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Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

…and I’m back in Istanbul airport waiting for my Turkish Airlines connection to Dushanbe.  Sounds like déjà vu, feels like déjà vu, must be déjà vu, right?

Anyway, I spent 14 months in Africa, and you got, like, three posts.  One of which was an apology for not posting.  Poor.  I do have some more in the hopper, I promise, and hopefully, my flights back-and-forth to Europe next week will give me time to pound out some more posts on Zimbabwe and my Southern African experience generally.

In the meantime, here’s the brief version of what’s the what:

  • Moving back to Tajikistan for work;
  • Hopefully will be there a while;
  • Had precious little paid work in Zimbabwe;
  • Got married in December;
  • And again in June (to the same wonderful woman, for legal reasons); and
  • Expecting a baby in January.

So, it’s been an eventful 14 months that I’ve been essentially silent on this blog.  I’m going to see that the eventful next months aren’t so quiet here.

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Or, the Diggity Dug Memorial JPG

One of the spam e-mails that ABA frequently sends me (now THAT is a wicked awesome perk of the free membership that comes with the job) pointed me to an article about a Harvard-trained lawyer who decided to give up his job at a big NYC law firm, burned his Harvard law diploma, and embarked on a quest for simplicity.  I feel that I did something similar by quitting my firm job at home and coming out here to Central Asia for a pro bono gig.  I didn’t burn my diploma though.  Also, I was aiming less for simplicity (as anyone who has seen my recently-acquired suzani collection here can attest) and more for a change of scenery and fulfillment in my job.  That I met amazing people here and fell in love were happy additions to the plan.

Anyway, this guy is blogging about his life changes, and despite not exactly being Thoreauvian in his writing, his blog can be amusing and, dare I say, interesting.  Though as someone who uses phrases like “dare I say” earnestly, I guess I would like a blog that addresses his “dear readers.”

In any event, check it out, the “Adventures in Voluntary Simplicity”: http://adventuresinvoluntarysimplicity.blogspot.com/

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Faizabad is a town of about 10,000 people about 60 km east of Dushanbe, and it is also the name of the district surrounding the town, which has a population of about 80,000.  We were there to conduct a baseline analysis of the district’s status for work purposes.  Below are some photos from yesterday.

A streetscape in Faizabad, looking to the mountains

A streetscape in Faizabad, looking to the mountains

So this is your basic street view of the town; as with everywhere in this part of Tajikistan, the vegetation is big, lush, and green as we’ve had more rain than is usual for this time of year.  It’s my understanding that by June it usually has stopped raining until the fall, but not so since I’ve been here.

Faizabad-Hukimat2

Lenin Square in Faizabad, in front of the district hall of government, or Hukimat

You can see the ominious thunder clouds in the distance as we look at the Hukimat, or government center.  You can also see the statute of Lenin in the square, which is called, naturally, Lenin Square.  Some things die hard.

View from in front of the Hukimat

View from in front of the Hukimat

After a bunch of meetings with local stakeholders, we had lunch at this roadside restaurant.  Our local partners were nice enough to treat us to lunch, and below is their picture with me.

At Lunch

At Lunch

Finally, before we wrapped up for the day, we visited a local non-profit in one of the outlying jamoats (or village regional councils) of Faizabad.  It was only a few kilometers away from Faizabad Town, but it definitely had a more rural feel.

View from Lolagi jamoat

View from Lolagi jamoat

All in all, a really interesting day, and it was great to get out to the countryside.

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Faizabad tomorrow

Tomorrow I’m off to one of Tajikistan’s regions, Faizabad, which I think is about 75 kilometers east of Dushanbe. This is a work trip, so it’s probably wise not to expect a lot of pretty pictures to come out of it, but you never know.

Sorry for the lack of substantive posts everybody. Moving in (and figuring where the towels were hidden — yes, there were some in a random drawer in the bedroom) has been a process, as has getting up to speed at work, and I don’t have internet at my place yet. But all is well, and I have some thoughts on some interesting posts to come. Why chicken in Tajikistan tastes like fish is one example, so stay tuned.

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