Friday, December 09, 2005

The family in Osh

I became worried about the money problems my Osh family seemed to be suffering during my last visit. So when Sven, the person being sent to replace me in Osh, expressed interest in living with a family, I hooked him up with Nigora and Shavkat. He moved in a few days after I left and loves them as I did. He will live there a month. Then, if his wife and young daughter agree to those living conditions, they will all live there together. I was glad that he has the opportunity, as I did, to integrate with a local family. And I know that the income from a renter will be a big help to the family’s financial stability.

I call them about a once a week. Nigora did start her business, buying one of the cheaper stalls. She sells dishes on the table and men’s shirts hang from the rafters surrounding her stall. I asked her why she decided to sell men’s shirts.

“Because the people who come by my stall tend to be pretty poor, so I had to think of something that they could afford to buy.” Her income is small, something like $5 a day, and her profit even less, but Nigora is hopeful that business will improve as she gains experience and regular customers. She says that she usually works until lunchtime and the older boys come to replace her after their lessons, so she can return home and prepare dinner.

I can’t wait until I can go visit myself.

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