Please excuse the hiatus. After wrapping up with round one of the Ivorian elections, getting sick while stopping in Turkey, and catching up with a host of responsibilities upon returning to Bishkek, the poor blog has suffered neglect. Do not fear for its survival, however. Even though the words haven’t hit the screen, they have been percolating in my mind over the last few weeks.
Also, tomorrow you can expect the first video entry – a long shot of what it looks like to stroll through the endless rows of containers in the Dordoi Bazaar.
After struggling to meet with the people in charge of Dordoi for months, I finally had success this week and conducted an extended interview with the general director of one of the larger subsets of the Dordoi group. She has agreed to let me start working there in a loose sort of internship starting the second week in January. This is exactly the type of participant-observation breakthrough that I have been hoping for. I will have access into the organizational structure of the bazaar as well as the corporate/cooperative culture of the business.
This week, I am spending time in Almaty, Kazakhstan where I am meeting with people in UNESCO’s office that overseas migration issues. I will also be spending some time at the Barakholka Bazaar, Almaty’s closest approximation to Dordoi, trying to get some face time with people in the administration. Ideally, I would be able to conduct similar research there later in 2011. You can see a slow-to-load but decent aerial photograph of Barakholka here.