided to cook Plov a kind of pilaff with rice, lamb, yellow carrots, onions and cumin. This takes awhile to cook but it is absolutely delicious. This is accompanied by tomato, bread and chilli water! Melon and watermelon for pudding, both really delicious. But then they are fresh. Sultan told us about men’s club meetings when they make and eat Plov together although nowadays women come sometimes.