Tosa Loot, State Fair, and Other Things

Hello again to all you whippersnappers of the web! It looks like this will be my last post from Wisconsin for a little while. It certainly is exciting having the departure time so close at hand! Let’s jump right into things:

One of the things us students are in charge of when heading out to Tajikistan is preparing some gifts to give to the students there. The Tajiks, we were told, would probably have all manner of homemade gifts for us, and we’d look pretty bad just saying, “Thanks…this is really great…” and then trailing off awkwardly. Students from the U.S., as a result, should get some stuff to give to the Tajiks. At the very least, it’s an act of common courtesy.

Wait, what? What am I supposed to get that’s a good cultural gift from Wauwatosa? This isn’t New York.

Good question. I’m still wondering.

Just kidding! My mother had this great idea to contact the City of Wauwatosa to get stuff from Wauwatosa. How crazy is that? That being said, it helps that I’m on the Wauwatosa Youth Commission and that the City Administrator, Mr. Archambo, lives in my neighborhood and goes to my church. Well, one thing led to another and now I have a bag of official Wauwatosa handbags, hats, and pens sitting on the dining room table. Thanks Mr. Archambo! It cannot be said that the city doesn’t have a generous administrator.

Next: State Fair. If you’re reading this on the school website, you’ll know that West Side Stories (of which I’m a part) trucked over to the State Fair on Wednesday for a day of hardcore journalism and reporting. Maybe it wasn’t quite that exciting, but it was a good experience all said and done. When you’re done here, you should pop on over to the main site and look at the articles, videos, and pictures we made.

No, this is not a subtle, roundabout recruitment campaign. I went to the State Fair again with my family on Friday and took some more pictures as well as watched a live demonstration of a sheep being sheared. That’s something you don’t see everyday. Anyway, you’ll be seeing another culture compilation very soon about the State Fair with a bunch of the footage and pictures I took. Surely it’s a little overboard, but you really only get to go to Tajikistan for free one time, so I figure you’d best make the most of it and go a little crazy ahead of time.

In other news, learning Tajik is sort of fumbling along (it’s the thought that counts, right?). There’s a handy-dandy little guidebook I have courtesy of Super-Lazarski, and it has not only Tajik but also Pashto (the language of Pakistan). This is helpful because there will be people from Pakistan there as well, in case you missed the memo.

In closing, I think it’s prudent to say that I’m in a state of somewhat disbelief. This trip, which I’ve spent so much time looking forward to and preparing for, seems too crazy to be happening tomorrow!

Shab bakhayr and valaykum assalom, everyone!


The City of Wauwatosa gave me some bags, pens, and hats
The City of Wauwatosa gave me some bags, pens, and hats
Culture Compilation coming soon
Culture Compilation coming soon

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