Rick’s Humble Beginnings

I won’t really bother with pleasantries at the beginning of this blog. You are you and I am me, and you don’t really need to waste time reading about it.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “He can’t just start off a blog like that. He’s going to Tajikistan and he can’t even think up a good introduction?” You would, of course, be correct in saying that, because it’s appalling that kids nowadays don’t seem to understand the value of first impressions. I’ll let you ponder that one for a minute.

In the meantime, you’re probably wondering what it’s like to be a sophomore in high school and being trucked off to Tajikistan by a crazy journalism teacher. I’m going to have to disappoint you by saying I can’t really relay the feeling in a single word. Basically, you’ll have to imagine yourself in my situation. Suddenly and completely out of the blue I’m asked if I want to go to the iEARN Photojournalism Convention in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. After the first blank look and hasty Google search for Tajikistan, I’m starting to wonder about this. This country (which no one I’ve talked to has known about it the first time) is almost literally on the other side of the planet. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s an entirely different culture and experience. I’ll leave you to decide what’s good and what’s bad about those things. Do I really want to follow through with it? Talk about a weighty decision.

Fast-forward a few weeks, when after much processing, decision-making, and staring blankly at walls, I decide to take the trip. Now what? I have about a billion more things to do to prepare. Where’s that passport? Oh no, it’s expired. Better replace it. What’s that? You also need visas to get into Tajikistan? Better pop over to Walgreens and take some more pictures. Also, better hop to it with those pictures about food and farming. Do you know anything about Tajikistan? Of course not, so you better get researching. By the way, iEARN needs a presentation on it by Monday. Take care of that as well. And now I’m here blogging.

So, all in all, it’s quite the experience, and I haven’t even gone there yet. Perhaps you’re getting a sense of what it feels like

You’re probably saying to yourself, “Wow, all that had a very negative connotation.” I’m going to have to apologize for that. I’m notorious for being very blunt when I’m honest with my writing. I think it’s going to be a great trip, and all the work is a good experience. It’s really all part of the package.

Now, what better way to wrap this up than with a bit of shameless self-promotion? Rick Sear, the wonderful creator of this very sentence, has taken it upon himself to try to make it easy for YOU to view his content. Right now you’re reading this on one of two places: the Tosa West Journalism Website or the Trip to Tajikistan Google Blog. If you’re looking for the posts and nothing else, you’ll probably want to divert your attention to the West Journalism Website. If you want a bit of extra spice, try checking out the Google Blog. If you’re reading this in mid to late July, there probably won’t be a whole lot there. As time passes, however, I plan on adding little extras to the Google Blog so you get a more in-depth experience.


So I went with a generic photo. Sue me.


I highly recommend you view this and future posts in the alternate blog: Rick in Tajikistan