March 14, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kyrgyzstan: Blogs - Kyrgyzstan: Sex: AIDS: Wife Kidnapping: Women's Issues: Personal Web Site: laura & adam Braddock's peace corps experience in Kyrgyzstan - Let’s talk about sex

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: Women's Issues: Women's Issues and the Peace Corps: March 14, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kyrgyzstan: Blogs - Kyrgyzstan: Sex: AIDS: Wife Kidnapping: Women's Issues: Personal Web Site: laura & adam Braddock's peace corps experience in Kyrgyzstan - Let’s talk about sex

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, March 26, 2005 - 1:39 am: Edit Post

laura & adam Braddock's peace corps experience in Kyrgyzstan - Let’s talk about sex

laura & adam Braddock's peace corps experience in Kyrgyzstan  - Let’s talk about sex

laura & adam Braddock's peace corps experience in Kyrgyzstan - Let’s talk about sex

March 14th, 2005 Let’s talk about sex

Virginity is a cherished thing here, perhaps to the extreme. And if it weren’t for the fact that “infidelity” (with a perverted smile) is about the second thing mentioned after “my name is…” with every cabby I meet, I would say sex is taboo too - maybe just for the girls. Sex education is unheard of: a conservative form of sex-ed was lobbied by the Minister of Health, two years ago, who suggested it become a part of upper class curriculum. He was promptly chastised and terminated. It’s no surprise that NGO’s are growing concerned about the threat of AIDS in this country that, not long ago, claimed less than one-hundred cases. The numbers are growing, but they are intangible now: every year hundreds of thousands (about 30% of Kyrgyzstan’s working population) of people leave Kyrgyzstan to work in Russia, where the AIDS epidemic is swelling faster than any other country on earth. Particularly hit hard is the Siberian region from Novosibirsk to Irkutsk, where most Kyrgyz find their work. Most work nine months out of the year then return, mostly men, to young wives and children. The cycle continues; and we begin to understand the cause for concern.

But this entry isn’t about AIDS, it’s about education, or the lack of it: sex, development, reproduction. Where did we learn about this stuff? In school, maybe; the birds and the bee’s talk, probably not; TV? For me it was the illuminating candor, and fleshly endearing characters, of “Where did I Come From?” and “What’s Happening to Me” Egregiously overlooked for the New Yorker’s Hundred best books of the 20th Century. I wish I could find these books in Russian and Kyrgyz, for as basic as they are they could shed a lot of light on the pervading ignorance.

…sounds culturally insensitive, I know. I’ve been defending this a lot lately, and again it comes back to oppressing women, take for instance a brides first sexual encounter in Kyrgyzstan …

Many first time encounters for young Kyrgyz women occur after they are, for better or worse, kidnapped by a man and taken to a room they have never seen before. After the routine celebration with friends and extended family there is a private time. A time for the woman, now made to be wife, and husband to consummate the marriage. But since the woman often knows nothing of what to do or expect, and even the man is sometimes unaware of what to do (aren’t we all – actually, to their credit, many young Kyrgyz men respect the purity of the Kyrgyz girl), our private time now becomes a time for the mother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt-in-law, etc. The older married women, who are often the protagonists of nonconsensual marriage now take on the role of “facilitators.” From the same room where a stolen girl lie, crying on her back, our “facilitators” reflect on their own experiences to get the new bride through the act. When the act is through, all witnesses wait to see if the stain of purity has left a mark: blood on a white sheet. After marriages, blood stained sheets are often hung with pride from a balcony, or line nearby – purity intact.

No blood could be grounds for separation. If the family is ruthless they will make a pariah out of the girl. Exiled and ashamed, girls may turn to suicide. On the other hand, and fortunately, the more common scenario is sympathy from a family that hours earlier was singing the praises of this fated union. So a white sheet will be hung with the closely kept secret, that of sheep’s blood, or tomato juice. And should the woman, knowing she is pure, feel so inclined, she can go with her husband to the hospital for an examination where a doctor will provide a document certifying that prior to the consummation this woman was indeed a virgin, thus dispelling any reservations of her husband and recently met in-laws.

When this story was posted in March 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

The Peace Corps Library Date: February 7 2005 No: 438 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in over 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related reference material in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can use the Main Index to find hundreds of stories about RPCVs who have your same interests, who served in your Country of Service, or who serve in your state.

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Crisis Corps arrives in Thailand Date: March 20 2005 No: 530 Crisis Corps arrives in Thailand
After the Tsunami in Southeast Asia last December, Peace Corps issued an appeal for Crisis Corps Volunteers and over 200 RPCVs responded. The first team of 8 Crisis Corps volunteers departed for Thailand on March 18 to join RPCVs who are already supporting relief efforts in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and India with other agencies and NGO's. 19 Mar 2005

March's Feature Stories - only on PCOL Date: March 20 2005 No: 523 March's Feature Stories - only on PCOL
Dream Come True - Revisiting India after 34 years
The Coyne Column: Read Winning Vanity Fair PCV Essay
Tomas Belsky's paintings inspired by service in Brazil
RPCV reunites with friend after 40 years
RPCV reviews "Los Heraldos Negros" by Cesar Vallejo
Photo Essay: Taking it to the Streets

March 19, 2005: RPCV Groups in the News Date: March 20 2005 No: 525 March 19, 2005: RPCV Groups in the News
New Jersey RPCVs host exhibit in Maplewood on April 2 20 Mar
Maryland RPCVs eat crab cakes in Annapolis 17 Mar
Illinois RPCVs present "Life on the Big Red Island" 13 Mar
San Diego RPCVs host reception with Gaddi Vasquez on March 6 4 Mar
Western North Carolina's RPCVs sponsor Africa Night on March 6 3 Mar
Connecticut RPCVs held fundraiser on March 5 3 Mar
RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

March 19, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: March 20 2005 No: 526 March 19, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
RPCV points out catalytic effect of Iraq 19 Mar
PCVs set up Basketball pool in Ukraine 19 Mar
Sam Farr introduces bill to monitor ocean fisheries 18 Mar
Bridgeland does not rule out run for Congress 18 Mar
Jim Doyle promotes Institute for Discovery 18 Mar
Newspaper says Bangladesh is safe for PCVs 18 Mar
Joan Ruddiman revisits Peter Hessler's "River World" 17 Mar
Mark Schneider says Save Haiti from more violence 17 Mar
Troy Johnson joins delegation to Indonesia 17 Mar
Chris Shays says baseball not exempt from the law 17 Mar
"Hurlyburly" benefits gypsy women in Romania 15 Mar
Chris Matthews interviews Schwarzenegger 14 Mar
Fred Burke dies in NJ, trained early PCVs 13 Mar
Mike Honda introduces Student Privacy Protection Act 13 Mar
FT details Cheney-McPherson relationship 13 Mar
Tucker McCravy reports on Tsunami Reconstruction 10 Mar
Dennis Braddock retires with record of accomplishment 9 Mar

RPCVs in Congress ask colleagues to support PC Date: March 5 2005 No: 482 RPCVs in Congress ask colleagues to support PC
RPCVs Sam Farr, Chris Shays, Thomas Petri, James Walsh, and Mike Honda have asked their colleagues in Congress to add their names to a letter they have written to the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee, asking for full funding of $345 M for the Peace Corps in 2006. As a follow-on to Peace Corps week, please read the letter and call your Representative in Congress and ask him or her to add their name to the letter.

Add your info now to the RPCV Directory Date: March 13 2005 No: 489 Add your info now to the RPCV Directory
Call Harris Publishing at 800-414-4608 right away to add your name or make changes to your listing in the newest edition of the NPCA's Directory of Peace Corps Volunteers and Former Staff. Then read our story on how you can get access to the book after it is published. The deadline for inclusion is May 16 so call now.

March 1: National Day of Action Date: February 28 2005 No: 471 March 1: National Day of Action
Tuesday, March 1, is the NPCA's National Day of Action. Please call your Senators and ask them to support the President's proposed $27 Million budget increase for the Peace Corps for FY2006 and ask them to oppose the elimination of Perkins loans that benefit Peace Corps volunteers from low-income backgrounds. Follow this link for step-by-step information on how to make your calls. Then take our poll and leave feedback on how the calls went.
Make a call for the Peace Corps Date: February 19 2005 No: 453 Make a call for the Peace Corps
PCOL is a strong supporter of the NPCA's National Day of Action and encourages every RPCV to spend ten minutes on Tuesday, March 1 making a call to your Representatives and ask them to support President Bush's budget proposal of $345 Million to expand the Peace Corps. Take our Poll: Click here to take our poll. We'll send out a reminder and have more details early next week.

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Kyrgyzstan; Blogs - Kyrgyzstan; Sex; AIDS; Wife Kidnapping; Women's Issues



By Anonymous ( on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 10:05 am: Edit Post

I need to know why kidnapping in Third World countries is such an issue. Could you help me find information about this?

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