Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Invited: TEFL University, Kyrgyz Republic March 2009- First Thoughts

It is official! I have been accepted into the Peace Corps. Many months of applications, medical appointments, dental appointments and clearances....before I knew it I received my invitation. Now that it is here I am somewhat stunned....the dream is really coming true. Is it?
Oh wow
I am going to be a University Educator teaching in the field of English as a Foreign Language with the Peace Corps in the Kyrgyz Republic beginning March 2009!!! Dream Job. Really. Years Ive been thinking about this and finally did it.
Teaching a the Peace Corps....
um, Kyrgyz Republic??!!!
Sign up to take a 100 hour certification course in TEFL.
Sign up with Rosetta Stone to learn Russian. Although there are two official languages for the Kyrgyz Republic, Kyrgyz and Russian, I have heard that the official language of commerce and the university system is Russian. I cant wait to learn another language...or two! More than likely I think I will be learning Kyrgyz once I get there.
This is not my first time overseas. I lived and went to university in Germany for many years and taught English in South Korea for a while. I think- No I know that this experience will be vastly different.
I will be with the Peace Corps in Central Asia- a vastly new territory for me.
Why am I doing this?
I love to teach and love to learn. In teaching in another country I feel often I learn more than I teach: not because I don't teach, or don't teach well, because I do-- but in learning a new culture and language it seems that during the course of teaching there is an even exchange of new knowledge and ideas. They learn about America and I learn of their world. Teaching English overseas isn't a job- it is too much fun to be termed that when learning/teaching new languages and cultures are involved.
The Peace Corps is more than just a job, it is a full life changing experience.
I have the feeling that this adventure will outshine all my previous travels in vastly new experiences, terrain, climate, culture, language acquisition, and adventure. One more step into the unknown, dark and vast before me....I take the first step into peering into this abyss.
Reading over the material that the Peace Corps sent me in my invitation kit I try to see between the lines into some sort of understanding....but I cant even pronounce the name of the country I am going to, much less ever really heard of it before or know where it is...oh boy. I thought myself rather knowledgeable on World Geography......apparently I was sadly mistaken. It borders Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China. Check.
The country is very mountainous and from what I have gathered a climate of extreme winter (-30F) and summer temperatures (100F at least on this extreme I will feel at home). I believe they recently had the coldest winter in 50years there this past year. Where am I going to find long underwear in southeast Texas?
A friend from England suggested I see the British Series "The Long Road"....Two young blokes/lads set out to journey by motorbike from London to New York....across the world and over the Bering Strait to Alaska then on to New York. Sounds fascinating! They cross over Kazakhstan and apparently there aren't many roads or people for miles and miles and miles......roads just stop right outside cities in the middle of nowhere.....then suddenly pick back up again hundreds of miles towards nowhere......beautiful mountain terrain.....hopefully through this I will be able to glimpse a few cultures of Central Asia and try to get an idea of this area of the world.
Wow....yes still stunned that all this coming true.