Worth a thousand words.
Yup. This new sign showed up near the school we walk past each day. A telling tale and certainly accurate
Ginger and I watched this and were amazed. Quite an insight to human interaction and the process we all go through to learn what and how to communicate.
Worth the 19 minute watch!
Up alongside a mountain village in a field bordered by a deep gorge the game scheduled for the first day of spring, 11am begins with a shout.
After a quick race to warm up the 100 horses and their riders, theÂ refereeÂ spells out all the instructions. Anxious horses and eager riders endure the 5 minute onslaught like the passengers on an airplane do theÂ safetyÂ instructions prior to flight. “Get on with it already!!”
The headless goat is on the ground also waiting for the action to begin. Horses whinny, flair their nostrils and rear waiting the signal to begin. The boil of horse and human is about to begin.Â If you are fortunate to be close to the goat at the beginning of the game, you have a chance of swinging down, grabbing the goat and making a break for before the crush of competition begins. Fat chance.
The two goal posts are setup as you would a soccer game. The competition is one against all. Get the goat and cross the field to the opposite goal to become a celebrated winner. You can hold the goat with your hands, arms, feet and legs. A friend may arrange to meet you part way and together you can carry or pass the goat off. Holding on is no small feat – the carcass has been stuffed and weighted with sand the night before the event.
Throughout the day new rounds of the game begin as winners cross the line then claim their prize. You can win more than once which ups your winnings. Prizes included: cash, electronics such as televisions, dvd players, carpets of various sizes and the like.
Attending the event with friends proved to be an experience that will not be forgotten.
ground pulsating as thundering hooves move towards you
eyes jump witnessing the plunge of horses and men crashing toward each other
ears tingle while shouting bystanders peel back like waves: the game bowling into the “seating area”
dust whips across your face as the wind relieves some of the weight from nearby sun
smiles and shouts are exchanged as you run across the field with your friends
“crazy” becomes a term of endearment, affection
as the day wears on your head spins
your heart beats with thankfulness
for life, for the Father, for friends, family, sun and sky, earth and home
the ground invites you to get close and rest
the heartbeat of earth itself can be felt, tasted, smelled, almost touched
More About Buzkashi
Happens each Spring and is sufficient enough reason to make your way to Central Asia. Call ahead and we’ll make a place for you!
If you’ve experienced a longer than one week stay in a culture not your own, you would agree that life as a guest in a culture not your own can be mind blowing. Again and again you are invited to homes, offered meal after meal and the invitation to get out and around town to see what there is to see comes not once, not twice – but almost daily.
On this particular day, lessons at the language school had gone particularly well. Afterwards, a cup of coffe was called for to celebrate. The above photo demonstrate the extent to which hospitable servers may go. I wanted coffee to go, it was not on their menu – soÂ improvisation was the rule.
- One hot coffee
- A strange foreigner wanting to walk around with a hot drink in his hands
- Five minutes – no ten minutes required as the server consulted with restaurant staff as what solution could be found
- Paper cup not available – a tiny plastic one must do
- No, “CAUTION IT’S HOT” label – better double wrap that inÂ cellophane just to ensure safe traveling.
Cup is literally melting as I thank the server and walk out the front door. One minute to grab the phone and snap a picture. Nearly five minutes to try and untangle the cup from the wrap. Coffee downed in less than a minute once I tear a hole in the top layers of plastic. People look at me with eyes wide – what they are thinking is a mystery. Cup deposited in trash.
As I smile and walk down the sidewalk I cannot help but appreciate the amount of service and as an aside, entertainment my server gave me. Solution found, customer happy (though he may hesitate to ask for a cup of jo to go next time… but maybe not!)
In this photo: a herd of cows – over the edge directly in front of you; a flooded picnic area – which was our original destination; a few goats walking toward the photographer just outside of view. Photo taken while on the road to a hiking trail in Tajikistan.
This is just one of the spectacular views seen on the day this photo was taken. The ground was incredibly dry as we continued up. The scrub quite invasive particularly if you had skimpy footwear – which more than one of us did. Nonetheless it was a day and event that was not regretted!