1. Kazakhstan You know when I went away to the Army 25 years ago...

    Upon arriving at site 15 months ago I was greeted by my soon to be host father at the train station. His son and I had met on the train coming from PST and we had decided that it would be a wonderful opportunity for all involved parties if I were to live with them for my required 6 months, before moving out on my own. Within the first couple of weeks I was a guest at many houses as I met cousins, brothers, aunts, and grandparents. All of them had the same similar questions as to how I arrived...

  2. Azerbaijan Ashura

    A Muslim day of mourning which remembers the martyr Husayn Ibn Ali (prophet Muhammad’s grandson) and 72 of his companions who were killed fighting for justice in 680 AD.  

  3. Azerbaijan "Helping Promote a Better Understanding"

    I left the U.S. during a time when Americans were struggling with their perceptions of an entire religion, that of the Muslim faith.  I didn’t understand the messages of hate which were being expressed by my fellow Americans and I thought (and I still think) it came from a lack of understanding and a fear of the unknown.  Serving here in Azerbaijan with the Peace Corps has confirmed just how wrong so many of my American compatriots are on this topic. For the first time in my life, I atte...

  4. Kazakhstan Losing Control

    It was only my third day in Kazakhstan, but it was an important one.  It was the day volunteers were taken home by our host families, the people we would live with during our three months of training in villages around the city of Almaty.  A nervous energy filled the air as we packed and repacked our belongings, trying unsuccessfully to find a place for the water distiller and medical kits given to us by the Peace Corps.  We all dressed in our Sunday best, whispering and gossiping like nervou...

  5. Kazakhstan AIDS Walk in Uralsk

    Students from local colleges and universities participate in the first ever AIDS Walk organized by local PCVs. 

  6. Kazakhstan Outhouse in Winter

    A view of our outhouse after record cold and snow blanket much of the former Soviet Union.

  7. Kazakhstan A Visit from Grandfather Frost

    Students of Russian School No. 1 in Chapaevo clamor for a gift from Grandfather Frost during the school's New Year celebration.

  8. Kazakhstan Woman Selling Shashlyk

    A woman at the bazaar in Shymkent hawking shashlyk, a form of shish kabab fameous throughout the former Soviet Union.

  9. Kazakhstan Making a Wish for a New Bride

    At bachellorette parties in Kazakhstan, it's tradition for the girls to form a circle in such a way and make a wish for the happiness of the new bride.

  10. Bulgaria "S'more" Doesn't Translate

    On a hike this past summer, I introduced my kids to the joy of a campfire necessity - s'mores!

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.