Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Remembering Nichole

A good friend is preparing to move his family to Central Asia to teach there for a couple of years. I'm trying to pass along various things that might prove helpful for them. When he commented on my May 5 post I remembered another I'd written which reveals some of the cultural - and cross-cultural - wrinkles I wrestled with in building relationships in the Central Asian context. Here's a post from 2010.
I met "Nichole" the day before I moved into her parents' house. A pretty Uzbek girl in her early 20s, Nichole was fascinated by the foreigners in her city. She had a part-time job working for some of them, friends of mine, and lived in a house not far from them. I needed a local family to live with; her folks could use the rent money. They had the space, and the house was suitable. So we decided to give it a try.

So began what is probably the most significant cross-cultural relationships I've ever had. There have been others with whom I had more common ground, or learned more from, but nobody I had more fun with than Nichole, nor anyone with whom I experienced more of what differences in culture can really mean - on a gut level...

See Nichole's Story.

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