“I am proud that I made my first hang glider myself. At the time it was difficult to buy the parts but my dream was to have a have a bird’s-eye view of the world, so for a whole year I patiently assembled the hang glider in my kitchen, following drawings I made based on newspaper photographs. And finally, I flew with it. Initially I had wanted to build a hot-air balloon, but I couldn’t afford it. Getting parts for my hang glider was hard enough. I remember walking many miles with my wife to a space station to get duralumin pipes. That was high in the mountains, in winter, and we had to walk home as well as we were too late to catch the only bus. My wife and I would often go rock climbing and trekking in the mountains. We both had jobs as tourist guides; she worked with children at a campsite and I took tourists on hikes. During the summer I led three, sometimes five, walking trips with tourists to Lake Issyk Kul and back. I was always an adventurer. When I went to a hang gliding competition in Uzbekistan, I was asked to be a judge in spite of the fact that at that time I hadn’t ever flown before. I studied this subject thoroughly, learning how to build my own equipment and how to operate it. I frequently found myself being asked for advice. I took my first flight at the age of 36 and flew for three years until my mother begged me to stop.