First Person

A Conscript in the Kara Kum (part two)

Midwife in a Yurt I was one of the very few Europeans able to speak some of the local words. It got me into a totally unforeseen situation. We were in the midst of the desert, building terraces for the rice fields. I was a team member of the military clinic, serving the builders. Our connection with the locals was limited to waving at each other from a distance. One day I was called to the commander’s tent. He ordered me to attend to one of the wives of the local Communist Party chief. I asked what the problem was…

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