An unexpected road to enlightenment, on a road less traveled…

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Prepare for the unexpected, or sometimes the unexpected road to enlightenment, on a road less traveled. In 2013, my friend Katie shared a horrific story with me about her friend Nayla and Nayla’s group of friends on what started off as a group project to film a documentary about Hayat Tarikov, a local Kyrgyz man living in Arslanbob, Kyrgyzstan. Tarikov is a man with a dream to protect the world’s largest walnut forest and to better his country’s economy through ski tourism. He has also taken it upon himself to teach the children in his community how to ski. He feels this is a life skill they will be able to use to give them a better future.

Nayla set up a Kick Starter page called Project Kyrgyzstan, to raise money for the project. Their goal was to raise $10,000 by February 23, 2012, with 98 backers; they were able to raise $10,570 by their set date. On Nayla’s Kick Starter page, she had all the planned details for the project laid out for the backers to see; December and January was the time the group would gather equipment, research, setting up blogs, and to write grants. In January, they planned on making their way to Kyrgyzstan to film the documentary for 2-3 months, in the town of Arslenbob and neighboring ski resorts. They planned on returning to the US in April to work on the postproduction and had a possible distributor with the Ski Channel and possibly other opportunities with additional venders. Nayla’s documentary adventure sounded like an amazing adventure. Nothing could have prepared them for what actually happened.

The story is horrific, a big dose of reality on how different other are from the United States. As a traveler, I have never experienced anything like this. I have hear some crazy stories from people visiting some of the same countries I have been to, but nothing like this. Like Doug said in his blog about the experience, “If you would have asked me 2 weeks ago to make up the most absurd, unbelievable story ever, I couldn’t have conjured up the fairy tale, somewhat nightmare I’m sitting in today. I’m loosely using the term “fairy tale” as it’s pretty far from that.” I am sure up until January, Nayla and her friends had never experienced anything like this while traveling either.

Check out Doug’s Blog: Kyrgyzstan An Unexpected Accident With Life

Check out Nayla’s Kick Starter Page: Project Kyrgyzstan

The Ski Channels Page: Project Kyrgyzstan: A Documentary Film About One Mans Dream To Develop A Ski Industry To Save His Economy

After 4-years Nayla is ready to return to Kyrgystan to accomplish what she set out to do in the documentary Return to Kyrgystan. Please follow her and her team as they document their journey on Facebook Return to Kyrgystan Movie FaceBook Page and their website, Return to Kyrgystan Website.

Please share this post for others to read about their terrifying, yet amazing journey and show your support by Liking their Facebook page and or donating to their cause.

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