Sunday, December 26, 2010

The End of the Canuck Amuck (For Now)

With the end of my latest assignment in Tajikistan, the Canuck Amuck is now going into hibernation for a while. Should another interesting posting come up in the future, new stories and pictures will follow, but for now, thanks for following the blog!

All the best,


Monday, September 27, 2010

Watch That Acronym

Many of you have noted that the Canuck Amuck blog has been rather quiet as of late. Very true! The sad thing about my time here in Tajikistan is that while there have been plenty of things to write about over the summer, not many can be shared in a public forum such as this, for reasons of confidentiality and job security. And while Tajikistan does have its share of interesting experiences, life here in Dushanbe is quite similar to what I (and the rest of you) experience in Canada, Holland, the U.S. or elsewhere, so it becomes difficult to get motivated to write about things that we all know too well.

But the following item in the weekly online newspaper for expats living in Dushanbe did catch my eye and make me laugh, so I thought it was worth sharing. Enter this contest at your own risk!

The Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan announces a contest of logo for donor anticorruption initiative

Switzerland’s development cooperation activities aim at improving living conditions for the world’s most disadvantaged people. Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan works in partnership with other donor organizations with the aim to achieve sustainable development through promotion of transparent, accountable and effective public institutions; equitable access to good quality public services; sustainable, private sector-led growth.
The Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan is a member of the Donor Anti-Corruption Forum in Tajikistan (DAFT), which is an informal group of international donor for anti-corruption issues in Tajikistan. DAFT’s overall objective lies in devising an effective action plan with the aim:

• to implement a formal approach through which a core group establishes contact with the Tajik Government on anti-corruption issues; and

• to raise the concept of the Donors' Anti-corruption Forum in Tajikistan as a focal point for the coordination point for project work and engagement with the Tajik Government on anti-corruption issues.

In order to raise the public knowledge about the Donor Anti-Corruption in Tajikistan, and further enhance its visibility, Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan announces a contest for creating a Logo for the DAFT among local artists and designers.

Selection criteria:
- content/reflection of the subject
- artistic/design quality/professionalism
- technical quality

Requirements to contestants:
- personal info in brief
- maximum quantity of draft logos submitted: 2
- minimal resolution: 300 d/i
- size: 2 Mb

Honorarium: Total prize for the successful Logo is 400 USD.

All the proposed Logos meeting the above requirements should be submitted either electronically via email or saved at media device, or in a hard copy (A4 format) in a sealed envelope to address given below. .

How to apply:

If submitted as a hard copy: in a sealed envelope indicating the subject DAFT LOGO CONTEST and containing contact info of the applicant to the following address: Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan: Dushanbe, 3 Tolstoy street;
Tel: (+992 37) 224 73 16, 224 38 97

If by e-mail: with the subject line indicating DAFT LOGO CONTEST

Deadline for submission of the complete application package: October 15, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tajik Portraits

On our recent trip to Iskanderkul and the Seven Lakes, Kristel and I met many of the local people and were introduced to life in that region through them. What follows is a selection of the best pictures taken by Kristel from our time with them.

Iskanderkul and the Seven Lakes

Located in the northwest of Tajikistan, Iskanderkul and the Seven Lakes offered plenty of spectacular scenery as Kristel and I explored the region. Here are a few of our favourite pictures from our week of trekking. Book your summer vacation to Tajikistan today!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Yakshanbe in Dushanbe

In the Tajik language, "Dushanbe" means "Monday", and as the story goes, the capital city received its name for the large market that was held here each Monday. "Yakshanbe" means "Sunday", so you can either read the title of this blog entry as "Sunday in Dushanbe" or "Sunday in Monday", which sounds like a reject from the Mamas and the Papas. Either way, these are some of the pictures I snapped on a brilliant Yakshanbe afternoon in the capital.

The park next to my flat.

Opera House plus fountain and elephant. The elephant isn't mine.

Rudaki Avenue - the main boulevard in the city.

The statue of Samani, founder of the Samanid dynasty and a dead ringer for Sean Connery.

The Presidential Palace at the centre of the city.

Fountains in the central park.

Fountains in the central park.

Mother and daughter in the "Naughty Cat" (?!) Bouncy Castle.

Pirate Ship swing at the carnival, which runs daily throughout the Spring and Summer.

Ferris Wheel with a somewhat alarming tilt.

Mother and daughter on the Flying Swings.

Waiting for their turn.
Bus stop at the carnival site.

Dushanbe Billboards

In Dushanbe, billboards are found throughout the city. Most have a governmental slant, encouraging support for the President or the Roghun Dam, but some make rather unexpected use of celebrities.

Support urged for the Roghun Dam.

You too can look like a princess.

Support for the President, I think.

No Waterworld fallout here. Judging by the number of these billboards in the city, Kevin Costner is the most famous man in Tajikistan. Next to the President, of course.

The Roghun Dam again.

And again.

More Roghun Dam. No, just kidding. Karaoke, drinking and bowling. A dangerous combination.