With all of the emotions I have been feeling during my last week as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, I am pulling out a post from the archives that highlights one of the greatest moments of my service and embodies the spirit of spontaneity and ups and downs of life.
From June 2016;
Today, I got into a taxi for a long journey back to my village from the opposite side of the lake. Because of the hour, I overpaid. As we neared the halfway point, the driver stopped and asked for more money to continue. After much debate, we continued on for a few moments until he saw a marshrutka going towards my village and forced it to pull over. Exhausted from the situation, I grabbed my bag and stormed into the decaying white bus, plopping down in a, once soft but now hard, seat. The bus slowly pulled out of the village, then slowed again. The driver got out at a vibrant apricot tree and turned off the vehicle. In my fury and annoyance, I put my headphones in and turned my music on full blast. I looked out the window, telling myself to relax and let it go. There was a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see the woman next to me had a ripe apricot in her inviting hand. Suddenly, the anger dissipated. This driver had stopped to pick fresh apricots, not just for himself, but for everyone on the bus. My heart warmed. We went on in this bus filled with people going and coming from different places, different worlds. From behind my window’s peeling layer of tints, I watched as the day faded into night. Passing by small houses booming with lives, through abandoned factories inhabited by soviet ghosts, and a red sky, quickly vanishing behind a shadowy outline of mountains. I marveled at the world moving around me, changing and transforming, and my place in the middle of it all. The feeling of worry about walking to my village in the dark turned to contentment. The world isn’t just light and dark, good and bad, hot and cold. It’s filled with colors, constantly moving into one another. Light fading to dark might make gray, but the same color is produced from dark to light. What seems bad, may be in transition to good. A gloriously dim lit sky flamed my thoughts as I walked. I stopped and looked at the sliver of moon that would light the night, and the last bits of the day’s sun, both coexisting in the same sky. The light, the dark, and the gray, all in one picture; and me, standing in the middle of it all.