Title Image for My Favorite Video Shorts: Kyrgyzstan & Sri Lanka

Two years of travel adds up to a LOT of photographs and video footage. Today, I am going to put together a kind of montage of a few of my favorite very short videos and tell the stories behind them. These were taken in Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan.


Kyrgyzstan was the first really exotic (to me) country that I visited. It is located in Central Asia on the historic Silk Road. I spent almost the entire six weeks in Karakol and Jyrgalen in the western side of the country. My base was a comfortable yurt camp on the outskirts of Karakol (Happy Nomads Yurt Camp). Every morning my hosts provided me with a luscious breakfast in their colorful garden. 

One of the breakfasts I was served at Happy Nomads

I love the food in Kyrgyzstan. One day I walked into the guesthouse kitchen, and Altynai, my host, was making oromo. This is a thin pastry, sprinkled with minced vegetables, rolled up, and steamed. Altynai’s deftness at rolling out the pastry so thin mesmerized me.


You can also read about the day Altynai showed my roommate and me how to make borsook, a puffed fried bread here.


Up in the tiny mountain village of Jyrgalen in Kyrgyzstan, I watched my hostess make twisted biscuits in preparation for the village festival to be held the next day. I want to try this sometime!


During the Jyrgalen Summer Festival, the villagers demonstrated traditional nomadic horsemanship games, including er enish or horse wrestling.


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Sri Lanka

The public busses in Sri Lanka are almost always crowded, but they are a cheap way to get around. Most are gayly decorated. Bollywood or Disco music blares from the speakers. Monitors in the front of the bus play one Bollywood music video after the other. In the final scene everyone is happy and dancing, or one of the lovers dies and the other is crying. One day I boarded a bus with my friend Raj and miraculously we both got seats—but not together. I was in an aisle seat. About half way to our destination, a man in the window seat of the row ahead of me lost his lunch out the window. All windows were open and I got a bit splattered. I was very happy I was NOT in the window seat.

On another trip, I boarded a bus and in the front was this joyful display of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune, and prosperity.


And speaking of Raj. When I first came to Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka, I had planned to only stay a couple weeks while I looked for an apartment in an area that was not so touristy as this town. But then I met Raj Walker who became a wonderful friend. I could not bring myself to leave. We did so many things together and you can see the video tribute I made for him when I departed Sri Lanka here.

But the sweet video I want to share now shows him pounding vegetables for Sambol in a mortar and pestle when his son Dan crawled up on his back.


So those are a few favorite video stories from my stays in Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lanka. If you like this story-telling format, let me know in the comments below.

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