Where’s Waldo? More like where’s Tajikistan.

Here I am thinking my summer was going to consist of late nights and early mornings. I saw myself waking up at 5:30 every morning to be at work by 7:15. and home by midnight. No where in the description of my summer did I see spend, “spend a week in a foreign country where the location is unknown.”

At first I thought Mr. Lazarski was hounding me to join the school newspaper because I showed lots of interest of taking pictures and publishing them, but after countless twitter direct messages and phone calls home, I finally decided maybe this is something really important.

It was an ordinary day (or at least I thought) after work when I was headed to dinner with a friend. My mom had called me several and texted a few times saying, “you need to call home.” My first instinct is that I’m in trouble, but it wasn’t possible because I was not past curfew and I had did my chores the following day. So finally I called my mom back and she states that Mr.Lazarski called and wanted to know if I wanted to go to Pakistan or Israel, she didn’t really remember.

I was very excited that I had gotten that opportunity to leave the country for the first time even if I was going to decline.  I told her those countries are in deep turmoil and that they are deemed unsafe. So I returned his call to get more information and to politely decline. I returned his call in the parking lot of Outback as we waited for our table to be ready. I was late for dinner that night because I learned that in fact we were not traveling to Pakistan or Israel but instead the trip was to Tajikistan for a photojournalism workshop.

After learning the details aka me finding out it was a free trip, I immediately accepted and starting researching this new country that I had never heard of. Tajikistan is a small country in central Asia and is very peaceful. I began a series of culture gram worksheets and Google presentations to understand the culture of Tajikistan and how it differs from America.

All of the anticipation that has built within the last month are at a raging boil because I leave for Tajikistan in a little over a week and I can’t contain my excitement. Tonight we had our final meeting before we leave next Tuesday and all of the travelers seemed very excited! Along with myself three other Tosa West students are also going to attend the conference in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Even though I am not rooming with another Tosa West student, I am excited to room with someone from Connecticut.