Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All's Well That Ends Well

As my second Guyana trip draws to a close, I feel as if I should impart some wise, encouraging words to you all.

But nothing comes to mind. So instead, here is what comes to mind....

To start, I am quite fond of that Caribbean style of homes. In particular, the paint jobs.

This was in Bush Lot, one of the largest villages in our territory. It has a great variety of houses, yards, and such. As an example, here's a house not too far from this one.
This country has some of the best bridges... some of them are downright frightening trying to cross. Typically not, but there are always exceptions.

Bush Lot is a village nearby our Kingdom Hall, a short walking distance. This is nice because Bush Lot has some excellent snackettes and restaurants. So just in case you're going in service Sunday afternoon and have forgotten lunch, it's always an alternative.

Due to it's close proximity to the hall, most people reserve Sunday afternoons as a time to go on calls and studies in Bush Lot. I've gotten into the habit of going in service with Shaun Sarjoo, both door-to-door, then on our calls. We usually get in a brief visit to a Chinese restaurant called Dabit Young.
This picture above is from a study Shaun did last Sunday. This boy (whose name escapes me at the moment..... AAGGH!) has difficulty with reading, so Shaun is attempting to not only study the Bible, but also teach him to read. And let me just say, I was blown away. When we first got there, the boy couldn't recognize his own name. After half an hour, Shaun had him reading entire sentences.

One aspect of service that's different here (aside from all territory being door-to-door preaching), there is no such thing as a "Coffee break". Instead, we have "a five". Since it's all walking, there'll usually be at least two occasions per morning where the whole group gathers together somewhere there's shade, and sits down. If anyone's too tired, they'll take this opportunity to head home, or to get on a bus and go on calls/studies instead.
Taking a five very late in the day. Hence there being so few people. At the start of the morning, there's about three or four times this many in service.

Actually, that's another strange thing. Guyana is not hot. The air is very cool from the constant ocean breeze. The problem is the sun, which is very intense. So you just sit in the shade (as seen above) and it is, quite literally, instant relief. Because of this, shade is not called shade. The name for it is "cool". As in:
"Too heaty today. Let's go sit in the cool."

(Yes, Heaty. Like the hot version of chilly.)

In other news, Hopetown had a new couple move in. Due to this, we now have three people named Joshua in the hall.
From left to right: Joshua Persaud (or Josh #1), Joshua Westfall (Josh #3), and Joshua Taharjit (Josh #2).
Sometimes, depending on who's giving the talk, and whether he can remember last names or not, we have been called on like this: "Brother Josh 1... you had a comment?"

So, on to recent events. I must say, this past week has probably been the best week I've had during this trip. Here's the breakdown:

SATURDAY: Field service from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Most of the day was spent going to calls and telling them I'm leaving, be back soon, etc. Especially though, asking if they wanted me to find someone else to call on them while I'm gone. I'm glad to say that I was successfully able to find someone to go back to all my studies, and most of my magazine calls.

When we got back home from service, it turned out that there was a party waiting for us. Since I'm leaving Thursday morning, December 1st and Micaiah's leaving Friday, December 16th, they had a going-away party for the both of us. In our house. It was..... interesting.

Bible pictionary is surprisingly popular here.

On Sunday, I thought it was about time I visited Brighton again (plus I had a few things to give back to some people....). It turned out, Elder School is starting this week (today actually) and class is being held in Brighton congregation, so after the meeting they asked that people stay behind to help clean the hall as thoroughly as they could. This included taking out all the chairs, sweeping and dusting everything, then mopping. After work was done, I made rounds to various friends in the congregation, just to tell them my plans (leaving Thursday, coming back, hopefully, pretty soon...).

After getting back home, I kinda just settled in, when I heard calling outside the house. I go out to look, and there's Linel Brown standing outside. In case you don't recall, Linel Brown was one of our elders in Hopetown before getting reassigned to a congregation called Wakenaam, then reassigned again to a Georgetown congregation. This particular day, he was on his way to Brighton for the elder school. Riding with him he had a brother from Lethem named Jordan Harrison (see previous post: http://nutso42.blogspot.com/2011/03/part-2-special-assembly-and-some-fun.html). They came in for a little while, we talked a bit, then they moved on.

Monday morning, we went to a beach. Admittedly, I'm not terribly fond of going to the beach, at least not very often. Except this time was different. This time, we found a refrigerator door!

The wonderful thing about refrigerator doors, or this one in particular, is that it floats! Not only that, but the tide was coming in while we were there, and coming in fast.

Surfing on a fridge door.... it's now one of the funnest things I've ever done. Unfortunately, I hadn't taken a camera, so no pics of it.

That evening, we went to a families house for dinner/card games. They'd invited a few others, so there was about twelve people total. It was a classic game night setup.

So that's what's been up. Now I'm just passing time until Wednesday night when I head for the airport.

Once again, I feel as if I should impart some wise, encouraging words to you all. But I've got nothing.
 I will say, as much as I hate leaving Guyana, it is made much easier knowing how many people I'll be able to see when I get back to Ohio.

And, of course, the snow. Must never forget the snow......

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Bit of Signing and Speaking

To start off, let me clarify something in the previous blog post.

E appears 449,825 times in the New World Translation
O appears 358,865 times
Next is A with 343,205 occurrences
Then I comes next with 272,159
Finally, there's U with 123,981

And of course (sometimes) Y.

So, on with recent events!

The primary thing that's been happening that's new or unusual is some calls I've been going on with our Service Overseer, Season Dinoo. He used to be in a sign language group in Trinidad, and has retained enough of it that he conducts several studies with deaf or hard-of-hearing people in our territory. I just recently began going with him.

Naturally, the sign language here is different from ASL, the main difference being that here, signing is much more descriptive, almost like playing charades. Also on the studies they make abundant use of pictures to go along with the signing. Many of the deaf here don't even know sign language, so that doubles the workload of the brothers and sisters that study with them. First teach them sign language, then begin the Bible Study.

Due to the descriptive nature of signing here, and the fact that half the study is pictures, I'm able to keep up fairly well with the conversation. I don't necessarily know what signs to make if I want to talk to them, but I know what they're saying.

Of course, I have several calls of my own to keep up with. The most notable recently being a guy named Peter who lives in a settlement called Bath (you may recall me and Micaiah lived there for a period). He's been wanting to come to the meetings for a while, but he seems to have difficulty finding the hall. He knows exactly which street, but he asked which building on the street the Kingdom Hall is.
"Uhh..." I say "The big blue building shaped like a Watchtower."
How many of those are there in the world?

So anyway, that was the last time I talked to him (which would be.... Friday? I think.) Maybe next time he'll make it.
(We even offered to meet him at this house, but that didn't work out. Anyway...)

The most irritating problem I run into here (and frequently!) is that of finding a call who has loads of cool questions that take tons of research to find the answer to, getting everything together that I'm going to talk about, go to the house, and.... "No, he nah home! He gone out! Next time!"

For instance, I have a call on a Hindu man named Amid, and he says that according to one of the Hindu books, Jesus went to India (in between the Bible's references when he's 12, then later when he gets baptized and begins his ministry). While there, he learned yoga and all that stuff, and that's how he could walk on water, etc. Well, after said research, I found the answers for all of that, go back.... "No, he nah home! He gone out! Next time!"
And subsequently, every time I go back "He nah home!"
"Well, when can I find him home?"
"Wednesday! After 5!"

Go back Wednesday after 5... "He nah home!"

You get the idea.

Anytime you can get your calls home, it's without fail a fantastic call.


Well, that's about all there is in the world of news. I'll just begin typing whatever Guyana-related topics come to mind that I may not have shared before.


Rain! The rain here is cool. The way to tell how long it'll be raining is how dark the sky is. The darker the clouds, the shorter the rain. Whereas if the sky is very light gray, even white, it means the rain will last most - if not all - of the day. For instance...


As per the question on the previous blog entry about several bridesmaids in wedding dresses.... I actually have no idea. I wasn't attending the actual wedding, so...

It does seem strange, now that you mention it.


Did you know the phrase "Train of Thought" was created by Thomas Hobbes? That was something I had been wondering about for a while, but just now looked up.

I'm not sure exactly how that's Guyana-related, but still.


Thomas Hobbes is also who Hobbes is named after in Calvin & Hobbes.


Okay, I seem to be at a loss for Guyana-related information. I could keep typing, but it would be a bizarre and increasingly unrelated string of trivia that I'm not entirely sure you all would like to read. So perhaps I'll bide my time and just update you more next week.

Till then..... POLL!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Wedding of Rishana Bakhsh

About the most exciting thing happening recently around here was..... a wedding! One of the pioneer sisters in our congregation (named Rishana Bakhsh) recently got married to a Canadian brother named Randy Wade.

I didn't personally attend the wedding, because they wanted two or three people to stay behind and keep watch at the place they were having the reception. But as far as receptions go, it was pretty standard. However, it did give me a chance to get pictures of people who usually shy away from the camera! First though, shots of setting up...

They also had this neat place just outside....
This was actually on the fourth floor of a hotel, so there's a bit of a view of downtown Georgetown....

Okay, now as I said.... pictures of people and stuff. I suppose it only makes sense to start with the two the whole wedding is about....
Randy Wade and Rishana Bakhsh.... I think it would've been cool if he'd changed his last name to hers, instead of vice versa. Rishana Wade sounds okay, but Randy Bakhsh is awesome.

They had a huuuge wedding party. Too many friends between them I guess.
And now, bunches of other people!
Morlon and Jehu Cadogan (unless noted, the people are from Hopetown)
 Here we have....
Micaiah Young (sporting his new white suit), Season Dinoo, and Tim and Claire Johnson from Rosignol, our bordering hall.

Here we have one of our Ministerial Servants, Claudius MacAlmont (Br. Mac) and his wife Carmen.

Now for..... the Hat Gallery!

So. That was fun.


Now, as for the poll:
The correct answer, how many vowels appear most in the Bible, the majority were in fact correct! E is the most frequently appearing vowel. O is second.

There's a simple way to find this out. You can even get the exact number!
Tinker around with it, see if you can find out how.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Day In The Life

Well, I'm at a loss for what to talk about. So I've decided to put down whatever comes to mind. Gather round and let me tell you about my standard day.

Wake up, anytime from 6 AM to 9 AM (yes, 6 AM. I wake up then. Sometimes. Rarely, but sometimes.)
Breakfast varies. Anything as simple as toast with Golden Cream (a substance that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike butter), to an odd mix of eggs, okra, onions, garlic, and bora, with just a hint of soy sauce.

(according to martha.stewarts.mega.empire.com, "a hint" is similar to 3 liters)

After breakfast, depending on what time it is, either I do Bible reading, or I have a frenzied attempt at getting ready for service, all the while screaming "AAAAAAAAGGH!!! I'm late!! I'm late!!! I'm supposed to lead out today!! Or maybe tomorrow! But anyway, I'M LATE!!!"

For service, we meet at a location pre-arranged before the previous meeting. Sunday we'll get a list posted on the information board saying "Monday - Gas Station in Village #10. Tuesday - Bacchus Residence. Wednesday - Middle Dam, Bush Lot." So we meet at whatever place, and do door-to-door until noon. We have nothing besides door-to-door territory. You can imagine how hot it gets while we're in service....

After service, I'll typically go on calls I have. If I'm with someone who has a car or motorcycle, we can go all over. But if I'm not with one of them, I take a bus, and therefore have to be much more careful about which calls I go to (so as not to run up a massive transportation bill for the day).

A shot of the buses.

I'll finish up with my calls anytime from 2 in the afternoon to 6. After that, the rest of the day varies. Maybe cooking dinner, maybe cleaning or laundry, maybe reading.... whatever tickles my fancy at the time.

I'd like to apologize for it being a while since updating this. Internet's been down forever.... I also had been working on this particular blog update for a while, when somehow the page reset itself and I lost everything I had been working on.

And I really don't feel like rewriting every bit of it at this moment. So I'll leave it at this for now and give you more later.

Monday, October 10, 2011

2011 Circuit Assembly

Quite a few things have happened in the past week and a half. Here's the highlights.

1. Went to the capital, Georgetown, with the Youngs for a few days. One of the things we did was.... actually, lemme just show you the picture and see if you recognize this place.

Something else you can do inside that building....

Something we discovered that you can do with the chalk:
We call this "The Luminous Nose". Which, come to think of it, would be a fantastic name for a restaurant in downtown Athens.

Shortly after this, the Dinoo's came back from Trinidad, which meant it was time for me to move back in with Micaiah.

Five points to anyone who can tell me what's changed about this house.

So, moving on to....

We had the pre-Circuit Assembly Pioneer Meeting this past Friday, and it was at the Palmyra congregation. It was packed.

Cool, I just noticed a new way to put the pictures up.

One thing that was neat for us all was being able to meet our new District Overseer. One of the things he talked about at length was the various benefits from the recent merging of the Guyana/Suriname/Trinidad branches. For instance, the branch is located in Trinidad, which among those three countries has the most resources available. So the primary effect of this merger has been brothers from Trinidad being sent in to high-need areas of Guyana. For instance, our District Overseer himself (Lemuel Smith) is one of those brothers. Also, Season Dinoo, one of our two elders here in Hopetown, is from Trinidad.

Actually, this subject was expanded upon at the Circuit Assembly, which was the following two days. In the part "Giving Attention to the Needs of the Circuit", our Circuit Overseer Shannon Rainey told us that Guyana has recently been put on the list of "Lands With Limited Resources". The effect of this is our National Building Committee has basically been done away with, and we now are under Trinidad's.... jurisdiction? Doesn't seem like the right word, but it's the best I can think of right now.

But anyway, Brother Rainey said "This is in fact a very good thing. Now that we have the support of the Trinidad branch, we will begin building like never before!"
Which we can already see coming true. Hopetown congregation will be getting a new Kingdom Hall in just a few months!

Well, the build will begin in just a few months. It'll still take quite a while to build. But still...
We're very excited about this. Our hall was built when there thirty people attending. We now average over one hundred per meeting. So the chance to get a new hall (and possibly help build it) is something I'm very excited about.

On another note, I discovered possibly the most relaxing way to have a Circuit Assembly.
In this picture, you can see people sitting in front of me, after that is the stage, and after that is what I like to call "the ocean". Is there any better setting for an assembly? (okay, is there any better setting besides London Assembly Hall?)

...and here's a few shots of what the rest of the place looked like.

Baptism pool. Three baptized, with a Saturday attendance of 809, and a Sunday attendance of 1,071!

I think, though, one of my favorite things about the past weekend, with the pioneer meeting and the assembly, was the chance to see lots of new faces.

Including some familiar ones....

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Life In Bush Lot

As I said previously, for a short time I've been staying in the home of Brother and Sister Dinoo while they're in Trinidad. The house is in a village called Bush Lot, which is within walking distance of our Kingdom Hall. It's a quite nice house!

One interesting design feature of houses here is that the aim of the houses are to allow air to circulate freely. For instance...
The best thing about living in Bush Lot is it's the largest village in our territory, so it's where most of my calls live, which has made it extremely easy to keep up with said calls. It used to be I'd go by one of my calls, and they'd say "Sorry, I'm busy right now. Can you come back in an hour?"
So that made it a bit difficult. Either hang around accomplishing nothing for an hour, or reschedule for another day. But while I'm living here, if they ask if I can come back later that same day, it's very very easy.

One great call I have right now is with a man who lives two streets away from where I am now. His name is Amid, and he's been a Hindu all his life, but he's recently been getting interested in the Bible. He has a particular interest in death/resurrection/reincarnation. He's been having lots of odd questions which have had me studying constantly.

So anyway....
Micaiah Young's mother and brother both arrived. At this moment I'm in Georgetown with them. We just got back from bowling/playing pool. I'll have pictures in the next blog post (Translation: I didn't take my camera, and I'll need to get pictures from their camera.)

Since they won't be here very long, there was special effort to make sure they got to have a share during one of the meetings.

We have some neat things coming up. This Friday will be a Circuit Pioneer Meeting, followed by the Circuit Assembly.
Immediately following that, we have a joint Circuit/District Overseer visit.

So 'till then,  (note to self: Add wise parting words here before clicking "Publish Post")

Friday, September 23, 2011

Q&A! Quatro!

Okey-dokey. Now for the fourth round of Q&A.

Q. Where were the pictures in the previous entry taken? Isn't your KH indoors?

A. Yes, but out back we have an additional structure, seen here...

  This spot is used for numerous things. Recently, we expanded our Theocratic Ministry School to having a second school, and it's held back here. It can be used as additional seating if the hall gets to full, such as during Memorial. It's main use will actually be expanded on in the following question....

Q. For Sunday afternoon service, we meet for service right after meeting, go home, & then meet at a planned location at 4pm. I was wondering if yours was the same?

A. Our meeting ends at a little before noon, after which many go home. However, many will go into our rear seating area (as soon above) and eat lunch, talk, etc. This goes on until about 1, at which time there's a brief meeting for service. Every Sunday the territory we work is nearby the hall, so we don't have far to walk. This way, we can leave behind our jackets, meeting books, and whatnot, go out in service, and then whenever we're done we go back to the hall, gather our stuff, and go home.

Q. Can you describe for us your typical day?

A. Each day varies, depending on which day of the week it is. This handy chart, which I spent nearly a minute putting together, will explain my weekly schedule.

Sunday: Leave for the meeting at around 9:15. Meeting begins at 10. At 12, meeting ends, at which point lunch begins. This is the signal for me to remember I forgot my lunch, yet again. Fortunately, everybody brings extra food. After eating, I tell myself  "NEXT week, I'll remember my lunch." At 1, the meeting for service begins. Service typically lasts until 2, after which I continue in service with Jehu Cadogan (a 14-year old regular auxiliary pioneer) seeing various calls. We're usually out until 4:30/5-ish.

Monday: Field service. The place for meeting changes every week, so it's very important that we check the information board at each meeting to see where we'll meet for the week. After service ends (usually 12:30, though you can quit anytime you want), Monday is usually my day for getting back to magazine calls.

Tuesday: Tuesday in one of two days that there are no meetings for service. So in our house, Tuesday is cleaning, shopping, going to internet cafe, and laundry day. (Due to the lack of service Tuesdays, Monday also happens to be 'Stay Up Late Watching Movies' night.)

Wednesday: Again, service. This is my shortest service, due to door-to-door lasting until noon, and me having scheduled all my calls for other days. Sometimes I haven't finished my laundry on Tuesday, so Wednesday gives me a chance to make up for it......

Thursday: Thursday is the other day that there's no meeting for service, so I use this day as an opportunity to study for the meeting. Our meeting begins at 5 PM, and is over by 7. It's interesting though, because it's typically very hard to get a bus anywhere after dark (it's dark here by 6 PM), but there's one bus driver who's figured out "Every week there's a huge group of people standing outside the Kingdom Hall who need a ride in that direction...." So he waits outside for us. Also, there's a shop right across the road from our hall, so before we get in the bus some of us buy snacks, and then pass them around on way home. I myself am a Shirley Biscuit guy....

Friday: Again, field service in the morning, after which I go to calls I have nearby my house (say, within two villages either direction).

Saturday: On Saturday I meet for service with my service group. We only have two, so it's easy to keep straight which on I'm in (which is number two. Wait a minute... One! Yes, I am definitely in group one.)

(wait.... two? No! I am for sure in group one!)

After morning service, I visit my studies. At the moment, I have one (who's left over from my last visit), but I have three others which are close to being studies.

There was also a request for more pictures of the neighborhoods and such, but I hadn't gotten the request until a few minutes ago when I came into this Internet cafe, so I'll have to save it for next time.

Well, in recent news, Micaiah's family came to visit him (arrived today), and will be staying here for two weeks. Due to that, our house is a little full. Fortunately at the same time, Br. Dinoo and his wife will be going to Trinidad, so I'll be house-sitting for them during that time.

And it occurs to me as I sit here typing, I haven't got any pictures of the house, or Sister Dinoo.
Next time!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meet Hopetown

Sunday was my first meeting back in Hopetown. There were a few changes that had occurred since I'd been here last. The most noticeable was an entirely new body of elders. Last time, it was Shane Antony and Linel Brown. Now, it's these two:

This is Brother Denoo (pronounced Dean-o). He and his wife are from Trinidad. For once, I have no idea what the first name is.

Our other elder is the one on the left, Sean Smith. Last year he was in Paradise, our neighboring congregation, but after Brown and Antony were reassigned, he was the one asked to take their place.

The brother on the right is James Bruce, who several years ago moved here from Antigua. He's been serving as a ministerial servant in Hopetown for at least two years. Here's a better picture...
He has the best hat collection in the congregation.

Aside from Micaiah, we have three servants in our hall. James Bruce, another is William Lynton.

Our third is Claudius "Br. Mac" MacAlmont. He wasn't at the meeting Sunday, so I haven't seen him yet. If memory serves, I may have posted a picture of him on the blog a few months back.

I was reminded of one thing I had forgotten how much I enjoyed. Sunday afternoon service! Whenever I think about going in service after the meeting, I think to myself  "Ugh..." Or something along those lines. But yet, I find I love it every single time. You'd think I'd learn eventually.
One handy thing to have with you is a partner. I personally spend nearly every Sunday afternoon in service with Sean Sarjoo....

He's helpful because he refuses to slow down. Anytime I find myself thinking "That should be enough houses for the day" I look up and see him already marching to the next one.

Now for some standard updates. I finally got back home Friday, around 2 PM. Fortunately I didn't have much to unpack because I had left all my stuff here when I left. Two suitcases of clothes, meeting books, all he necessary shoes, ties, etc. As I was unpacking what little I brought, Micaiah was filling me in on some changes. For one thing, he had bought a washing machine (YAAAAAAAAYY!) One thing he mentioned was he had been having difficulty with rats. He had looked through the house several times trying to find the nest, but couldn't.

(note the foreshadowing going one here)

He also mentioned he maintained a decent schedule of house cleaning, including my room. Sweeping, dusting, etc. "The one thing I haven't cleaned," he said "Is your suitcases. I've left those alone."

(again, foreshadowing.)

So I finally go open up one of my suitcases. Inside, we find....

A nest of rats. They had chewed through the side and settled into the bottom under lots of old jeans.
The good news here though, is they had only gotten into one, and they were in the one I had filled with clothes that were on the verge of being completely ruined anyway. The other suitcase - the non-rat-infested one - is the one I had put service clothes in. And then the meeting clothes were all on hangers. So no real harm done.

To be honest, there's really a whole lot else of note. The few days should be fairly uneventful, so for the next blog, I'm relying on you. Tell me what you want me to write about.

Send questions and suggestions to nutso42@gmail.com, or if you prefer, joshuawestfall42@gmail.com
I check the first one much more. Just so you know.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Baaa-aaack!

Well, I finally made it back to Guyana. Arrived at 1:30 Friday morning. I technically didn't get out of the airport and to the hotel until past 3, but otherwise....

Anyway, the story:

I left from Columbus Airport at 12:10 Thursday (Noon. Not midnight.), and it was a straight flight to JFK in New York. From there, I boarded onto a flight that was a straight shot to Guyana. I had noticed though, while sitting at the gate for the flight, to bordering gate was "Flight Uzbekistan". I'll be honest, up to this point I had always thought Uzbekistan wasn't really a country. You know how when people need to make up a name for some ridiculous sounding country, and they'll come up with like Zwyshkistan. I was sure Uzbekistan was one of those. But it's one of those that actually exist. (Like Chad.)

Question: How come we haven't yet had a Yearbook titled "Highlights From 2012 / Chad / Uzbekistan"?

So anyway, the flight from JFK to Georgetown Guyana went well. Except for half the way we were flying through a thunderstorm. And the guy sitting behind kept bonking his head against the back of my seat.


After the plane landed at 1:30-ish, it was just a matter of going through immigration (which went fine) and finding Micaiah, who had come to pick me up. And he did so in the only appropriate Welcome-Back -To-Guyana way...

So from the airport, he gave me a ride into the capital Georgetown (commonly abbreviated G/Town), and there we stayed overnight in a hotel designed specifically for backpackers, called The Tropicana.

And so, right now we are now in the only coffee shop in the country, Oasis. I am updating my blog, drinking coffee from Guatemala (the Ethiopian coffee's better). And it's a total downpour.

(the picture of the bike is more recent than the picture of Tropicana. Note the extent of clouds and gloom and rain. It's wonderful!)

Soon I should have more. But for now, I'll leave you with this thought:

Kyrgyzstan is one of the world's six independent Turkic states (along with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan). Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and People's Republic of China to the East. It's capital and largest city is Bishkek.