Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Fam in the 'Stan

I love my host family. I don't have pictures of all the members of my host family yet - Tajikis generally change into "house clothes" when they return from work or school, mainly to preserve their clothing. Basically, it's difficult to catch my host family members in normal clothing as opposed to PJs.

So this is Shukrona. She is my host granddaughter/sister/niece (the daughter of my host brother's wife) and very energetic. We've bonded over Hannah Montana (pronounced Khhhanna Muntana) and tic tac toe. We've even had decent rounds of hang-man, although I'm handicapped because I'm just starting to learn Tajik Cyrillic. She's pretty fond of pickles. 

Saodat, my host mother and the grandmother/matron of our household. She helps her daughter-in-law with household chores, plays Sudoku, prays 5 times a day, and keeps her grandchildren in line. 

One of my host brothers/nephews/family members Fairouz is pictured above, along with our Korean neighbor, Dimitri. My host brothers (Shorukh and Fairouz) love Age of Empires. Love it. In fact, we don't converse much because they're glued to the computer. The computer does not connect to the internet - but I swear, all it's used for is Age of Empires and Solitare. Mostly Age of Empires, although Saodat seems very fond of Solitaire. The host brothers remind me of my own blood brothers - Nick and Lance - except in America we trade the PC and AoE for an xBox and Halo. 

Muhabbat, my host sister/wife-of-my-host-brother is wonderful. She cooks, and launches into long Tajik diatribes when we converse. I may not understand half of what she says, but we had a very interesting conversation about Tajiki standard of beauty (unibrow) and watched what I interpreted to be "Tajikistan's Next Top Model" together. I don't see her husband, Jalol, very much, except at dinner and breakfast. Jalol works at a bank (not sure which one). 

I think the reason I love this host family so much is because the dynamics are similar to my own American family.  I have three younger host siblings, two of them are brothers and the youngest is a very charismatic sister. They don't speak any English, which is great for my Persian/Tajik. I've included some photos of the street I live on and the courtyard of my home below.


  1. This is great to hear Emily! A good host family is crucial and it sounds like yours is top notch. Keep the posts coming.

  2. Emily, my name is Max and I was the next student after you to stay with this family. I am writing them a letter right now and just randomly googled Saodat out of curiosity when the picture of Fairuz and Dimitri popped up with your article. I couldnt believe it. Arent they the greatest family?! They had so many great things to say about you. I am so happy you put this up. Just wanted to say thank you. This actually made my day.

  3. I have a story about every picture you put up here too which obviously you do as well haha thanks again