1st Field Trip (Part 2, Access Program, photos)

Field Trip (2), Access Program

The U.S. embassy in Dushanbe supports intensive English programs for high school students throughout Tajikistan. Sandra Jacobs, cultural affairs officer, and Mahmud Naimov, assistant cultural affairs office, and I visited three of these programs in the Sugd region, south of Khujand, on a Thursday afternoon. English is one of the regular high school classes, but, depending on the program, the students attended this program for an additional two hours after their regular high school classes either three or six days a week. They also attend a summer camp associated with the program. The embassy pays for the use of the facilities and for the teachers. Students are given scholarships to attend the classes.

In this post, I will include some photos. I will try to post a short video in a separate post. I am not sure how to do it and I have limited time on Internet today, so I want to make sure at least the photos get posted.

Our first stop was in the town of Sharistan.

Students stood and introduced themselves individually.

Students respond to Sandy’s stories. Notice how they are dressed. The classroom is not heated.


Our last visit was to the town of Ghonchi.

At Gnochi we took off our shoes to enter the classroom. The students and teachers were prepared with slippers, but we were stuck with only our socks. Sandy was ready with her stripes.

Rather than giving a long introduction, Sandy passed out some of her photos and had the students guess information about her. Here, one of the students is holding the wedding photo and sharing information from it with the class, including that Sandy’s favorite color is red.

A student is looking at and describing another of Sandy’s photos. Mahmud enjoys the comments.

Another student is looking at and describing another of Sandy’s photos. Mahmud enjoys the comments.

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2 thoughts on “1st Field Trip (Part 2, Access Program, photos)

  1. Russell

    Oh Lord, it looks cold. At least you can look forward to Spring and a different world. (Here we are in Autumn in Perth – 35c today, 37c, tomorrow, 38c the day after – now that we’re in to the fifth month of summer we’re really hanging out for cooler weather!). Perhaps we’ll experience rain again in a few weeks time!

    The children look beautiful, and healthy. Is it one of those places where young people look so good, but everyone over 40 looks old? Do they have any junk food? what about junk food for the mind – any satellite TV from western countries?

    The pic of the dome is absolutely beautiful. Is it totally Muslim, or are there churches too?

  2. Not so cold in Khujand itself — just up in the mountains. In fact, it is about 8 degrees (centigrade) today. A definite warming up is taking place.
    The kids do look healthy, don’t they? I hadn’t thought about that. I haven’t seen any unhealthy-appearing folks — but that could be as much an attribute of who we hang out with and where. Khujand, although not as “developed” as the capital in amenities, is still considered to be one of the most prosperous cities in the most prosperous region of the country. As to aging, lots of folks who I guess are over 40 certainly do not look “old” in the sense of worn out. Plus I have been struck at how fashion-conscious the women are. As usual, I look like the middle-aged peasant woman in from the country compared to the women I see on the streets.
    Lots of satellite tv. We have 500 channels on ours, and we get about 300 of those channels. An amazing number of them are Italian — but lots of Arab stations and a few French and German as well. Not much in English (Aljazeera International, Euronews, Jewish News One, NHK World from Japan, a Korean channel in English and two Chinese channels in English — mostly all news and/or documentaries about their countries.) As I flip through channels, I see an occasional Western drama that has been dubbed.
    Junk food — lots and lots of sweets. And, of course, the ubiquitous fried starch bits, that I remember you pointing out as being universal when we were in Indonesia.
    The country is essentially Muslim, but a broad range of how it is practiced. I have heard there is an occasional church, but haven’t seen one yet. And the big spring festival is Navruz (coming up in a couple of weeks) that has its roots in Zoroasterism (I am sure I misspelled that one.)

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