Many of you know that I'm going into the Peace Corps. Woohoo! I live soon be leaving for the country of Kyrgyzstan (or The Kyrgyz Republic). It's a small mountainous country with lots of lakes, rivers and mountains in the north. The south seems to have fewer moutains, warmer and dustier. Both Kyrgyz (the official language) and Russian are spoken, though most people seem to speak Kyrgyz, however, both are understood.
I will be leaving July 3, 2008 for two days of orientation in Philadelphia. Then I fly out and start pre-service training on July 8,2008. Come September, if all goes well, I should be in my official site for the next two years. I don't yet know where that will be (I find out towards the end of PST). I'll be staying with a host family for the first six months and then will have the opportunity to decide if I want to stay with them or live on my own. Volunteers have done both, though the majority seems to stay with the family.
I'm officially labeled a health promotion specialist because I have extensive health experience. It seems like I'll be working with other organizations and groups throughtout my local area to help determine health needs, work on ways to promote changes and ascertain the best way to achieve change. I'm going into a relatively undefined field, which will pose both challenges and rewards. It also looks like I may be teaching some health workers as well along with teaching English (every Volunteer does this... no matter what the official title is).
Some of you I'm sure may want to help me prepare for the trip. If so, great. I've posted a list of items that I would like to get, some obviously are needed more than others and by no means do I need to get all of this. However, I do ask that if you are planning on getting anything to please let me know so I can provide you with the proper place to send it and also so I can take the item off the list. If you don't want to buy anything specifically but still want to help then money works great too and that can be sent directly to me. If you don't want to get anything at all then that's totally fine to... I'm not expecting anything from anyone. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
Well that's the update... enjoy learning about Kyrgyzstan!