September 12, 1997 - Indiana University: Eric Boyle's Peace Corps assignment took him to Kyrgyzstan, to a small village called Ala'Too

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kyrgyzstan: Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan : The Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan: September 12, 1997 - Indiana University: Eric Boyle's Peace Corps assignment took him to Kyrgyzstan, to a small village called Ala'Too

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-232-99.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.232.99) on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 9:46 pm: Edit Post

Eric Boyle's Peace Corps assignment took him to Kyrgyzstan, to a small village called Ala'Too



Eric Boyle's Peace Corps assignment took him to Kyrgyzstan, to a small village called Ala'Too

Eric Boyle's Peace Corps assignment took him to Kyrgyzstan, to a small village called Ala'Too (pronounced ala-toe). As a graduate of William and Mary College, Boyle had a degree in German. Instruction in Kyrgyz prepared him to teach English to village schoolchildren. For two or three months each year, he joined the children in the fields to pick grapes for the collective farm's wine factory. It was an experience of extremes, Boyle said. Temperatures were well over 100 in the summer and minus 40s in the winter. There was no air conditioning or central heat.

"Dishes froze in my sink and clothes would freeze in the bathtub when I was washing them."

Boyle heard about the SPEA program from a former Corpsman who was building toilets in the Ivory Coast and had decided to attend SPEA. After mustering out of the Corps, he requested SPEA materials while working with a U.S. Information Agency educational development project. He was heavily recruited by SPEA and was particularly interested in the special area studies component that SPEA offered in collaboration with Central Eurasian studies. (There are area studies programs also with the Polish Studies Program and the Russian and East European Institute.)

When Boyle visited IU, he requested a meeting with Professor William Fierman, whom Boyle considered "a Central Asian guru." Baker saw to it the meeting took place. Boyle and Fierman met in Fierman's campus office. Boyle told the IU professor he was interested in language policy.

"As a matter of fact, I'm writing a book on Uzbek language policy," Fierman told Boyle. The returnee was hooked. He will be working toward a master's of public affairs degree with a specialization in transitional economic management. He looks toward a career that addresses the problems of former Soviet states in their transformation from a command economy to a market economy.



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Story Source: Indiana University

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Kyrgyzstan

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