It has now been 13 days since we boarded a plane in Bishkek – destination Osh – and our new home! This is what we have been doing so far:

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We went straight to the office. The courtyard was so beautiful with all the snow – still I can’t help but long for spring to come.
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Even though it’s possible to live at the office (as the previous interns have been doing), we decided that we wanted to find our own place. So one of the first things we did was to go apartment hunting. This was my personal favorite. I mean, who wouldn’t wanna live in an 1980’s version of Versailles? The thing is, it was a little bit too run down and we also got an offer to rent a small house with a garden. So now we’ve got a house. And a garden.
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And a landlady. Who spoils us by bringing dinner every now and then. Except for plof (traditional central asian rice dish), we got noodles and a traditional kyrgyz dessert that I don’t know the name of – but it tasted good.
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At work we’ve been having a lot of meetings – which is part of a regular routine – as there are different projects and groups running at the same time. This is a picture of Salima right before our first staff meeting, which includes us interns as well as the staff of the Forum Syd project and those working in the 1325-project.
The taxi’s are very cheap in Kyrgyzstan and the most comfortable way to travel (except for walking, which we do a lot).  Kyrgyz hospitality shows itself in many different ways and forms, for instance when you approach a taxi hub and all the men come together, helping you translate or to communicate with sign-language and google maps. One of our first days we decided that we wanted to go to the famous bazaar in Osh and so, with a bit of sign language and some Russian, we got ourselves a taxi.
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We went to the bazaar quite early and on a weekday, which meant that we didn’t have to force our way trough. It was a bit like walking in a slippery labyrint – but it was lovely! We bought a lot of vegetables, a kilo of different nuts and some other stuff. We even practiced a bit of Russian by pointing at different things, asking what it’s called.
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At Novi Ritm, one of the events that took place last week was a team-building session with all the group-leaders and co-leaders at the house. As Novi Ritm is an activity-house, youth gather here to hang out but also to engage themselves in different thematic groups that are organized by appointed group-leaders and co-leaders. For instance, we have girl’s group, environmental group, young debaters club and movie club.
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We have also spent some of our time working in cafés as the internet connection at Novi Ritm sometimes isn’t working properly – but also because it’s nice to change environment once in a while.
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During the weekend, we decided to tour some of Osh’s most famous cites. Here is the Suleiman-too mosque, which is situated at the sacred Suleiman mountain.
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And the famous Lenin statue – apparently the largest one still standing.
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Also we’ve been eating an insane amount of Kyrgyz food. This is manti, chai and central asian naan bread.

Written by Amanda Sonesson, based in Osh, Kyrgyzstan