August 1, 2004: Headlines: COS - Kyrgyzstan: Ayusa: In Kyrgyzstan, Lira Ajikova learned English from her teacher, an American in the Peace Corps. 'He inspired me to come to the U.S., ' Lira said.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kyrgyzstan: Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan : The Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan: August 1, 2004: Headlines: COS - Kyrgyzstan: Ayusa: In Kyrgyzstan, Lira Ajikova learned English from her teacher, an American in the Peace Corps. 'He inspired me to come to the U.S., ' Lira said.

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-239-147.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.239.147) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 3:14 pm: Edit Post

In Kyrgyzstan, Lira Ajikova learned English from her teacher, an American in the Peace Corps. 'He inspired me to come to the U.S., ' Lira said.

In Kyrgyzstan, Lira Ajikova learned English from her teacher, an American in the Peace Corps. 'He inspired me to come to the U.S., ' Lira said.

In Kyrgyzstan, Lira Ajikova learned English from her teacher, an American in the Peace Corps. 'He inspired me to come to the U.S., ' Lira said.

Lira Ajikova, Kyrgyzstan

Lira, a FLEX student in Pennsylvania, talked with a local reporter about the differences she has noticed between her country and the United States. Here are some excerpts from the article...


"From Kyrgyzstan With Love: Lira Ajikova, an exchange student from Kyrgystan, feels right at home amidst the mountains, forests and river and lake near her host family's home in Upper Jim Thorpe... 'Since sixth grade, I had a dream to visit the U.S.,' explained Lira. 'Everyone knows America is a highly developed and beautiful country. I knew an academic year would improve my English.' In Kyrgyzstan, Lira learned English from her teacher, an American in the Peace Corps. 'He inspired me to come to the U.S., ' Lira said. 'He always spoke with me in English. We talked about the schools and music from the U.S.' Besides English, Lira speaks French and Turkish in addition to her native languages of Kyrgyz and Russian.

Lira is 17 years old. She is a senior at Jim Thorpe High School where she writes a column in the school's Olympian Newspaper. Her articles reflect her life with titles like, 'A Foreign Exchange Student Compares Life in Kyrgyzstan to Her American Experiences.' ... After the demise of the Soviet Union, Congress passed the FSA FLEX (Freedom Support Act, Future Leaders Exchange Program). This Act provided complete funding for 1,500 high school students from the former Soviet countries to study in America each year... 'I applied for this program beginning in the ninth grade,' said Lira. 'Finally in the 11th grade, I passed it and I was really glad to be one of the finalists. It is a big honor to be selected by this program in my country.'

'Life is easier here,' observed Lira. 'At my age, I can solely concentrate on my studying. There, I had to help my parents work on the farm. Teenagers here have more freedom and independence. They are more independent and I've become more independent. I've learned to make my own decisions.'

When it comes to schooling she said, 'Everything is different. The way teachers teach and students learn is very different. In Kyrgyzstan, school is open six days a week, 7:30 A.M. to 3 P.M. from Monday to Saturday. We had more subjects,' she said. 'I took up to 20 subjects in one year. Here I take seven, but here we can choose our subjects each year. At home, we have no choice.' Lira helped at a nursing home as a community service project. 'Most of the old people had children that left them alone. In my country, they would never do that. Parents took care of the children when they were young. I feel that children should take care of their parents.' A Kyrgyzstan tradition is for the youngest son to take care of the parents.

'Lira is our fourth exchange student,' said host mom Diane Luetke... 'It's like traveling without leaving your home.' As a high school senior, their daughter was an exchange student in Germany. 'Since our daughter had such a good time as an exchange student in Germany, we decided to try (hosting).'

Lira concludes, 'I love New York, especially the United Nations building. I have questions about my country and look for things that I can use in my country to make things better. I want to go to the university to study international economics. I'd like to use the experience and skills that I learned here to improve the economics and political system in my country.'"

Thanks for sharing your reflections, Lira. And thank you to the Times News for running this article and to Al Zogofsky, the author.





When this story was prepared, this was the front page of PCOL magazine:

This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.





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Story Source: Ayusa

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

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