Friday, October 16, 2009


We made it to Ukraine! I'm currently in the Peace Corps HQ, don't know how much internet access I'll have in training so I just wanted to let everyone know what was up. I'm heading out to my training post tomorrow (I think?), a little town called Baryshivka, where I'll start learning Russian as my main language. It's a little down and to the right of Kiev on a map, which is about as much as I know about it at this point. But I'll be meeting my cluster of 5 or 6 other PSTs there, and my training host familiy. Right now I'm a little to jetlagged to be as excited as I should, but having finally made it to the country is a huge relief.

Here's to the first Post-side entry!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Round 2...

Somehow this feels familiar, as if from an old dream...

It's the last night before I head out for Peace Corps, and hopefully this time I'll actually be able to make it to the country. I still feel emotionally drained from all the intense emotions and goodbyes of two weeks ago. There are many of you I meant to call, but didn't yet, or called and missed. My bad. It took me most of those two weeks to realize I'm actually heading out again (inshallah). Once again, thanks for everything.

Ukraine was way up there as one of my original top choices when I first applied to the Peace Corps, so this new chance to serve there has been pretty amazing. Unfortunately, in my somewhat dazed fugue in the aftermath of my abortive Turkmenistan trip, I've become rather lazy, and haven't done quite the level of research I did for Turkmenistan. But it's ok. Ukraine has fairly reliable internet in most areas, from what I've heard. I mean, this country has a space program (see the new snazzy title bar up above!), so it's way ahead of my previous posting. And I should be able to update you more often than I originally planned (though I still see my Peace Corps service as a time of refuge from the internets).

The other reason I don't have to do as much research is because Ukraine is much, much easier to visit than Turkmenistan, so those of you who are interested can consider seeing it for yourself (and come see me!) in six months or so. This looks to be one baller accident, all in all.

As for myself, the basic rundown is this: Tomorrow I get on a plane to Frankfurt with several other T-18 Trainees headed to Ukraine, as well as a bunch headed to Azerbaijan. My plane leaves around 5 or 6, and we should land in country sometime on Friday. From there, we frantically try to catch up with the training group that left on September 25th, learning Ukrainian, and/or Russian, as well as teaching techniques. For the next 3 months I'll be in Kyev or a nearby village, and will probably be intensely busy. Come December, I'll be shipped out to my 2 year posting.

Should be fun.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nuts to this, I'm going to Ukraine

So my previous adventure to Turkmenistan fell somewhat flat. You can read about my experiences here Being the chipper, dapper fellow that I am, and because Peace Corps generously offered to find us new posts, I decided to stick with it. Two days after our group was turned down by the Turkmen Government, Peace Corps called me and offered me a posting in Ukraine.

I took them up on it.

I went from having a general idea of how the next two years of my life were going to play out, to not having a job and not knowing what to do next, to having a new post all in about 48 hours. It was rather intense. But, I said nuts to Turkmenistan, and decided to go to Ukraine.

You can read about it here. I'll try to put more up as I can. I'm hoping to leave sometime early next week, probably on tuesday or wednesday.

I also want to thank the people at Peace Corps who have worked so hard over the past week to find us new posts on such short notice. I'm incredibly grateful that they've managed to place me in Ukraine, and the others from our group so quickly.