February 9, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kazakhstan: Packing - Kazakhstan: Personal Web Site: John Zep's Packing List - The following is an excerpt from the Kazakhstan Welcome Book. My comments are in italics.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kazakstan : Peace Corps Kazakhstan : The Peace Corps in Kazakstan: February 9, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kazakhstan: Packing - Kazakhstan: Personal Web Site: John Zep's Packing List - The following is an excerpt from the Kazakhstan Welcome Book. My comments are in italics.

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-182.balt.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 9:42 am: Edit Post

John Zep's Packing List - The following is an excerpt from the Kazakhstan Welcome Book. My comments are in italics.

John Zep's Packing List - The following is an excerpt from the Kazakhstan Welcome Book.  My comments are in italics.

John Zep's Packing List - The following is an excerpt from the Kazakhstan Welcome Book. My comments are in italics.

Packing List

The following is an excerpt from the Kazakhstan Welcome Book. My comments are in italics.

Packing List

This list contains the basics. You can pick up other clothing items in Kazakhstan. Keep in mind that you have a 102-pound weight restriction. You can get everything you need in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstanis have been living here for centuries without imports!


Your luggage should be durable. Duffel bags and backpacks without frames are best (I assume they mean with out an external frame...internal frame backpacks are quite nice). When choosing luggage, remember you will be hauling it around on foot. There are no "Red Caps" or luggage carts in this part of the world. The most important factors are that it is lockable, durable, lightweight, and easy to carry. If you cannot carry it to the airport by yourself, do not bring it!


The clothing you bring should be durable and versatile. The weather is Kazakhstan varies quite a bit. The summers are very hot. Spring and fall are rainy and the streets get pretty muddy. The winter is cold and windy with snow and rain. Kazakhstanis dress more formally than do Americans, and there will be many occasions where you can dress up. You will probably be hand washing all of your clothes in a bathtub, so do not bring to many white things as they will get pretty dirty (though bleach is available). There is no quality dry cleaning available, so bring clothes that are hand-washable, preferably wash-and-wear. Professional dress is required, but this does not mean expensive dress. As long as your clothing is neat clean, and conservative it should be acceptable.

Overall, your clothing and shoes should be comfortable and warm, keeping in mind that there may be little heat in the winter and definitely no air conditioning in the summer. Both men and women should bring one or two basic sport jackets/blazers. You may want to bring one suit or dressy outfit, but keep in mind that dry cleaning is not available and you may get only occasional use of these items. However, business and school dress here can be similar to that in America. In the larger cities, you will find more European-style dress than what you would typically envision for the Peace Corps: Birkenstocks, flowy skirts and dresses or jumpers. (If this is your style, you should certainly bring these things.) Be sure to bring a good supply of lightweight, short-sleeved shirts. Tank tops can be worn on occasion, but they are not generally acceptable.

You will be walking alot, and all of your shoes should be comfortable and, if possible, waterproof. Good shoes are hard to find, and imported shoes are very expensive, so do not skimp on these. Your shoes will take a beating and wear out quickly, so bring shoes with sturdy soles. Consider bringing and extra pair or two. Also be sure to bring shoes appropriate for all seasons (i.e. sandals, boots, etc). Do not bring high heels. They are worn, but we do not recommend them for Volunteers. You will be taking your shoes of and putting them on as you enter and leave homes here, so slip on shoes are much easier.

Some General Clothing Suggestions for Everyone

* Warm winter coat - full length is best, especially for women

* Waterproof, lightweight jacket

* Wool socks (dress, sport and warm)

* Winter gloves, scarf and hat

* A large supply of underwear

* One or two sets of thermal underwear (tops and bottoms - polypropylene is great)

* Flannel shirt or sweatshirt

* A couple good sweater and turtlenecks

* Waterproof hiking boots (there are some great mountains for hiking here). They should have good traction, be warm, and durable. It gets very messy in the winter with lots of ice, slush, and mud. Thick soles will help keep your feet warm

* Sneakers and walking shoes

* Outdoor sandals (Tevas and Birkenstocks are acceptable)

* flip-flops for the shower

* Dress shoes

* Extra shoelaces, one can of waterproofing, and a tube of good shoe glue

* Bathing suit

* Belts

Clothing Suggestions for Men

Men here dress in suits for business meetings, weddings, and work. For men, it is apporopriate to wear a shirt, tie and pants (not jeans) to work. Sports jackets with nice pants and dress shirts are acceptable. Do not skimp on ties. We recommend bringing:

* One or two suits

* Two sports-coats, ties, dress shirts (long and short sleeves - bring short sleeves even if you do not wear them in America

* Khakis or other casual slacks for works

* Shorts

* Jeans (not usually acceptable for work attire

Clothing Suggestions for Women

Kazakhstani women are very fashion conscious. Women should wear skirts that are at least knee length. Long loose skirts are the most comfortable for sitting on the floor, and you will do a lot of that. Gauze (Indian) skirts are worn by Volunteers and prove to be comfortable in the summer months. In some communities, schools do not approve of women wearing pants in the classroom. Also, blouses and upper portions of dresses should be modest. Generally, Kazakhstani women wear boot to work in the winter and sandals in the summer.

Hair is styles in all sorts of ways, and should not be a problem. Local hair-coloring products are not up to par, and we have seen some interesting interpretations or "Henna" and even "Blonde" hair coloring. Go with your natural color, or bring what you will need.

We recommend packing:

* Dress jackets

* Plenty of long, loose skirts and dresses

* Jeans (acceptable in larger cities), dress pants (may attract unwanted attention in villages)

* At least on good outfit for formal nights

* One or two pairs of shorts and a short skirt or two (for American social occasions)

* Tights and leggings

* Jewelry and make-up (both are worn here, and are available)

* Slips (cotton, light-weight)

* Sturdy winter boots, which can be worn with skirts and dresses and dress pants


* One washcloth and one towel (these are available, but the quality is often not that great)

* Razors or electric shaver, shaving cream

* Shampoo and conditioner

* Nail-clipper

* Toothpaste (Crest and Colgate are now available)

* Good toothbrushes

* Soap (if your skin is sensitive, then you may want to bring a good supply)

* Deodorant

* Feminine hygiene products (Bring a six months supply. The Peace Corps has a limited supply; available in larger cities, but expensive)


Note: You will need to prioritize in order to meet the weight limitations.

* Good quality backpack, daypack, or messenger bag

* Sunglasses

* Rechargeable batteries and recharger

* Poncho/raincoat and folding umbrella

* Camera and film (film and film processing are readily available)

* Musical instrument, together with music books and spare parts as needed

* A good flashlight

* Small, battery-powered alarm clock

* CD and/or cassette player and CDs and tapes

* A lot of pictures of home )photos, postcards, etc) for yourself and to share with your friends, students

* U.S. Stamps, (for sending mail with friends who happen to make a return trip to the United States.)

* Writing Paper and envelopes

* Swiss Army, Leatherman, or an equivalent multi-purpose knife

* Journal, Diary, or schedule book

* Good can opener

* Maps of the United States and the world (good teaching aids) and wall hangings

* Inexpensive gifts (toys, jewelry, perfume, magazines, books, pencils, key chains etc.)

* Games (e.g. scrabble, chess, trivial pursuit, pictionary)

* Baseball, football, Frisbee, hackeysack, or other "American" sports equipment

* Basic cookbook

* Ziploc storage bags

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

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 27,000 index entries in 430 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can use the Main Index to find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today.
Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps Date: February 7 2005 No: 436 Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps
The White House is proposing $345 Million for the Peace Corps for FY06 - a $27.7 Million (8.7%) increase that would allow at least two new posts and maintain the existing number of volunteers at approximately 7,700. Bush's 2002 proposal to double the Peace Corps to 14,000 volunteers appears to have been forgotten. The proposed budget still needs to be approved by Congress.

February 5, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: February 5 2005 No: 420 February 5, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Peace Corps swears in 12 new Country Directors 4 Feb
Kenneth Hawkinson studies oral traditions of Mali 4 Feb
Tony Hall urges politicians to bring religious faith to office 4 Feb
Dodd opposes Gonzales nomination 3 Feb
Dr. Robert Zeigler to head Rice Research Institute 3 Feb
Taylor Hackford going into television with "E-Ring" 2 Feb
President Bush's past promises in State of the Union 1 Feb
Moreigh Wolf says gays cannot volunteer with partners 1 Feb
Coleman to chair Peace Corps Subcommittee 1 Feb
Vasquez assesses need in Southeast Asia 31 Jan
James Bullington says Bush Inaugural speaks to PC 31 Jan
Allen Andersson creates foundation to promote libraries 31 Jan
Joseph Opala to film "Priscilla's Homecoming" 31 Jan
Donna Shalala embarks on aggressive UM expansion 31 Jan
Thomas Dichter says Poor Countries Need Smarter Aid 30 Jan
Alberto Ibargüen to head Knight Foundation 28 Jan
Helen Sheehy organizes "Endangered Peoples" exhibit 28 Jan

RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service Date: January 30 2005 No: 405 RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service
RPCV Groups mobilize to support their Countries of Service. Over 200 RPCVS have already applied to the Crisis Corps to provide Tsunami Recovery aid, RPCVs have written a letter urging President Bush and Congress to aid Democracy in Ukraine, and RPCVs are writing NBC about a recent episode of the "West Wing" and asking them to get their facts right about Turkey.
RPCVs contend for Academy Awards  Date: January 31 2005 No: 416 RPCVs contend for Academy Awards
Bolivia RPCV Taylor Hackford's film "Ray" is up for awards in six categories including best picture, best actor and best director. "Autism Is a World" co-produced by Sierra Leone RPCV Douglas Biklen and nominated for best Documentary Short Subject, seeks to increase awareness of developmental disabilities. Colombian film "El Rey," previously in the running for the foreign-language award, includes the urban legend that PCVs teamed up with El Rey to bring cocaine to U.S. soil.
Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.
RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

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