I'm sorry I haven't updated in the past two weeks - but nothing terribly exciting has happened here in Dushanbe. The biggest development thus far has been an issue with my laptop's battery - my six year old sister spilled choi (tea) on my laptop, and while my computer work(ed) just fine, the battery won't charge. Fortunately my computer is under warranty (thank you, Aunt Monique!) but I'll have to wait until I get back to the States to have my computer fixed - this means my first stop after landing in D.C. will indeed be the nearest Apple Store.
So until then I'm using a laptop that the American Councils has kindly let me borrow. Not having my personal laptop is frustrating, especially because I use a special flash card program to study Persian vocabulary. On the plus side, I've learned all sorts of words relating to computer repair.
We haven't had power at night for the past few weeks - and there are several theories circulating on the matter:
1.) There has been less rain this spring, and the reservoirs are empty and dams are unable to produce power.
2.) Tajikistan preemptively sold electricity to Afghanistan in January, not expecting lower rainfall and empty reservoirs in the spring.
3.) There is plenty of electricity, but Tajikistan is just selling it all to Afghanistan.
4.) The Uzbek government has been complaining that Tajikistan is sabotaging the Uzbek cotton crop but limiting the water flow to Uzbekistan. Tajikistan is citing electricity shortages as proof that as much water is reaching Uzbekistan as possible.
Besides the usual electricity shortages, life has been fairly mundane. On Sunday I'm making BBQ for my host family. I have been unable to find any cuts of meat resembling brisket or ribs here, so I purchased a slab of mystery meat that a Tajik gentleman assured me was beef. My host family's oven doesn't have any temperature settings besides '1', '2' or '3' so I'm going to scrounge up some foil, set the oven on '1' and hope for the best.
The weather here has been getting pleasantly warm - and I've gotta admit, my spirits have improved now that I'm not freezing. I'll update next week with something more interesting!