Thursday, November 19, 2009

‘Our Man’ DD - Davlatbek Davlatov

DD grew up in the Veshab valley in the remote mountain village in the North of Tajikistan. I now share his office and over the last six months have watched his skills develop at such a rapid rate that you cannot but ponder where he would be with a western education.
So, today we were holding a workshop on Natural Disaster Risk Management in a dingy damp mouse infested government building some thirty miles outside of Dushanbe. The project, a whopping $10,000 is funded by the United Nations, (I say funded, they are unable for ‘banking reasons’ to transfer the money, so our little Tajik organisation with a turnover of $100,000 is bank rolling the UN), and consists of a series of four day workshops for the heads of the local villages. ‘Our man’ DD is in charge!!
After the obligatory five phone calls we meet at Barakat market to buy local produce for the thirty participants’ dinner. This is easy as carrots, rice, onion, meat and a sea of oil make up the national dish and try as you might to broaden their culinary range; nothing else feels so good between your grubby fingers, so I am told.
Bunny hopping out of the city I take a wrong left turn and my friends the Militizia flag me over again. DD bails me out with a 7som bribe. We were also late so on the last stretch I floor the Niva (the irony), and consequently bury it in a world war one size trench and knock the gearing out just one kilometre from the village. The situation was then compounded by the brand new overly expensive UN Toyota Hilux careering passed with the UN workshop monitoring team on board. DD flags down a mini-van, we load up, turn up late, and start late with an obligatory black mark against our name. DD sorts out a mechanic during the ensuing mayhem.
DD is like so many tajiks from the rural areas, wears his heart on his sleeve, can never turn down a request, is generous to a fault, (e.g. paying his brother tuition fees which amounted to half a month’s salary) and has a wife and three children who he rarely sees. He is also trying to build a house for his family on the outskirts of Dushanbe as well as being a caterer, a fixer, and CAMP’s co-ordinator and my interim translator. I guess that’s ‘Our Man’ DD.

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