It has now almost been three months since me and Emma arrived back in Sweden, after spending four months in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Previously when I’ve spent some time abroad, I’ve marvelled at the fact that your life just goes back to normal so quickly; you meet up with old friends, walk the same streets as you’ve always walked before, go back to work or school – and all of a sudden it’s like you forget that you’ve just spent the last four or six months in a foreign country – with new friends and different streets – and that you, during that time has made another place your home.
Coming back from Kyrgyzstan, I was surprised that this did not happen, at least not to the same extent. I mean, meeting up with all of my friends, spending time in my apartment and walking the same way to the grocery store as I’ve always done, gave me a certain feeling of familiarity, but I also feel like something has changed and that my experience from living in Osh still is present. What we felt and experienced there was, from my perspective so different and intense that I guess that it is not strange that I feel like it has somehow changed me as a person, my perspectives on my life and my privileges, on democratic and women’s rights but also on the challenges that comes with working with questions centered around development.
Furthermore it’s a question about giving and taking; what Kyrgyzstan has given and taken from me and vice versa. As I’ve now come out on the other side, what I can say is that it has been a good journey, which taught me a lot about myself as well as about how to develop structures and strategies for working transnational with developing issus and democratic rights, but also about how you have to be creative and pragmatic with the different challenges that you encounter (not always being able to solve them in ways that you are used to).
As for now, I look forward to continue within this field. In three weeks I will begin my studies in Eastern and Central European, Russian and Euroasian Studies, in Tartu, Estonia. Therefore, I’m also certain I haven’t seen the last of Central Asia and Kyrgyzstan yet.
See you in the future!
Written by: Amanda Sonesson, based in Stockholm, Sweden (for now)