The last few days have been spent back in Bishkek hoping from children's center to children's center, but now the official week of work is over and a week of travel time is begun.
When we got back from Karakol we were toured around again to different centers in the city, learning about different aspects of the healthcare system, a definite switch from the work we had been doing nonstop in Karakol. The hardest place to visit was the orphanage outside of the city that houses 250 children with varying forms of developmental disability. It was an institutional, understaffed, underbudgeted facility, and it was there that we saw the kids who were really involved and couldn't move themselves. They had built massive cribs outside so the kids wouldn't have to spend all of their times indoors, but it was very sad to see the kids lined up side by side unable to do anything else.
Yesterday we spent time teaching exercise programs to a group of kids with relatively minor developmental delays. It was pretty entertaining, especially since none of them spoke english and we had 1 translator. I was supposed to go for a little cardio walk with my buddy, but he decided running was a better option, so basically I chased him around the center yard for a while.
Today...a trip to the Kyrgy national park Alla-Archa and the hardest hike I've ever gone on. The park is a lot like glacier, only the mountains are about 15,000 feet tall. We climbed almost up to a glacier...maybe to about 12,000 feet before I thought I was going to pass out and fall back down the mountain. And technically I did fall back down the mountain...but only once...and a nice sharp rock broke my fall. It wouldn't be a Jenessa hiking trip without a bruise to prove it!
Tomorrow, back to Lak Issyk-Kul for two days to see if I really can float in salt water....I'll give you a report when I get back!