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As of tomorrow, T-one month to staging

I haven't written much here about the whole "getting ready for the Peace Corps thing." Mostly because aside from packing, there's not much that I can prepare for. I'm not all that well traveled in terms of countries visited, but hot damn, I sure have relocated or moved enough times in my life that this might be easier for me than it will be for volunteers who haven't moved around as much. That and being sort of a half breed definitely brings some experience with it. My mother may only be German, but there are some significant differences between German and US culture. Namely food and hospitality. That and the fact that as a younger kid I got the, your mom's German, is she a nazi? question all the time. Yay, stereotypes! Meh, I think I'll do alright, it's not like all be the first one in my family to leave my state or live in a foreign country. I mean, my dad is in Iraq right now. That and I'm so all about the cultural exchange. People ask me where the heck Turkmenistan is and I get to give them the lecture on the silk road, the soviet union, and pre-islamic beliefs... it's awesome. I have to say that when I tell people where I'm going and I get NO response because they never even have a clue that the country exists, I'm a little dissapointed. I mean, if I told poeple I was going to Africa, their eyes would light up with recognition, but since it's "Central Asia, Turkmenistan specifically" the answer is always, "Near China?" when I then tell them which countries it borders, their eyes get a little bit bright because they've heard of those countries, but I have the sneaking suspicion that they still don't know where they are. *headdesk* I guess that's part of the cross cultural exchange, teaching people geography for the sole purpose of explaining where you're going.

Speaking of, I sent him a picture of my clothes from Shukr online (they're comfortable as all hell), and he replied by saying that he's given his friend some money to buy more attractive clothes for me in Iraq. Cool beans. I just hope I don't end up with too many clothes. I'm not really worried about the "too modest thing" because aside from feeling embarassed around other volunteers for maybe 5 seconds, I don't think it will hurt to be over, rather than underdressed. Right now I have a lot in terms of underwear and socks, but I've really only packed 2 blouses that I may or may not bring with me, a shirt that will look fabulous with pants, 2 skirts, and a pair of jeans. I think that's pretty reasonable so far. The only thing I may go overboard on is shoes. I have so many birkenstocks (dress shoes too) that I really want to bring, but I'm not sure if I should pare them down to one or two pairs. As of right now I'm bringing black shoes, brown shoes, tennis shoes, and a pair of dress sandals. Considering that I've decided to pass on the hiking boots and coffee grinder, liquid shapoo, as well as peanut butter (ew), I think I'll live. I only have about 30 pounds packed as it is, which is hilarious when you look at my two suitcase type things. Sooo funny. It's like toothbrushes, toothpaste, underwear, socks, and this pathetic pile of clothes. All my knitting will fill that out though ;) I bought three "knit kits" that I thought would be great fun to complete as well as a case for circular and straight knitting needles. Dean is going to kill me when he finds out I need more DPNs. Heh.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 28th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
It's so cool that you'rs going to live abroad. Have an awesome time, and don't get to bummed if they search you a million times when you fly after you get back. Random searches my ass. Keep us updated!!
Sep. 4th, 2006 12:58 am (UTC)
Peace Corps Journals
I just came across your journal about your invitation to Turkmenistan. I added a link to your page to a database I collected of Peace Corps Journals and blogs:

Worldwide PC Blog Directory:

1. Contains over 1,600 journals and blogs from Peace Corps Volunteers serving around the world.
2. Official rules and regulations for current PCV online Journals and blogs. Those rules were acquired from Peace Corps Headquarters using the Freedom of Information Act.
3. The map for every country becomes interactive, via Google, once clicked on.
4. Contact information for every Peace Corps staff member worldwide.
5. Links to Graduate School Programs affiliated with Peace Corps, along with RPCVs Regional Associations.
6. And each country has its own detailed page, which is easily accessible with a possible slow Internet connection within the field.

There is also an e-mail link on every page. If you want to add a journal, spotted a dead link, or have a comment.

Thanks for volunteering with the Peace Corps!

-Mike Sheppard
RPCV / The Gambia (’03-’05)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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