Sam Collins UK

Sam Collins UK

Do you want to spend a 2 hours bumping along a precarious potholed mountain road?

Do you want to swim in a beautiful azure lake with an overweight Kyrgyz taxi driver?

Do you want to be kidnapped by a middle-aged Kyrgyz women trying to force you to drink vodka?

If you answered yes to all of these questions volunteering in Kyrgyzstan is for you!!! (and you should probably seek psychiatric help)
The project is located in the foothills of the beautiful Tien-shan mountains in a small nursery. The location is stunning, surrounded by pristine birch forests and alpine meadows. The work can be tough but is rewarding as you can see the fruits of your labour. Generally it consists of weeding around the nursery, tidying up large areas that they simply don't have the manpower to do themselves. The location is kind of forest park is a occasionally visited by families having 'picnics'. The family picnic and gathering can be somewhat different from what your home county expectations, particularly the amount of intoxicating liquor drank. However Kyrgyz people are very hospitable and will waste no opportunity to tell you how thankful they are for you volunteering in their country and how much they respect you for doing so (typically following by a non-optional sharing of beverages). This is what really made the project for me (the hospitality not the alcohol, honest). To be a volunteer always means to really understand and explore the culture in the way that a tourist cannot and this is very true of Kyrgyzstan. People that may at first appear quite reserved and private open up and share fascinating insights into their lives and cultures. To see and hear how grateful the Kyrgyz people are on top having some fantastic adventures makes for a truly incredible experience.

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