Saturday, February 11, 2006

Shout-out to Lena Skochilo!

Hello to the little Asian girl! Has it been 5 years already since I first began talking to Ms. Skochilo? Who would believe all the changes since then ...!

I visited
the Skochilo family in April/May 2003 in the little city of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Most American's couldn't place Bishkek on the map and the trip was really very interesting. The Skochilo's treated me very well, they seemed very excited by the idea of an American coming to visit their little corner of the world. While there, I visited Bishkek ... Tokmok (had lemon-flavored samogon on Easter with Elena's grandmother) ... Burana Tower ... and Issyk-Kol Lake. Was a very interesting experience and one I won't ever forget.

Since that time, many things have changed. Elena has been working as an
independent photojournalist, was a webmaster for a news site in Kyrgyzstan, gained some small amount of fame through her blog during the so-called revolution ("My City Died Last Night" which was used by many Russian news sites), was interviewed by BBC Radio after the "revolution" in Bishkek, and she traveled to the North Carolina, Boston and NYC through a US State Department program with IREX for 3 weeks in 2005. Currently she does some photography work for and deals with their Moscow office for assignments.

Elena is trying to get more work through some of the international news agencies, such as ITAR-TASS, AFP, and AP images. Anyone interested in hiring an experienced photographer/journalist with computer programming and webmaster skills .... should definitely give her a call.

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