Updates from Peace Corps Volunteers

by Nathan Hamm on 3/24/2005

Updates from a few Peace Corps Volunteers in Kyrgzystan and Uzbekistan:

Larry Tweed:

I just got word about an hour ago (3:30 PM Kyrgyz time) that protestors stormed the White House in the Kyrgyz Capital of Bishkek. My Expat Anthropologist friend was on the scene and text messaged me and called me as events unfolded. He called from the the doorway of the White House itself…so this is pretty reliable. He has also heard that Akaev’s motorcade was seen leaving Bishkek. If this is true, then a Revolution has taken place. I have heard that Bishkek already appears calm.

Peace Corps decided not move us yet. A wise choice as Osh is calm and everything is up in the air. We are safe though a little stir crazy. AMAZING time to be here. I know friends and family are worried. Please understand that everything you may be viewing is from the lens of the media. We are OK and look forward to resuming our work as soon as Peace Corps deems it safe. They are doing a good job (though the information in scarce). Peace Corps staff visited all of us in the South to make sure we are ok.

I’m tired. Played poker with volunteers last night until 6:00 AM. I won 200 som, which is about 5 dollars or 10 lunches, depending on who you talk to. Feeling good though. Very good.

I can sympathize with the stir-craziness. Standfast and consolidation suck.

Ailey Kaiser:

Due to increasing unrest in the city centers (Sadie heard gunshots outside of her house and Scott saw people handing out Molotov Cocktails), Jalalabad City has been evacuated to Bazar-Korgon and Kochkor-Ata. Sean put up four extra volunteers in his apartment and life was easing and the living was free for a day or two. We played frisbee at the stadium, watched movies, and walked around. We also ate pizza. Unfortunately, it is easy to go crazy when you can’t leave a village for an unknown amount of time. I was ready to bang my head against the wall, if only to knock myself unconscious and sleep for a couple hours.

Dee in Andijon, Uzbekistan also has updates.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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