Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Window into Ex-Pat Life, Volunteer Style

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, several Central Asian countries have hosted volunteers from the US Peace Corps as teachers of English ,and as consultants in the growing private business environment. The first Volunteers arrived in Kazakhstan, Kyrgistan and Turkmenistan in 1993. The Peace Corps only works where it is welcome; it suspended the Uzbekistan program in June 2005.

With new Internet technologies, volunteers have been able to share their experiences and insights with family and friends (and the rest of the world) through "blogs", personal websites created with easy-to-manage Internet software. Blogs are as individual as the volunteers (PCVs) -- some are insightful and thoughtful, some cynical, some more intended for close friends than for the Internet public; none are always upbeat and positive. And of course, none of them are representative of official Peace Corps policies or views.

PCV blogs can be a unique way to peer into daily life as an ex-patriot in a foreign land (be sure to look into older archived posts, not just the most recent). Here's a list of some favorite blogs by PCVs around Kazakhstan.

Coming of Age - Ust-Kamengorsk/Oskmen (E KZ)
Ryan Giordano in Kokshetau ( North KZ)
Stuck on the 45th Parallel - Pavlodar (NE KZ)
No longer in KZ
The Durrrty South of Siberia - Petropovlovst (N KZ)
You May Say That I'm a Dreamer . . . - Almaty (SE KZ)
Stanmenistan - Uralsk/Oral (Northwest KZ) No longer in KZ

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