The Roof of the World

The Pamir mountain range and the Wakhan Valley are some of the most remote and mysterious places in the world.  There are more books written about the explorers, spies, conquerors, and kings who trod this area than one can read in a lifetime. It’s home to yaks, Bactrian camel, wolves, vultures, and other animals one … Continue reading The Roof of the World

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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

In Sickness and in Health

While I did not travel anywhere distant this spring break, which in Azerbaijan took place during the Novruz holiday, I had the opportunity to experience first-hand some fundamental Azerbaijani customs. First, the terrible cold which has been taking down Baku’s citizenry all winter, finally hit me the last week of classes. My host mom came … Continue reading In Sickness and in Health

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