Author Archives: Terry Porsild

Families Without Fathers

I am meeting 17-year-old Gulbahor’s mother for the first time. We are on outreach in the south of Tajikistan to assess Gulbahor’s home. She has been in hospital in Dushanbe for 6 months and we recently found out that her … Continue reading

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Of sticky mouths and contemplation

The holy month for Islamic people is happening now: Ramadan. Tajikistan is a muslim country and many people are observant, so many are fasting. When I heard how many of our national staff were going to fast, and that my … Continue reading

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Death and dilemma

Emotions don’t really fall into the category of stigma the way TB does, yet the Tajiks seem very frightened of evoking too many of them. They go out of their way to avoid displays of emotion, seeing people cry upsets … Continue reading

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World TB Day

March 24th was World TB Day, sounds like a happy event! But as someone here pointed out, TB is not something to celebrate. Oh yeah, almost forgot. But it’s good there is a day for it, because we really need … Continue reading

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Navruz

It is Navruz: literally ‘a new day’, and the biggest festival in Tajikistan. It’s a spring festival, a celebration of the new year (equinox) starting. One of the symbols for it is sprouting wheat. I know this because the children … Continue reading

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Food, faith and fables

Harissa is a year-and-a-half old, but she has the appearance of a baby a few months old. Her TB has left her so malnourished that she only weighs 4 kilos – less than when she was born. Her skull bones … Continue reading

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Frustration

Frustration reigns supreme in our project! We are “hands off” here. We don’t practice our professions with the families referred to us; we are training our Tajik counterparts to do it. This is the way it should be but it … Continue reading

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Fate and medicine

The Tajik people are big on fate. Their version of the islamic saying ‘inshallah’, which is nazeeb boshad, means more like “if fate so wills” than “if Allah so wills”. Maybe this is because Tajikistan has always been a kind … Continue reading

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Stigma

You know how even back home, people are still reluctant to let it become known that they need psychological help? It still seems to be seen as a weakness to have feelings and moods and tension, and to go to … Continue reading

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