The next day we were off on another adventure. The ride to Khujand was quite a bit longer. It took around 7 hours from Dushanbe. It is a winding, steep road. Very interesting to see the country. There is almost no vegetation on the mountains. In some places we saw farms. We saw women picking cotton by hand, harvesting onions and other crops. We also saw children riding to school on donkeys. The driver said the landscape is similar to Afghanistan.
At one point, there is a tunnel. It took about 18 minutes to get through it. We all breathed a sigh of relief when we could finally see the daylight at the end.
You can see two exits here, but there is only one tunnel. The other side was either never completed, or something. So traffic goes both ways in the one tunnel. And it is a pretty rough road because there's water seeping through the rocks. Luckily, this is the dry season.
We came up quite high from the valley below. There are so many mountains, they have to make the most of the arable land.
This stop had a lot of dry fruit stands.
This boy, Martin, works in his family's hotel after school.
We had lunch in this beautiful ball room. (The White House)
We visited the local bazaar while the doctors had a planning meeting.
Lots and lots of melons!
This is the office building where the training was conducted. It is obviously in the richest part of the country. They tell us that Alexander the Great came through and conquered this land at one time.
Alan's getting pretty good at setting up the mannequins!
Some of the doctors that were trained last year came to help train more doctors here. It was fun to see familiar faces.
It was quite a large group. All doctors in this group I think.
Our friends presented us with these fabulous hats at the end of the training. The doctors all got some awesome knives.
The Bennetts and their team have often been the first people from the church into a country. The Minister of Religion told us that last year we were guests, This year we are friends, and Next year we will be family. Then at the end, he said. Actually we are family this year! The Bennetts travel about 8 months of the year to far away places to establish these amazing relationships. Next month they will go to Siberia and in December they will conduct the first training in Uzbekistan. It was an honor to get to work with them again.
Jyldyz (on the left) is our translator. She is from Bishkek, Krygyzstan. She joined the church about 5 years ago. She is a great help to us in these countries. The other gal (Zaba) is a pediatrician that we met last year and loved visiting with again.
They got photo bombed! Another of the lead doctors!
Our hosts took us to see this museum. It is a replica of a place in St Petersburg. During Soviet times, this area was a large collective farm. They gave us a private tour. Such an amazing place to see.
We saw several wedding parties. These kids look like they're about 15 years old!
All of these designs are a bit different.
Amazing ceilings too
This is an inlaid wood floor in their "Tea House". Incredible workmanship.
And they played their instruments to welcome us. Wow!
Finally, they took us to "tea" which turned out to be a huge dinner. The music was loud, so we couldn't talk, and since we don't drink, there was not much else to do, but dance! It was an unforgettable night! Who knew that these doctors can dance??