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On the Road "The purpose of life lies at the intersection of the heart's deepest desires, the mind's keenest talents, and the world's greatest needs."

Alive and Kicking in Tajikistan

TAJIKISTAN | Friday, 17 October 2008 | Views [983]

So shoot me, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything other than pictures. In fact, I still haven’t finished writing stories about my work trip around GBAO way back in August, after the venture to Afghanistan… Anyways, I’m feeling a bit obliged to give a little update so you don’t think I’ve been swept off my feet into the mountains by a dashing Pamiri boy (or by a landslide, whatever suits your fancy).

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been keeping busy with work at MSDSP, including putting together a big donor report for CIDA, starting a research project on natural resource management-related community interest groups (eg. seed associations), working on legal framework reviews, and participating in a workshop on social-ecological resilience. The work environment here is pretty chill and flexible with lots of opportunity to get involved in a variety of activities – sometimes too many, according to one of my managers, so at least that aspect of my life hasn’t changed! It’s definitely a different change of pace being a tiny part of a big organization, rather than being the head of a tiny organization, which I had kind of gotten used to at the U of Guelph. The more I’m in the field (and I mean really ‘in the field’ in rural villages, not just here in Tajikistan), the more I see myself being in this line of work for quite some time.

I’ve been busy on the home front as well, playing guitar, hanging out with friends (including a trip to gorgeous Iskander-Kul and throwing a toga party for Heidi’s 26th), and getting lots of exercise with indoor soccer and boxing several times a week. The little time I spend at home is with the family, playing with the kids and learning the finer points of Tajik cuisine.

On the Home home front back in Canada, things seem to be carrying on as usual without me, including announcements of two family weddings next summer. Strangely enough, I’ve been in more contact with my parents than I have since living with them in Sarnia 5 years ago. Funny how sometimes geographical distance tears relationships apart and other times it brings people closer together.

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