Stories tagged with Tajikistan

Oct 10, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

I have to be honest, I was slightly terrified to become a Kiva Fellow, to travel halfway across the world to a place I had to look up on a map. Don’t get me wrong, I signed up for all the right reasons: I really believe in the way that Kiva operates, I wanted to delve deeper into the world of microfinance, and I thought that a three month sabbatical might help me gain some perspective.

But I also had a lot of little voices building up in the back of my head that didn’t think this was such a good idea. I felt uncertain: I don’t speak Russian...

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Sep 9, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

Personally, I really enjoy preparing for a big trip to some far away place.  There are so many unknowns: what will I see, who will I meet, what will I eat, and what type of terrifying illness will I suffer?  But preparing for three months in Tajikistan has been a bit different.

With only a little more than two weeks until my departure, I still have a some pretty important items to secure – like a visa and some very very warm clothing.  I am cramming to learn some essential Russian and Tajiki phrases so that I can actually get myself from the airport in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to...

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Sep 9, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

I’ve been immersed in the mission this week – San Francisco’s Mission district.  Block after colorful block surrounds Kiva’s office at 18th and Folsom where we’ve been gathered just prior to our departures throughout the world.  And while you can find virtually any type of cuisine in the area – from Salvadoran to Vietnamese to Senegalese – it’s really all about the burritos.  Last night’s sampling was a bulging toasty tortilla jammed with spicy al pastor courtesy of El Farolito on 24th and Mission.  Taqueria Cancun is just a short 5...

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Aug 8, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

“Hello Daniel. How are you? I remember you said that you were willing to help some of my students out with their English lessons and…well, I have a nephew whom I would like you to meet.”

It was 9am on Monday morning. I was drinking Nescafe and checking email, when the MicroInvest English teacher came in to see if I was still willing to fulfill the pledge that I had made the day before to give some of the...

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Jul 7, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

1. Tajiki-what?: Being an American in Tajikistan means that you are in a country that few of your compatriots have ever heard of, let alone traveled to. You are a curiosity everywhere you go and the lack of Westerners gives you the opportunity to act as kind of a mini-ambassador, answering all of questions that Tajiks have been waiting, sometimes their whole lives, to ask an American. Especially in the small towns...

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Jul 7, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

My experiences here in Tajikistan over the past several weeks have run the full spectrum of human emotion.  I have laughed with astonishment at the absurd amounts of food that have been forced down my throat, stuffed like a pig all in the name of “hospitality”; I have been saddened and amazed by the industry of young porters who abandon school at the age of ten, forgoing their childhoods in order to earn a couple dollars a day...

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Jun 6, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

It’s 5:30am and after lying in bed all night, sleepless from both the strange Central Asian bacteria inhabiting my stomach and the sheer excited anticipation of my coming journey, the time has now come for what will be one hell of a ride. Kenjal, my trusty driver, arrives on time in his battered, white 4WD, his gold teeth shine in the morning sun as he greets me with the traditional “Osolom Aleikum!” “Vy gotovi? (Are you...

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