June 8, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kazakstan: Blogs - Kazakstan: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Volunteer Rachael Schmidt in Kazakstan: It is bloody hot in Kazakhstan!

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kazakstan : Peace Corps Kazakhstan : The Peace Corps in Kazakstan: June 8, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kazakstan: Blogs - Kazakstan: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Volunteer Rachael Schmidt in Kazakstan: It is bloody hot in Kazakhstan!

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-61-208.balt.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, July 14, 2005 - 9:21 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Volunteer Rachael Schmidt in Kazakstan: It is bloody hot in Kazakhstan!

Peace Corps Volunteer Rachael Schmidt in Kazakstan: It is bloody hot in Kazakhstan!

Kazakhstan basically only has 2 seasons; summer and winter. Spring and fall last about 2 weeks. So after my long and cold Siberian winter I’m ready for a very hot summer.

Peace Corps Volunteer Rachael Schmidt in Kazakstan: It is bloody hot in Kazakhstan!

In hot water now!

HEELLLLOOOOOO America!! Boy have I missed you! Sorry it’s been so long since I last wrote, but I was only just recently let out of my Kazakh prison in time for summer. Speaking of summer, it is bloody hot here! Kazakhstan basically only has 2 seasons; summer and winter. Spring and fall last about 2 weeks. So after my long and cold Siberian winter I’m ready for a very hot summer. But unlike last summer I am now the proud owner of a fan! Yeah, I know you’re all jealous seeing that you only have air-conditioners. Speaking of air-conditioners, if anyone is insane enough (I personally know at least a few of you are!!) how ‘bout sending me a nice air-conditioner?? I mean, think how much you could help the Kazakh people! It wouldn’t be for my benefit, really!!

Along with this sweltering heat we are also blessed with insects up the wazoo!! As soon as I step out of my apartment I am attacked by thousands of flies and mosquitoes. They are beyond maddening. If people could see us here not knowing we are being bombarded by millions of bugs they’d think the whole of Kazakhstan is mad (when in fact only most of it is!) We have to constantly wave our hands to try and keep the killer bugs at bay. Last week while fighting for dear life, I accidentally smacked myself in the face and sent my sun glasses flying across the bus which then hit some ol’ poor lady! Now I know why they call us rude Americans! How the hell do I explain that one in Russian!?! Anyway, the last I counted I had 38 mosquito bites, and I know I acquired a few more last night.

News flash!! The entire city of Uralsk has been without hot water now for about a month and will likely not have hot water for the rest of the summer. "Why??" Well, it's quite simple and logical; someone ran off with the money that was supposed to be used to pay the bill. Come on though, doesn't this happen everywhere??!!

I thought I would be done teaching for the summer in May. No such luck, till the end of June. I certainly wouldn’t mind another week of teaching except for the heat; lack of air-conditioned buildings, bugs and of course the fact that I’m lazy. But other than that, I really don’t mind at all. I also started teaching at another language institute. When I was told that the class I would be teaching consisted of 8th graders I almost started packing my bags. But, to my surprise, they’re an absolute joy! I honestly look forward to our meetings.

The university however, seems to be even more insane than ever. Schedules. How difficult can it be?!? Not only does it change every bloody week and sometimes by the day, but they also schedule two classes in one classroom and I’ve often been scheduled to teach two classes in different classrooms at the same time. Should I tell them that this is humanly impossible? And at least 3 times a week I don’t even have a classroom!

To escape the insanity I was planning a trip to Moscow in August. Escape is not possible. I was denied a visa to Russia. Why? Because I’m a Peace Corps volunteer. “Oh well, why didn’t you say so!? It makes perfect sense to me!!” Honest! This time I’m not lying! When I applied for the visa (all 3 times!) I was told that Russia does not allow Peace Corps volunteers in their country! Uhhhggg! I mean, I’m about 20 miles from them but I’m not allowed to cross the boarder. So much for my big escape!!

Well, I pray everyone is doing well. Thank you so much for all the emails, calls, care packages and prayers!! I look forward to the day when I can repay your kindness!!

I love you and miss you all!!


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

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The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 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 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

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American Taboo: A Peace Corps Tragedy Date: June 20 2005 No: 661 American Taboo: A Peace Corps Tragedy
Returned Volunteers met with author Philip Weiss in Baltimore on June 18 to discuss the murder of Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner. Weiss was a member of a panel that included three psychiatrists and a criminal attorney. Meanwhile, the Seattle U.S. Attorney's office announced that Dennis Priven cannot be retried for the murder. "We do not believe this case can be prosecuted by anyone, not only us, but in any other jurisdiction in the United States." Read background on the case here.

July 2, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: July 2 2005 No: 671 July 2, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
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George Packer writes “The Home Front” about Iraq 1 Jul
Mike Honda works to preserve WWII internment camps 1 Jul
Jim Walsh supports increased benefits for veterans 1 Jul
RPCVs discuss Peace Corps on VOA 1 Jul
Jimmey Iszler brings international visitors to ND 30 Jun
Chris Shays' bill prohibits anti-gay discrimination 30 Jun
Mae Jemison to visit China 30 Jun
Bob Taft praises Lake Erie on ‘Fish Ohio Day’ 30 Jun
Jim Doyle announces Wisconsin budget surplus 30 Jun
Al Kamen says Rehnquist may stay on with Nike 29 Jun
Richard Celeste co-chairs report on Indo-US cooperation 29 Jun
Director Vasquez in Caribbean to assess programs 29 Jun
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June 26, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: July 2 2005 No: 667 June 26, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
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June 14: Peace Corps suspends Haiti program Date: June 14 2005 No: 651 June 14: Peace Corps suspends Haiti program
After Uzbekistan, the Peace Corps has announced the suspension of a second program this month - this time in Haiti. Background: The suspension comes after a US Embassy warning, a request from Tom Lantos' office, and the program suspension last year. For the record: PCOL supports Peace Corps' decision to suspend the two programs and commends the agency for the efficient way PCVs were evacuated safely. Our only concern now is with the placement of evacuated PCVs and the support they receive after interrupted service.

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170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

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