Mail from Kyrgyzstan: My Life as an Over-50 Peace Corps Volunteer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

During my Peace Corps service I chronicled my experiences via emails to family and friends. This book includes them and additional information that I didn't feel comfortable including in the original emails. If you want to know how the Peace Corps changed the life of one volunteer, or what it's like to live abroad for the first time (for 2 years), this is the book for you. Available on Amazon for $ .99.

Table of Contents

Part 1 - Getting to Kyrgyzstan

From the moment I was accepted as a volunteer in May 2008 until I left the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan in mid-2010, I blogged and emailed my experiences. The emails were sent to
approximately 65 people.

This is not a work of fiction so there is no need to say that all characters and events in this book are creations of my imagination, etc., etc. The opinions and feelings you will read are mine and
mine alone. They in no way reflect the opinions and feelings of the Peace Corps or anyone associated with it at the time of my service, from the administration in DC to fellow volunteers to
in-country staff. In addition, these opinions and feelings are not intended to hurt, defame or impugn anyone’s character, although it may feel like that to a few. Not many names have been
mentioned, but some readers will recognize the people referenced by virtue of their employment position and gender. This can’t be helped. All the events mentioned happened to me, were observed by
me or told to me and verified by at least one additional source. Verification was not hard to come by at the time because of my friendships with a couple of staff members in Bishkek. In America,
Kyrgyzstan and all around the world, people like to talk, especially if they have juicy information to share. Many incidents that I heard about, but couldn’t prove actually happened, although I
have little doubt that they did, have not been included here; that’s a pity because they would have made the book exponentially more interesting.

Even though I totally like Kyrgyzstan, the fact that I mention a number of its blemishes is going to be upsetting to some. No country is perfect. Please remember the events, attitudes, perceptions,
etc. written in this book are six to eight years old. Progress has surely been made in some areas; Kyrgyz people have a new government, more access to technology than 2008 and western culture has
had a larger impact on the citizenry. It would be interesting to visit Kyrgyzstan again to see just how life has changed in the six years I’ve been gone.

The purpose of this book is to relate how my experiences there affected me. I needed to be true to myself and in more than a few instances I failed. I held back more often than I told myself I
would, but it was the right thing to do according to my personal code. The format of the book is as follows: ?The date I posted the blog entry or sent the email ?The post or email itself, unedited
except for punctuation, spelling or grammar ?Fresh commentary, insights, opinions and untold stories that would have been unwise to publish while a volunteer because Big Brother may have been (was
likely) reading what I wrote.

One benefit of this format is if an email doesn’t seem interesting to you, no problem. Just move on to the next one. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen too often.

Michael Licwinko 4 September 2016
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Check out Michael Licwinko's Book

Mail from Kyrgyzstan: My Life as an Over-50 Peace Corps Volunteer

A memoir of my life-changing experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer

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