MARKHAMAT VILLAGE, TAJIKISTAN
Gulchechra is an energetic, social, cheerful 38-year-old woman. She is the eleventh of twelve children. Many of her brothers and sisters are educated and successful in their work. Gulchechra also wanted to get a higher education but when she finished ninth grade the times were very tough and her parents did not have money to send her to secondary school. Still, she developed many interests and talents. She writes beautiful poetry, reads books and loves to watch the news. When she reads a book she likes to imagine she is the main heroine. She enjoys guests very much. When she makes flat bread she likes to invite her neighbors over to share it. She is married and has two sons. Her husband travels to Russia for work every year. They have a large plot of land with apricot trees. She and her husband work on the land. They pick apricots, dry them and sell them when they need money. They also have three cows, that she walks two kilometers twice a day to feed and milk. When her husband is in Russia she has to do everything herself. She likes to spin yarn and socialize with the other women. The money she earns help to cover a variety of household expenses. She is very happy she has the work. She loves her sons and wants to see them educated and useful to society when they grow up.