By R.B. Moreno
This week I accepted an invitation to assist English language teachers in the Kyrgyz Republic, better known as Kyrgyzstan, as part of a Peace Corps Master's International (PCMI) partnership with the Colorado State University English Department. Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country of some five million people that shares borders with China, Kazakhstan, and two former Soviet republics adjacent to Afghanistan.
Kyrgyzstan's territory encompasses the ancient Silk Road. The country is about the size of Nebraska, with a climate often compared to Colorado's higher elevations. The Tian Shan mountain range covers most of Kyrgyzstan, and winter snows sometimes leave outlying cities inaccessible. Conditions in the capital, according to Google, can also be challenging.
My teaching assignment will commence in March 2010 and is expected to last 26 months. Check back here for more dispatches about "the Switzerland of Central Asia." These sources, meanwhile, may be of interest:
- A U.S. State Department Background Note
- AKIpress, Kyrgyzstan's official news agency
- 24.kg, which also covers Kyrgyzstan
- The Spektator, a Bishkek-based magazine
- The Open Society Institute's EURASIANET
- The Jamestown Foundation's Eurasia Daily Monitor
One of our own is heading off on international adventures, although he probably won't be dodging giant boulders or hunting crystal skulls. Our assistant producer, Raul Moreno, has apparently decided the Peace Corps is more exciting than working for All Things Considered. In all seriousness, we will miss Raul, and we wish him the very best in his adventures and we're betting he'll look really good in a fedora.To donate said fedora, see "CONTACT RBM" in the sidebar.