Beginnings

On these pages, I will be telling the story of my 10-month adventure in Tajikistan. From August 28, 2017, to June 28, 2018, I will be in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. I will be there to teach English. It will be an adventure for me and, I hope for you as well. Follow along as I have my teaching and learning experience in Central Asia through which the Silk Road passed. I will use words, pictures, and videos to tell the story. Let me begin by showing you where I will go on this journey. The maps below show where Tajikistan is in relation to Rhode Island and how far away it is and how small it is. 

Where in the world is Tajikistan?


Tajikistan is one of the 7 -Stans of Central Asia. It is surrounded by Afghanistan and Pakistan on the south, China on the east, Kyrgyzstan on north and Uzbekistan on the west. It is very mountainous and a totally land-locked country. 

-Stan, by the way, means 'country'. So, Tajikistan is the country of the Tajik people. 

How far away is Tajikistan?


It is about 6,430 miles or 9,656 kilometers away from Rhode Island. It will take me about 34 hours of travel to get to Tajikistan from Rhode Island. I will begin at T. F. Green airport, travel to Newark, New Jersey then I will fly to London, Istanbul, and from there I will fly to my final destination, Dushanbe. 



What is this pinkish rabbit like blob on top of the middle of the United States? 


That is Tajikistan. It is a pretty small country and it has a lot of mountains. Tajikistan is located at 39º N and Missouri is at 37º N. Both places are landlocked, but Tajikistan is far more mountainous than Missouri. This will certainly have an effect on the climate. I'll show you pictures of more later.


How does Tajikistan compare to Rhode Island in size and location in the world? 


First of all, Tajikistan is land locked and Rhode Island is on the coast. Secondly, Tajikistan has some of the tallest mountains in the world. In fact, when it was a republic of the Soviet Union, it boasted the tallest mountains in the whole Soviet Union. The name of this mountain peak is Ismoil (sometimes spelled Ismail) Somoni Peak, which is 24,590 feet or about 7,495 meters. Rhode Island, on the other hand, lovingly boasts Jerimoth Hill as the tallest peak in the state at 812 feet or 248 meters. 

What is the English Language Fellow Program?

According to the English Language Fellow program guide: The English Language Fellow Program is the premier opportunity for experienced teachers of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) to enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English is taught abroad. Through projects developed by U.S. Embassies in more than 80 countries, Fellows work directly with local teachers, students, and educational professionals to improve the quality of English language instruction offered at prestigious universities and other academic institutions. 


So, in simple terms, I will be teaching young adults English, mostly conversational English. I will also be teaching seminars on how to teach.


Where will I be working while I am in Tajikistan?

I will be working at the Tajik State Pedagogical University. Here is an official description of the school.

Established in 1931, Tajik State Pedagogical University is a higher education institution located in the medium-sized city of Dushanbe (population range of 500,000-1,000,000 inhabitants). Officially accredited/recognized by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Tajikistan, Tajik State Pedagogical University (TSPU) is a coeducational higher education institution. Tajik State Pedagogical University (TSPU) offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees in several areas of study. TSPU also provides several academic and non-academic facilities and services to students including a library, as well as administrative services.