My Favorite Language Teachers: кӯдакон

My first host family experience was back in 2014, when I worked as a fille au pair (live-in nanny) in Marseille, France. I lived with a French-Italian family, took care of Titien (three years old) and Timoté (five), and improved my French language skills whilst playing Legos or long games of cache-cache (“hide and seek”). … Continue reading My Favorite Language Teachers: кӯдакон


History Coming to Life

I make it a point to regularly sit down with my host mother and chat. Classes, for as valuable as they are, are nothing compared to spontaneous interactions and real conversations. It’s been during these conversations that I realized I was talking to a woman who witnessed and was an active participant in the history … Continue reading History Coming to Life

Alternative Spring Break: Buzkashi Edition

We spring semester language students are officially halfway through our respective Farsi, Tajik, Dari, and Uzbek language programs of study, which means – Spring Break! To kick off our week-long Spring Break/Navruz celebrations here in Dushanbe, we all celebrated by attending a good ol’ fashioned game of dead goat polo, aka, buzkashi. Buzkashi is the … Continue reading Alternative Spring Break: Buzkashi Edition

A Trip to Safed Dara and How to Decompress on Study Abroad

On December 29, 2017 Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon signed a decree declaring 2018 the Year of Tourism and Folk Crafts in Tajikistan. Although Tajikistan is an incredibly budget-friendly tourist destination, full of beautiful mountain landscapes, ancient historical cities, and a unique blend of Persian and post-Soviet cultures, it remains relatively undiscovered by American visitors. For this … Continue reading A Trip to Safed Dara and How to Decompress on Study Abroad

Persimmons and Vodka Remedies: A Taste of Tajik Home Life

Sweet Flower My host mother’s name is Gulshirin (Per: گلشیرین / Taj: гулширин), literally “flower sweet,” but since we prefer to put our adjectives before nouns in English, “sweet flower” probably sounds better to your ears. Beautifully devout, she prays daily (maybe 5 times, I’m not sure), which I usually witness around dinner time during … Continue reading Persimmons and Vodka Remedies: A Taste of Tajik Home Life

Six Months in Tajikistan

The following blog post is from Eli Pollock, a Fulbright-Hays fellow from the Fall 2017 Eurasian Regional Language Program cohort. For more information about the Fulbright-Hays fellowship, please visit our website. At my home university, I study Farsi and international security. I am required to become proficient in a foreign language to graduate and had … Continue reading Six Months in Tajikistan

February in Dushanbe

My flight into Tajikistan came into the country in the early hours of the morning.It was dark and cold and the flight over showed no glimpses of what the country would be like. The airport was a generic airport, nothing remarkable, neither good nor bad. We were dropped off at our host families’ homes. I … Continue reading February in Dushanbe

Conducting Research with Afghan and Tajik Border Police in Dushanbe

Besides taking Farsi and Tajiki language classes in Dushanbe, I have also been working with EU Border Management in Northern Afghanistan (EU-BOMNAF). BOMNAF, a UNDP Tajikistan affiliate, works with Afghan and Tajik border police and customs officials to equip them with the skills to control their borders. This July, BOMNAF hosted a two-week border security … Continue reading Conducting Research with Afghan and Tajik Border Police in Dushanbe

Finding Heritage in Tajikistan

A few summers ago, my sisters and I were in San Diego with my parents visiting a park. On the way, we saw a shop selling kites. My parents wanted to buy one to fly together but my sisters and I were apprehensive – we had never flown a kite. What if we spent a … Continue reading Finding Heritage in Tajikistan

The Living Tajiki Language (Tajiki vs. Farsi)

As one of the few ERLP students in Tajikistan studying Tajiki, I consider myself fortunate to be able to live life through my target language every day.  Like most other participants on the program, I came to Tajikistan with a background in Farsi, the Iranian dialect of the Persian language, but not in Tajiki.  While … Continue reading The Living Tajiki Language (Tajiki vs. Farsi)