Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rasht Valley and Garm, Tajikistan

This is a photo of the Rasht Valley that surrounds Garm. I can't believe how blue the sky was and how clean and cool the air felt. It was definitely a good day or hiking and seeing the place that I'll be calling home for the next few months.

Many families have cows and sheep. These cows are owned by a village in the valley and families take turns herding the cattle into the mountains in the morning and bringing them back to the village in the evening. If a family doesn't want to take its turn to herd the cattle then they must pay another family to do it for them.

This was my guide for my first hike. He is the assistant manager at Mercy Corps and also a sometimes teacher in the program I'm consulting for.

This is a man who was cutting grass so it could be dried and made into hay for the cows and donkeys.

I was told by my guide that taking photos of people is a sign of friendship. This family was eager to have their picture taken. I will eventually print it out and take it to them.

This is a photo of girdacha which is a type of national bread. Look at how huge it is and this is only a piece of bread. If I ate all this bread myself I would be a cow! I bet it would make good pizza though! yum!
This is my back yard at the hotel. People just wander around back there and this happens to be a man going to the hose to get some water for tea. The beard on this man and his flowing robe is a common sight here in Garm.
This is a cot and it's the place for eating. The food is placed in the center and then everyone sits around. I had dinner here at Janice's house. She is another American living in Garm and she's the director of Mercy Corps, the American organization that is helping Tajiks build greenhouses for food sustainability and giving workshops on health and midwifing (if that's a word).

This is something that my cooker lady made for me. It's a national dish called plov. It's something like fried rice and is quite oily. It usually comes with some type of meat, too.

On the road to Garm there were herds of cows in the street. I've never seen anything like it before but it's common in Tajikistan. So the dangers on the road to Garm are rock slides, mud slides, and cows.

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