One of the most popular questions for people who are applying for the Peace Corps is the well what are you going to do. I used to joke that I wouldn’t know until I was in country for a year. But then I would tell them whatever information I knew at the time. It evolved from helping an organization, to helping an organization in Kazakhstan develop vague skills, to working in my current town at the organization Mynbulak. Well, my first answer was probably the most accurate. Four weeks at site, and I still have no idea what I’m doing here.
See my organization was a great organization a few years ago. It won grants, did projects, had an office, etc. However, then the people who worked at it moved to a new city. Organization put on hold. The people who had worked there heard about Peace Corps though and had some experience working with a volunteer in another town. So they applied for a volunteer at their old organization, and they got one. Namely me. Problem is, that’s it. Me. I was working sami (by myself), and the whole point of the Peace Corps is to collaborate with local people. So Peace Corps said that had to change.
So now I am at the business center in the town’s city hall. I am supposed to help write business plans and develop small business in the region. It sounds like a good overall plan, but I am not really sure how it will all work. My current impression is that the business center does not do such projects, and it may be me once again doing projects all by my lonesome. I’ve only been here three days, so there’s still a lot of information to learn. Hopefully, I will have some sort of good work plan established by the New Year though.