In Karakol there is a gas station where several dozen day laborers huddle around in the mornings waiting for cars to pull up and hire them. Some of these people are too uneducated to get a high paying job, some just need the extra money, and others had previous employment that paid them less than day by day hiring would. So an El-Salvadorian living here in Karakol decided a while back to start taking hot tea and bread to them in the mornings while they wait for work.
The people were a bit hesitant at first to accept the food, but have since become very eager and enjoy standing around and talking to my friend (and myself whenever I have the opportunity to join them). I have only been twice so far to help, but it’s been a blast both times! And not-so-surprisingly, each time I’ve stood there passing out bread to everyone, some of the more talkative and curious ones will ask me questions about who knows what in Russian. I don’t speak any Russian and am just starting up my Kyrgyz lessons so anytime they talk to me it sounds like gibberish and I can only hope that someone proficient in both Russian and English pops up to save the day. Nevertheless, I’ve had such a great time getting to interact with all of these people and learning more about them and their culture. As I pass out the bread I just smile and hope that as my language learning progresses I’ll eventually be able to get to know them even more and make some new friends.