A Writer Writes

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A Writer Writes — “The Cotton Trenches of Uzbekistan”
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A Writer Writes — Death at Tinta by Michael J. Beede (Peru)

A Writer Writes — “The Cotton Trenches of Uzbekistan”

    by Beatrice Grabish Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) Dispatch from Uzbekistan’s cotton campaign November 1993   On the fifth day of barf (Tajik for “snow”), the troops surrendered. The war, a.k.a. the cotton harvest, lasted eight weeks this year and yielded (only) 87% returns. I had watched my students pile into a 25-vehicle motorcade and wind around the mile-long university boulevard amidst handkerchief waving and cheers from teachers and other onlookers. Two days later, much to the horror and surprise of my women colleagues at Samarkand State University, I joined the students’ work camp. On October 5, I arrived at the collective farm called Guzelkent, about 40 kilometers outside the city limits. The place was a collection of brown-streaked, whitewashed houses made of mudbrick, rising like Oz out of acre upon acre of cotton fields. It was a scene framed by purple mountain peaks and a flawless blue sky. At . . .

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A Writer Writes — Death at Tinta by Michael J. Beede (Peru)

  DEATH AT TINTA By Michael J. Beede (Peru 1963-64) • At dawn on February 4, 1964, my partner Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) and I left our home base in Sicuani, Peru. We were headed for Tinta, 17 miles away, a small nearby town in the Quechua-speaking boondocks three hours south of Cuzco.  It was to be a routine inspection trip to monitor the distribution of USAID food in the rural schools enrolled in the government’s school lunch program.  Nothing out of the ordinary was expected. At the time, Ron and I had the use of a Peace Corps Jeep to visit these rural areas. That morning I was driving our pastel blue Peace Corps Jeep with Ron riding shotgun. We stuck out like a sore thumb, an inviting target for mischief. A fine powder billowed up from the unpaved dirt road filling the cab with a choking cloud of . . .

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