Turgen Waterfall – A Peace Corps Moment

(backlogged from 09.18.09)

Every so often here, we will get to experience one of those “Peace Corps Moments” that people talk about – moments when you can’t believe you’re in this far away place, sharing an experience with these people…everything just clicks and there is no other place you’d rather be. Today was one of those days. We took a Hub Day fieldtrip to Turgen Waterfall (about 40 min. out of Issyk) with our entire group of 65 Kaz-21 volunteers (we are the 21st generation of PCVs in Kazakhstan, thus “Kaz-21”). While this might not have been a ginormous waterfall by U.S. standards (hardly as large as the “Great Falls” by my aunt’s house in Maryland), it felt like our waterfall. 😉 We all hiked up, surrounded by green mountains, picnicked at the base of the fall, took lots of pictures and had much-needed bonding time.

At some point, two friends and I hiked up to the top of the fall. The boys led our way over the river, through some nooks and crannies, and down some slippery rocky slopes – to the very edge of the waterfall precipice. There, we sat in a tiny nook, surrounded by shrubbery, and peered off the edge of the cliff. The clear mountain water shot right past us and seemed happy to fall with the force of gravity, straight off its bed of land, into air and nothingness. That right there is freedom, and it was gorgeous. We just took it in for awhile, and there it was – our Peace Corps Moment. : ) Once again, I can’t really do it justice – but if I can get this video up, perhaps it will give you an inkling.

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