Monday, August 11, 2008
Trouble in the Region
When I first found out I was going to Central Asia for NGO development work, I thought I might end up in Georgia. Obviously, it is lucky that I received the assignment to Kazakhstan instead. I've had some concerns over whether what is going on in Georgia right now would affect the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan. From the books and articles I have read, Russia and Kazakhstan have a pretty good relationship right now. There are no disputed territories like South Ossetia. There may be some tension between ethnic Kazakhs and Russians in Kazakhstan, but the government and the society seem to be negotiating this well. Also, Peace Corps is very concerned about the safety of its volunteers and takes every situation seriously. If there ever were to be any sort of problem in Kazakhstan while I was there for any reason, PC would get us out of there. It happened to my friend who was serving in East Timor, and it may happen to a fellow ISU ACEDer currently in Georgia. I am confident of my safety during my two years in Kazakhstan. I hope that the conflict in the region ends soon. My thoughts and prayers are with all the people that this conflict is affecting.