Work and Family
Just a brief outline of what life looks like now that I’ve settled down a bit:
My family, the Nuriddinovs, consists of the father and mother, Nasim (who goes by Nasimako–ako means big brother) and Manzura, their 17-year old son Amir and Nasim’s mother, who pretty much goes by grandma.
Amir (or Amirjon, jon is another common suffix signifying closeness) takes special English classes and is hoping to study in the US next year with the State Department’s FLEX (Future Leaders EXchange) program. I hope he makes it. Then I could show him some hospitality.
My work mostly involves leading discussion clubs, at the Commerce University and the American Corner. American Corners are a little-known and interesting piece of American foreign policy. They are small libraries of books in English about American culture, along with English learning materials and information about study-abroad opportunities in the US. They are sponsored by the Cultural Affairs Section of the US Embassy, in partnership with local educational institutions. These “Corners” began in the former Soviet Union, but are now worldwide. In a slightly bizarre, but charming piece of similar friendship diplomacy the American Corner in Khujand contains a “British Corner” within it. They only get one shelf though. It has some Dickens novels and some Sherlock Holmes. Gotta love the Brits.
Anyway, I only work part-time hours as an English language teacher, so I’ll be spending the rest of my time as an intern with Mercycorps, an NGO which focuses on rural development, agriculture and health. If their Tajikistan site seems a little bit sparse and out of date to you, it’s because updating it will likely be one of my upcoming tasks as the new English-language content-creator on board. Mercycorps seems to operate in a way that is genuinely directed by community participation. I feel privileged to get to see their operations in the field.
So that’s my life, more or less! So far it’s been constantly interesting.
Osh-making with Nasimako and Manzura.
And here’s Amir.