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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."

Trip: Central Asia '08-'09

There are [30] stories from my trip: Central Asia '08-'09

When you just don't know how to react...

TAJIKISTAN | Saturday, 14 Mar 2009 | Views [1210] | Comments [1]

It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. I’ve trained myself not to outwardly react to most surprises in the name of cultural sensitivity. I’ve been told more than once that I should learn how to play Texas Hold ‘Em because I’ve got such a good poker face ... Read more >

Tuning in to Sufi harmony

TAJIKISTAN | Friday, 6 Mar 2009 | Views [2316]

The current Iranian administration has a way of suppressing anything that doesn't adhere to hard-line conservative Islam, the latest example of which is the attacks upon Shi'a Sufism  (see article below). Here in Tajikistan, the alleged birthplace ... Read more >

Waves of invasion in the "graveyard of empires"

AFGHANISTAN | Wednesday, 18 Feb 2009 | Views [1654]

This article from RFE/RL gives a brief overview of the past few decades of events that have led to the current state of Aghanistan. The current war is a humbling echo not only of the Soviet invasion, but also of the Great Game of the 1800s between Britain ... Read more >

Through the Eyes of a Soldier

AFGHANISTAN | Tuesday, 17 Feb 2009 | Views [529]

For one reason or another, I've been keeping up my morning routine of reading my Canadian news on canoe.ca and globeandmail.com. Today, I came across this photo gallery: http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/gallery/afgshots/2009/02/05/8282516.html It's a collection ... Read more >

Tajikistan looks past Russia to Iran for regional ties

TAJIKISTAN | Thursday, 12 Feb 2009 | Views [808]

This article from RFE/RL gives a good picture of the shifting geopolitics between Tajikistan, Russia, and the other former Soviet Republics, as well other countries (i.e. Iran) positioning themselves to be regional powerhouses. Trip Cancellation Fuels ... Read more >

"Free Media in Unfree Societies"

WORLDWIDE | Thursday, 12 Feb 2009 | Views [620]

The tagline of RFE/RL ( www.rferl.org ), my new favourite source of news about Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Middle East, is a simple yet powerful mission about something that we take for granted in Canada: freedom to inform and be informed. With ... Read more >

Gallery: Kazakhstan

KAZAKHSTAN | Tuesday, 10 Feb 2009 | Photo Gallery

Heidi and I took the 4-day train from Moscow to Almaty, Kazakhstan, and spent one day/night in Almaty before heading home to Dushanbe
See all 66 photos >>

Gallery: Russia

RUSSIAN FEDERATION | Monday, 9 Feb 2009 | Photo Gallery

Heidi and I spent about a week in the Motherland (or at least the Motherland for Tajikistan), hitting up the main sights in Moscow and St. Petersburg and enjoying the stereotypically frigid Russian winter weather
See all 133 photos >>

Back in the USSR

TAJIKISTAN | Friday, 30 Jan 2009 | Views [661]

Heidi and I are taking the remainder of our vacation days on a rather last-minute trip to Russia and Kazakhstan (yes, Borat's homeland... here's to hoping we don't run into any fluorescent green banana hammocks looking for sexy-time). I'll be sure to ... Read more >

Holidays in the Stans

TAJIKISTAN | Tuesday, 6 Jan 2009 | Views [1881]

While almost all of my expat colleagues went back to Europe, North America, or warmer climates for Christmas and New Year’s, I had decided months ago to stick around Central Asia. Circumstances kept Heidi here as well and we busied ourselves by working ... Read more >


TAJIKISTAN | Tuesday, 6 Jan 2009 | Views [24294] | Comments [1]

Although I swear that every bend of the Western Pamirs looks different, the Eastern Pamirs have an even more noticeably unique look. Technically classified as high-altitude plateaus, they remind me of what I imagine the moon must look like. About half ... Read more >

Gallery: Kyrgyzstan

KYRGYZSTAN | Thursday, 1 Jan 2009 | Photo Gallery

See all 93 photos >>

When the abnormal becomes the norm

TAJIKISTAN | Thursday, 11 Dec 2008 | Views [1829]

Here in Tajikistan, I’m happily used to life without ATMs, laundry machines, microwave ovens, and reliable internet and electricity. I’m used to being unable to drink the water without straining out little pieces of leaves, twigs, and god-knows-what ... Read more >

The Great Debate

WORLDWIDE | Thursday, 4 Dec 2008 | Views [671]

On Dec. 1, the second Munk Debate posed the following resolution to four esteemed panellists: “If countries like Sudan, Somalia, and Burma will not end their man-made humanitarian crises, the international community should…” The panellists in ... Read more >

Gallery: Tajikistan - Month 6

TAJIKISTAN | Monday, 1 Dec 2008 | Photo Gallery

See all 46 photos >>

Gallery: Tajikistan - Month 5

TAJIKISTAN | Thursday, 27 Nov 2008 | Photo Gallery

Includes (in order): HH visit & didars in GBAO; roundtable on cross-border trade with Afghanistan; pasture assessments in Vanj; hike in Varzob Valley
See all 53 photos >>


TAJIKISTAN | Friday, 21 Nov 2008 | Views [4362] | Comments [2]

After our brief jaunt to Afghanistan for the Pamiri Festival in the Wakhan Corridor, Heidi and I parted ways – she back to Dushanbe and I on a work trip with my boss to check up on MSDSP projects. Our itinerary involved traversing a good portion of ... Read more >

A Different Kind of Remembrance Day: Casualties of the Innocent

AFGHANISTAN | Monday, 17 Nov 2008 | Views [1433] | Comments [3]

I have not seen many over the years, but I always smile to myself when I see someone wearing a ‘peace poppy’ pin with a small dove in the center of the flower. It of course symbolizes the remembrance of soldiers who died to defend our nation’s sovereignty, ... Read more >

HH in TJ

TAJIKISTAN | Thursday, 23 Oct 2008 | Views [1108] | Comments [1]

It's FINALLY been confirmed - His Highness is coming to Tajikistan. I'm heading to Khorog for the first week of November to volunteer with the preparations in GBAO. Since I don't have a spiritual leader of my own (Jane Goodall aside), this is a unique ... Read more >

Alive and Kicking in Tajikistan

TAJIKISTAN | Friday, 17 Oct 2008 | Views [984]

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 ... Read more >

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