Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Another staff member stolen

On Wednesday evening I received a phone call from a former staff member in Osh. After catching up on all the news, he hit me with the biggest news of all.

“Ainara is getting married,” he said. I especially liked Ainara, with her continuous bundle of energy, her good intentions and her intelligence. But I hadn’t even known she was seeing anyone, much less planning marriage.

Damir told me she’d been seeing someone for about five months.

I expected she’d invite me to the wedding and looked forward to the excuse to return to Osh.

“When will it be?” I asked.


“Tomorrow??? Why so little notice?”

“She was stolen on Monday,” he said.

He told me that her boyfriend and his parents worked in Kazakhstan and that he and his parents had apparently planned the stealing in advance to time with his parents’ visit home for the holidays. Her boyfriend wants to reestablish himself in Osh and is looking for work there.

Nobody on Ainara’s side knew about it – not her, her friends or her parents. But the boy’s side knew far enough in advance to plan a wedding party to take place two days later.

“How did he steal her?” I asked.

He didn’t know. He’d only seen her for a short time when she stopped into the office. But he said that she looked happy.

As to why, if they were happy together and wanted to marry anyway, he didn’t just ask her, Damir didn’t know. “I suppose it’s just considered an old tradition,” he said.

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