My business in Bishkek essentially works based on contracts. It’s hard to sum up what we do in terms that are general enough to encompass everything, while also being specific enough to give a satisfying response, because it really does vary from month to month, project to project. On the one hand, this is great because it means at any given time I could be working on any number of new and interesting topics. Gold mining! Telecommunications! Gender analysis! Land use studies! Writing a children’s book!
But working on short-term contracts, juggling different clients and different schedules, means the work is not always consistent. The amount of work I do ebbs and flows. Some weeks I could probably give you a thorough summary of the entire New York Times style section, or tell you all about the massive six-month to-do list I whipped up when I spent eight hours straight just stewing over the future of the company, unencumbered by any other tasks.
Then there are weeks like these, when I’m in the office by 9am on Saturday to write a report, when I’m up at midnight meeting fieldworkers returning from conducting focus groups in Talas, and when it took me until late Friday night (maybe early Saturday morning) to remember that I had let the entire day pass by without thinking once about Kyrgyz Music Friday (next week, I swear!).
It’s one of those busy weeks. I’m grateful for the opportunity, but (more than) a bit frustrated that so many projects seem to be converging (or crashing and burning) right as I’m about head back to the US for three months.