Kimiko Murakami, Japan.

The reason why I became a volunteer in Leadership, Karakol , Kyrgyzstan
I joined Leadership as a long term volunteers for six months. In the future, I would like to be a bridge between Japan and different countries by making opportunities for many people to know other cultures. When I was an university student, I helped foreign students to study Japanese as a volunteer. Between countries, sometimes we have problems but I remember that they enjoyed learning Japanese language and cultures. At that time, I thought learning other cultures is connected to the peace between countries. Since then, I wanted to make opportunities for many people to know other cultures, for example, organizing international meetings, classes for learning other cultures and so on. Therefore I'm interested in organizing some activities, and also I'm interested in Kyrgyz culture. That's why I decided to join Leadership.
The first activity which I participated in was "Tom Sawyer Fest". During two weeks, we renovated old historical building. It was amazing time for me. I was honor to participate in this activity. Because preserving old building is connected with preserving culture not only of this region but also this country. I met many local people and people from other countries. We spent two weeks together, it was good opportunity to share own cultures and ideas.

I also organized English and Japanese class every weeks. It is my first experience to teach language, so at first, I didn't know how should I teach. But I thought that when we study languages, the most important thing is enjoying. So I try to prepare games, introduce my Japanese culture. Fortunately, my students tries to study hard and they are interested in Japanese language and culture. These things motivate me to teach language.
And now, I learn Kyrgyz and Russian language from Leadership members. When I came here, I couldn't understand what local people say at all. But thanks to my colleagues, nowadays my Kyrgyz and Russian are gradually improving. I really enjoy communicating with my friends, colleagues, host family. And also I enjoy shopping, because it's good practice to listening numbers(it's difficult for me to remember numbers in Kyrgyz and Russian language) and speaking with local people in bazaar.

In this six months, I would like to meet many people, connect with them, learn new things. And also I would like many people to know about Japan. I'll do my best in my work at Leadership.

Yuki Hong Kong.

YukiTom Sawyer Festival 2019

Hello, this is Yuki, from Hong Kong.
This year, 2019, is the 150 years anniversary forKarakol Kyrgyzstan, as one of the check point for tourist in Kyrgyzstan, the citizen decided to decorate the town and to preserve the architectural and historical appearance of the town by restored the historical building.
Being a volunteer, I stayed two weeks at Karakol and participated the program “Tom Sawyer Fest”, assisted them to do the renovation for one of the building “Weight House”.
During this period, I’m happy got to know a lot of nice people, volunteers from Japan, Italy, Sweden and the Local citizen, they are all friendly, lovely and willing to share me their special experience in their journey.

Except the renovation works, I have the pleasure to assist another local functions, such as a day camp at the Issyk-kul.
Furthermore, they arranged me a lot of activities in leisure, language class, hiking, mini-concert, cultural dinner, visit the museum, Holy Trinity Cathedral, especially to the famous viewpoint, Lake tour at the Issyk-kul, the broken hearts and the seven bulls rocks…etc.
Being one of the volunteers to assist and involve the celebration, I’m, in fact, learn much more from this work camp. I’m very happy in joining this festival and very much enjoyed my stay, 

Karakol, without doubt, is a beautiful place, I have not enough time to know you all, but still want to know you more!

Yuki Cheung / Hong Kong
June 2019

Marie Bennigsen Belgium

I had an incredible and amazing experience with both Leadership and Eco Trek. Both Organisation have welcomed me from the first day as part of the team.
With Leadership I had the chance to give french class, participate in activities with young volunteers... It was a great occasion to be in contact with local population, especially the youth. I really appreciate the work of Leadership, what they do for the young people of Karakol but also for the city. I wish I could participate more in their activities but it is always difficult when you come for a short time. I believe also I could have proposed more initiatives although Leadership has a lot of activities already going on. My only regret was not to have done enough to help :)
With Eco Trek, it was really interesting to see the other side of treks. Seeing it not as a tourist but as organiser. It gave me the occasion to better understand the role of porters, guides, cooks, to understand their work, expectations... I had the chance to see a bit of the country and that was really nice. I believe that if I was more physically prepared, I could have gone to more treks and I believe that for future volunteers that wants to do more trek, Eco Trek could be a great partner.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time as volunteer in Karakol and Leadership is a great partner with a lot of ideas to implement. Any volunteers would be happy to collaborate with such organisation. They could learn a lot from them.

Simone Ferraretto

Simone Ferraretto, Italy 

Infinite thanks to Tom Sawyer fest, endless thanks to the volunteers, infinite thanks Karakol.

I have recently returned to Bishkek after spending two wonderful weeks of volunteering, new friends and excursions organized by YVO "leadership". I will be infinitely grateful to all those who have made this possible!
First of all, I would like to emphasize the importance of these projects and initiatives. Together we have given new life to a historic kindergarten in the city, collaborating we have participated in the external restructuring, and not only, collaborating we met, we had fun and we shared a special time. Volunteer for me is just that, join forces to do something great. Together sharing and having fun we did something important for the community. Together we have shown that we have immense power.
During the two weeks of the project, thanks to the great work of YVO "leadership" we participated in many activities that gave us days full of magic!

We went to play with the children in a summer camp in Issikkul, we went on a boat, we went kayaking and hiking in the mountains, visited Karakol, participated in cultural exchanges and international dinners.
My wish is that more and more people will be able to participate in projects of this kind, to experience the emotions I have experienced on their skin, to understand how it's good and important to help each other.
To Nastia and all the YVO volunteers "leadership": Bravissimi! Thank you very much for the emotions and the time we shared! Keepitupand ... seeyousoon!

Ariane Eloy Belgium . My experience in Karakol

Experience at Community Based Tourism and Leadership - Kyrgyzystan

At first, I started to learn a lot of think about Karakol as a city but also on Kyrgyz tradition and people.

About CBT, I worked with a Kyrgyz volunteer. The aim was to develop two brochures about Karakol: for the summer time and the winter. We choose pictures and took the other pictures in the city to have visual brochures and add some comments with each picture.

I wrote a PowerPoint about deforestation and pollution. The aim was to make aware people in a village, where some of them cut trees illegally, of these problems and their consequences. I have to present it in English with the translation of my college in Kyrgyz.

With Leadership, I translated some tourist information from English to French. I completed some documents about a guided tour from Karakol in thirteen points of interest: a flyer and global information that the guide need to know for the visit. I realized a first visit with colleagues before proposing official visit to tourists. I had activities on the website trip advisor.

Kayaking trips  on lake Issyk-KulMoreover, I did other thing as taking pictures during the Child ‘Day fair. I participated also to activities: celebration in the honor of Pushkin, manifestation for women’s rights, sharing my experience with young volunteers... I had also the opportunity to do kayaking on the lake and to follow several Russian courses. The team was really kind.

In fact, I lived in two host families and with them I discover several things: Issyk Kul Lake, Mountains around Karakol, beverages and foods, celebration at the end of the Ramadan. And obviously, we discussed a lot about our countries and lives.

During my free time, with a friend, French volunteer, I discovered Jeti Oguz, Arashan Valley, Issik Kul Lake, Animals Market, and History Museum.

From this experience, I retained several interesting meetings and discussion. Kyrgyzystan is a nice country with a lot of contrast: weather, nature, culture (crossroads of several influences: kyrgyz, Russian, Turkish, Chinese ...)


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