My name is Laura Kelly, and I arrived before the sun rose in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on January 1, 2014. I am here to teach journalism, media ethics and storytelling at the American University of Central Asia and the Kloop Media Foundation. As the poet Theodore Roethke says: “I learn by going where I have to go.”

I’m not so keen on blogs. I find them confessional, mundane and long-winded. When I told friends I was going to create one, I said it was not going to be the type of blog that reads: “I had oatmeal for breakfast. And I am lonely.”

This instead is an electronic portal, scrapbook, set of postcards. My aim is to capture slices of my daily life here during my year in Bishkek as it unfolds. This site is primarily for myself and my friends and others in my orbit. If the occasional cyber wanderer lands here and it suits, so be it.

The name for the blog comes from a fragment in a Mary Oliver poem. And so does my manifesto: “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

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