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

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Language Matters for Development Work

Last week my internship with the National Democratic Institute in Georgia took me to the beautiful resort town of Borjomi, where I had the unique opportunity to observe trainings for local government officials.  The topic of the training was election campaign management, and NDI flew in an American expert for the occasion – a distinguished … Continue reading Language Matters for Development Work

Women’s Political Participation in Georgia

In my orientations preparing for Georgia, gender was a major topic of discussion. I learned that while society is progressing, there are still traditional biases about women and women’s' roles in Georgia. I prepared to be treated differently as a woman in the country. Some of my expectations were met consistently: men, for example, do … Continue reading Women’s Political Participation in Georgia

A Vegetarian in Kazakhstan

When you are a vegetarian in Kazakhstan, people immediately take notice. In America, my diet is slightly atypical, but here—I am an anomaly. Nearly everyone who hears that I do not eat meat wants to know more about me and why I made this decision. This did not come as a surprise to me. Kazakh … Continue reading A Vegetarian in Kazakhstan

Workplace Dynamics

This summer abroad program is my second study abroad experience in Russia (the first being in Petersburg), and my first extended stay in Moscow. On one hand, I feel quite adept in certain areas of language, day-to-day activities, and engaging in Russian culture thanks to my previous experience. On the other, as my continually increasing … Continue reading Workplace Dynamics