Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Alpine Fund

This past weekend I spent teaching skiing with The Alpine Fund to local children who work at Osh Bazaar, one of the large street markets in Bishkek. The Alpine Fund (www.alpinefund.org) is a local non-profit that works to connect at-risk youth from orphanages and street markets with the mountains. Through hiking, climbing, skiing, education programs, mentoring, and scholarships The Alpine Fund allows the kids a chance to have fun while promoting education and helping them prepare for life. I have been attending Alpine Fund meetings and plan to be active with them throught my entire time here. There is a wonderful group of volunteers and locals involved and it is great to see an organization where the money all goes towards the kids and their education.

It was an education in my language skills to spend the weekend with the kids! I can barely speak Kyrgyz like a toddler. But through many smiles, lots of body language, the help of David and Frieder's Russian (the two other volunteers) and some new vocabulary words we spend Saturday and Sunday skiing outside Ala-Archa. The kids loved every minute of it. They had no fear tearing up the barely snow covered slopes on decade old ski gear. Saturday evening we played some games and spent some time pondering the world map.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snow Profile: Ala-Archa


Early season conditions near ski base at entrance to Ala-Archa Canyon outside Bishkek.