In addition to Counterpart International, I found another organization doing NGO development work in Uz. IREX has been a leader in international exchange for nearly 40 years. Their current programs in Uz are quite extensive, including university exchanges for Uzbek students to attend American universities, internships for Uzbek business leaders in American firms, building up internet resources and training for professionals, setting up public advocacy groups as well as beefing up the legal environment for NGO’s to operate...just to name a few.
I get excited when I find dedicated people doing things that need doing in the world to make it, if not a happier, then at least a more manageable place. It certainly helps to counter some things that we do wrong.
Even in our day-to-day interaction I find that people simply can’t be respectful of one another. Today, while stopped in traffic be hind 10 cars on a small two lane road in town, a car behind me decides to drive, illegally, down the on-coming lane to cut everyone off. In the process, she sideswiped the left-view mirror of the car in front of me and didn’t even stop! Of course she had to duck quickly into a lane on the left to avoid on-coming cars, and then she expected us to let her back into the queue! The woman in the car in front of stopped to assess the damage, while the woman who hit her rudely motioned, ”What? I can’t hear you? What?”, without opening her window to listen, or stepping out of her car to apologize, and more importantly, to offer her insurance information.
Unfortunately, the victim of the mishap didn’t think the damage was worth the trouble of holding up the growing chain of traffic behind her (bless her!). But I so wished to see some kind of restitution or at least acknowledgement that she had been wronged by the perpetrator. That way, I wouldn’t have this sinking feeling that people go about their day-to-day believing they are above the norms of common decency. Sigh.