I like your Vito, and can relate to having bikes and gear trying to explode out of every door. Haha. It's about to happen with with us again occasionally soon also
1000 apologies if I am being too nosey, but I am a very inquisitive person, and after reading your replies in my rebuild thread...I just gotta ask.
Ok. How'd you end up in Kyrgyzstan?
I admit, I had never even heard of it. Curious now.
As we say in the southern US, "Ain't nothin' but a thing" AKA, no worries. The day that I'm uncomfortable answering that question I need to move...I get the question almost daily. Besides, I crashed your thread
I usually answer, why not? I mean look at some pictures of the country and it's spectacular! Basically my wife and I wanted to try and move somewhere we thought would be really cool and at the same time try to start a business and do some good. We looked around and picked Kyrgyzstan. The main attractions were the mountains and nomadic, yurt culture. Started by teaching English, then started a tour business. The longer version of the story is here. For good measure here's a photo gallery that I've put together.
The picture that you commented on almost looking fake was taken by my lead driver this past summer at Kel Suu. It's a high elevation lake (like 3600 meters, I think). Except last winter we didn't have enough snow, so the lake was empty and he could drive out onto the lake bed. It's crazy remote and near the Chinese border, but well worth the effort to get up there.
One of the more exciting parts about living here is the traditional nomadic culture. They've got some crazy games like Ulak Tartysh (expats call it "Dead Goat Polo"). Basically you take a goat minus the head and ride around on horseback fighting over it and trying to throw it in a goal. Quite a dangerous and interesting sport. My friend stephen is a professional photographer and put together a gallery that he shot at the first World Nomad Games that Kyrgyzstan hosted here this year.
Anyway, the place is breathtaking. It's a lot of work, but running a tourism and car rental business here is a lot more exciting than anything I ever did in the states. Our WJs are basically stock, but as long as you don't want to do hard core wheeling, they really stand up well. Replace a few bushings now and then or maybe a ball joint or tie rod end and they'll pretty much keep going. (Unlike my Subaru Forester that I just got rid of which broke stuff on paved roads regularly!)
Feel free to ask away...I love where I live and what I do, really don't mind answering questions