|By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-189-98.balt.east.verizon.net - 18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 10:54 am: Edit Post|
Off to the Peace Corps
Off to the Peace Corps
5 Weeks 'Til Uzbekistan!!!
Five more weeks until my entire life changes forever.
Everyone I've come across thus far, who have served in the Peace Corps, has no regrets. From those who served full term, to those who had early termination (quit), to those who were administratively separated (kicked out), not one of them would change a thing. Quite remarkable given the number of horror stories and gory details about service...the toilets, the harassment, the diarrhea, the loneliness, the frustration, the thefts, the dog-bites, the bugs, the stone throwing, the food, the cold, the isolation.
But I guess everything balances itself out somehow by the awesome moments of interacting with people from a different culture, learning about them and learning about yourself from them, giving them a part of yourself and for once feeling useful to the world. There's also the travel, seeing faraway lands you never thought you'd see, and having memories of a lifetime. And there's the knowing that surviving this would help to change the world and lead you to more remarkable things to come.
Balance is everything.
^TOP^ Posted @ 3:47 PM
December 5, 2003
"UZ17" is the designation of our group leaving in January. We are the 17th group of Peace Corps volunteers being sent into Uzbekistan since inception in 1992, and the 4th to be sent after the program was reinstated following the pull-out in 2001.
The Uzbekistan Desk Officer in D.C. told me today that we are a group of 50+, 18 of whom are NGO Development volunteers like myself. I've been able to connect with 7 from the group so far. We found each other either through the peacecorps2 Yahoo! group, or they found this blog or my Peace Corps blog through search engines. It amazes me to think how these 50 people and our experiences together over the coming two years will affect my life forever. And how I will impact theirs, never mind the reciprocol impact on lives of the Uzbek people we will encounter.
In the mean time, its snowing like mad here, the heavy white flakes already forming the negative image outlines of all the trees. This black and white world is magically timeless!
^TOP^ Posted @ 11:08 AM
December 4, 2003
Informed and Balanced
And thank you, Nathan, for providing experienced and reassuring views on the threat of terrorism in Uzbekistan...
"...the average Uzbek likes and respects the United States...If the Uzbeks ever rise up against their leaders, don't expect them to declare the US enemy number one or to build a particularly religious state...
Fundamentalism is at the fringes of Uzbek society, and we have the Soviets to thank for thoroughly secularizing Central Asians who are now genuinely secular..."
We can now get to the task of how to help vs. who to blame.
^TOP^ Posted @ 5:52 PM
6 Weeks 'Til Uzbekistan!!!
Actually, it was six weeks on Tuesday, but I can't seem to catch up with these passing days and end up posting this count-down a few days late. I always feel like I've got a train to catch!
I've even been a few weeks late completing the last remaining administrative requirement for the Peace Corps, which was sending in my "Aspiration Statement" and updated resume. The statement outlined my expectations of Peace Corps service as an NGO Development volunteer, my personal and professional goals, and my strategy for adapting to a new culture. It is meant to help the country officers, in D.C. and in Uz, match me with the right project as well as devise the appropriate training program in light of my overall experience. As hard as I try, I really have no expectations, or rather very low ones, given the fact that civil society is a very nascent concept in Uz and the program is just getting started there. Without much precedence, I imagine working more closely with the Peace Corps in its design and implementation to get things off the ground than actually accomplishing a whole lot with the local NGOs. But I didn't say that, of course. I mostly talked about the skills I expect to transfer to my local counterparts and how adept I am at cultural adjustment.
I also have a Homestay questionnaire to fill out, which is not a big deal since I'm flexible with smoking, drinking, and eating meat (except lamb). So it will come down to not being placed in a family without cats due to my cat allergy. Otherwise, its a toss of the dice where and who I live with. *fingers crossed*
^TOP^ Posted @ 5:50 PM
|By Dee (pool-151-204-204-244.pskn.east.verizon.net - 22.214.171.124) on Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 10:42 pm: Edit Post|
This web-site has been consolidated into Wanderlustress.