Sunday, March 30, 2008

I can’t believe I am leaving Tajikistan today. I feel as though I am going on a 1 week vacation and will be back. I am packed, moved out of my apartment, and just came to work for the morning. I will leave after lunch to head to the Tashkent airport in Uzbekistan.

My time in Tajikistan was a great experience. I met many wonderful people and had a lot of good times. I also met some not so nice people (mainly Tajik men thinking I was a Russian prostitute because of my fair complexion and no other reason…) and had some challenging times as well (such as the coldest winter in 40 years coupled with an energy crisis).

Working at MEDA was also a wonderful time, I was very happy to have the opportunity to apply my food science knowledge to help fruit and vegetable processors over here. I also visited many projects in the field, and had the chance to see much of northern Tajikistan and the meet people from several different regions. I will miss the beautiful drives through the mountains and meeting very friendly, hospitable clients.

All in all I have learned a lot about living and working overseas, mixing into a different culture and the most difficult part was learning not to compare the new culture with the values I had as a Canadian. I tried not to make judgments, and understand why some traditions are acceptable when back home they would not be. It was challenging, but in the end when my best friend here said “Kelly, you really understand our culture, most foreigners don’t” it really made me happy.

Well, I think it’s too soon to know how this experience will really affect me, but I know for sure it has changed me. I am looking forward to spending time in Nepal so I can reflect on my experience here, and digest it a little before going back to Canada. I know it will be overwhelming when I get back, being exposed to everyone and everything that I have gone so long without now. But I know I will adjust again, and hopefully before I know it I will be on another adventure shortly!

Thank you for reading and following my experiences. I don’t know if I will post at all when I am in Nepal, but surely I will when I arrive back in Canada in May.

Goodbye for now!
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christina said...

I love this picture -- with the long, curvy road behind you...and ahead.

John B said...

That was the slowest/fastest 7 months. Can hardly wait until you come home for a home cooked meal. I just learned how to use the oven, but now I will have to find somewhere else to store my laundry. The racks are great for socks. xoxoxoxoxo Daddy

Phil said...

I have greatly enjoyed your blog, it's a great way to share your adventures and let people see how others live around the world. I read your dads comments, the best he can do is dry his socks in the oven. Talk him in to taking you to Sambos for breakfast with the gang.
See you when you get back. Phil

Vanessa said...


I am leaving in August on an internship to Tajikistan. I loved reading your blog because it has a lot of information that I have been wondering about. Especially about being a vegetarian over there! Anyway, I do still have a question regarding dress. I am wondering about how conservative it is. If you get a chance and don't mind messaging me about what you think, I would really appreciate it.


Pont said...


A lovely blog and a lovely experience, I am a citizen of Tajikistan and I haven't been home for a year,
It was good to read your blog...


caferrence said...

kelly - i have just arrived in khujand for a three month stint with kiva. i have really enjoyed reading your blog. i was wondering if i could pick your mind about a few things;
thanks! carrie

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bharatbook said...

Really awesome information.

Tourism in Tajikistan

S. Gamboa said...

It was a great thing the mountain terrain in Tajikistan. I remembered myself traveling from Penjikent to the capital, Dushanbe.