May 8, 2008

Revised Packing List

Hello, future Peace Corps Turkmenistan trainee. You have come to this site looking for information about Turkmenistan and what’s it’s like to live and work here as a volunteer. Well, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place. I rarely update this thing, which you should take as a good indication of the level of internet penetration in this country.
I will, however, provide you with a revised and annotated packing list (a previous packing list with pictures can be found if you scroll down). Most of these guidelines can apply to both genders and both program assignments (health or TEFL), but keep in mind I’m writing as a male TEFL volunteer who lives in a village, not in a city. I don’t know, for example, about the availability and quality of tampons or bras here.

CLOTHES: As a general rule, pretty much all clothing you absolutely need can be bought here, which, if you think about it makes sense since people have lived here for centuries. But that said, I strongly suggest bringing what you like to wear. Bring the clothes that make you feel good when you wear them, if only for the sake of your own mental health. Don’t worry too much about being judged by what you wear. Appearing professional and relatively modest does matter, but since you have the status of being an American, you can get away with a whole lot. It’s definitely worth having the variety and comfort of your own wardrobe, and though there are perfectly acceptable clothes available here, they’re not often the style or quality you’d want. Also – and this is very important – keep in mind that it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have access to a washer/dryer, so plan on having slightly longer pants, longer socks, and clothes that never feel 100% clean. I took for granted before I came here the fact that dryers shrink your clothes every time. I wish someone had told me this.
- Socks – bring as many as space allows because this means doing laundry less often. Also bring DARK socks. If you bring a lot of white socks, you’ll just get depressed because they’re never going to be white again. This is a desert and there’s dust everywhere. Wear dark socks so you don’t have to look at filthy white ones.
- Baseball cap and beanie – can be bought here and you won’t need a beanie until wintertime so you might as well not bring one and save the space if your bags
- Scarf – same advice as for the beanie
- Long silk underwear – absolutely necessary, tops and bottoms. This last winter (which was the coldest since 1969) I rarely took them off. To the best of my knowledge, these cannot be purchased in-country.
- T-shirts and dress shirts – I brought like 15 of each and I’m satisfied with this number, though I could definitely do with fewer. These too can be purchased in-country, but I’d bring your own if you care about how you look. Bring both long and short-sleeve dress shirts because, when it’s hot, I see other teachers wearing short-sleeved shirts. Collared polos are also acceptable to wear at work (at least at my school).
- White undershirts – bring some, but don’t go crazy
- Jeans – bring one or two pairs, but these can be bought here as well and the styles (if you trust my judgment) aren’t that bad. Obviously I’m speaking as a male, so if you’re female, I’d probably bring some good jeans since acceptable jeans are harder to find for your gender.
- Fitness clothing – athletic pants can be bought here easily, but not sure about other items like running shorts or sports bras
- Underwear – as with socks, you should bring as much as space and weight permits because it means less laundry. You’ll most likely end up shitting your pants at some point, so be sure to bring underwear you don’t mind throwing away. I am not kidding about this.
- Coats – bring at least one heavy, one medium, one light, and one professional coat. All will be useful here. I haven’t seen raincoats here, so if you prefer using a raincoat over an umbrella, bring a raincoat.
- Pants – bring several pairs and, if you’re male, plan on losing weight while you’re here. You can find pants here, but, if you ask me, they tend to run on the billowy side or the so-tight-you-get-a-cyst-on-your-tailbone side.
- Shorts – bring them and feel free to wear them if you’re male. If you’re female, you should feel out your site first to see if it’s okay. Then again, there’s the maxim that you can get away with anything since everyone will think you’re weird anyway.
- Sweaters – bring sweaters you like, maybe two or three. Ones that can be dressed up and down. The sweaters here are the ugliest things I’ve ever seen. You will not want to buy the sweaters here. They are abysmally hideous.
- Accessories – bring a few ties, a few belts, a hat, a beanie, a watch, mittens/gloves, bandana, a scarf, and an umbrella. All of these can be bought here too, though.
- Brown loafers and black loafers – two things about shoes: 1) Make sure they’re easy to slip on and off since you’ll do this multiple times a day, and 2) If you’re buying new shoes, try to get some without a prominent ridge around the edge because such a ledge will only serve to collect dust. Shoe cleanliness is valued here and it’s advisable to keep them presentable and a ledge on your shoe makes that harder.
- Sneakers, walking shoes, hiking shoes – I don’t have hiking shoes, and I sometimes regret not bringing a pair because, you know, sometimes I need to hike. Sneakers and walking shoes are of relatively low quality if bought here.
- Chacos or Birkenstocks or whatever – these are cool and make you feel like you’re actually in the Peace Corps, but very cheap sandals are available here and I don’t find much occasion to wear sandals beyond walking around the outside of my house. Other PCVs love theirs, but I could easily do without the pair that I have. Plus, like I said, there’s dust everywhere and your feet get disgusting as foot sweat mixes with dirt and dust.

PERSONAL: Again, in general, you can find most things here that you need, but if you have something special like certain kinds of face wash, razors, acne medication, or sunscreen, you should bring enough to last until your first care package from home. Peace Corps supplies a bunch of stuff for you too. And, if I recall correctly, the make-up here is relatively expensive and hard to find. So if you wear make-up, bring enough.
- Soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, razors, shaving cream – All found here relatively easily and cheaply. The quality is variable as you might expect, but if you stick with the Russian brands and American brands, you’re most likely in the clear.
- Floss – PC give you this unwaxed floss, so I suggest you bring your own. If you don’t floss, bring it anyway because you will have time to develop the good habit of flossing.
- Loofah – if you use these, bring one because you can’t get them here as far as I know.
- Condoms and lube – PC has a surprisingly large selection, and know that only 2% of all PCVs remain celibate during their service
- Hair product, face wash, acne medication, chap stick, tweezers, Q-tips – not easily found here, and if it is it’s probably not the brand or specific kind you like.
- Hand sanitizer – don’t go crazy and get a gallon of the stuff, but it’s definitely useful for when you go to an outhouse and there’s no soap or water to be found. I’d suggest bringing one or two small bottles and have others sent occasionally in packages.
- Medicine and first aid stuff – Peace Corps gives you a great little kit with all these things, and the medical officer will give you things like allergy medication if you request it

KITCHEN: Some people brought nothing food-related. These people are fools.
- Variable sizes of Ziploc bags – very useful and you can’t get these here easily
- Spices – dried garlic, dried onion, cinnamon, curry, sweet basil, Italian seasoning, cumin, nutmeg, chili pepper… bring what you like because you’ll invariably get to a point where you’ll want something that tastes different. Plus, bags of spices are small, they last a long time, and they wont take up a lot of space when you’re packing. Things you can find here fresh: dill, cilantro, garlic, basil. There’s also no need to bring salt or black or red pepper.
- Hot sauces – I suggest Sri Racha (aka Red Rooster or Hot Cock Sauce) and crushed red pepper flakes. These both go a long way in augmenting the Turkmen dishes you’ll be eating. Things that are ajy [spicy, bitter, or strong] aren’t as appreciated in Turkmenistan as they are in other parts of the world, so I would strongly strongly suggest bringing a variety of spicy things.
- Teflon pan – I personally brought one, and I do use it at times, but not nearly as much as I thought I would. Plus, it can be purchased here.
- Large canister of good powdered coffee creamer – you can only find instant coffee here and, though you might be lucky enough to have a family that has a milk-yielding cow, I wouldn’t depend on a constant supply of cream.
- French press and ground coffee – a dinky French press can be found here, but it’s very hard to find good ground coffee. If coffee is a necessity for you, I’d bring both of these or have them sent quickly.
- Seeds – flower and vegetable seeds are useful. Even if you’ve never planted anything in your whole life, your host family will probably know a thing or two about gardening, and they’ll think it’s amusing that you’re doing gara iş [“black work” – manual labor].
- If you have generous and thoughtful friends or family that plan on sending you things, I’ve found the following to be great here: CLIF bars and granola bars, really light just-add-water pre-packaged soups, junk food, more spicy things, ethnic food or food mixes, Velveeta cheese (there is pretty much no cheese here that you will recognize), and really anything that you liked to eat at home but doesn’t require special preparation.

- Tiny keychain flashlight – absolutely necessary as there aren’t streetlights in most places and usually no light when you go to the outhouse. You can get them here because I see kids playing with them, and other flashlights are available too, but I can’t vouch for their quality.
- World map or atlas – so useful, not just for the classroom, but also for when you’re dreaming about vacations.
- Laptop – 110% yes absolutely bring your laptop don’t even vacillate on this issue I heartily suggest you bring this with you no matter how crappy or how new the machine is. It will be so incredibly useful to you and make your life so much easier and less boring. You’ll be able to pre-compose emails (or blog posts, like I am now) and also use your computer for work. Plus, you’ll be able to be part of PCV society that shares music and movies and TV series. I would also suggest that you find some program like iDump that allows you to transfer music to AND from an iPod on multiple computers (and maybe on multiple operating systems). As you could have probably guessed, a larger percentage of PCVs own Macs. I also brought a lock for my laptop, but I haven’t ever used it. It’s safer here than most places and I’m not scared about it getting stolen in my village. If it ever is stolen, you just ask around for the kid that has a new computer that he has no idea how to use.
- Feather duster – sounds ridiculous, but this country is a desert and dust gets everywhere. Every time I sit down to my computer I wish that I had one.
- Flashlight – valuable, but can be bought here. I personally brought a crank-powered one, and that’s proven useful, but my host family has their own flashlight that you can plug into the wall to recharge. The electricity goes out here regularly, so a flashlight is very necessary.
- Camera – a digital camera with rechargeable batteries or a rechargeable internal battery would be the best idea. Turkmens LOVE pictures and you’ll quickly become popular if you take pictures of them. And if you have a computer to load the pictures onto, that’s even more popularity for you. My family regularly brings me to parties so that I can take pictures of it. Then I burn a disc for them and they go print out the pictures at a surathana [picture house].
- Small speakers – tiny headphones and tinny laptop speakers just don’t feel the same.
- Cell phone – coverage for Turkmenistan is steadily expanding. I have no idea at all if an American phone would work here, but I feel that it should since SIM cards are SIM cards. Plus, you can still use your phone during staging in Washington, D.C. You might as well just bring it if it’s in your pocket anyway.
- Batteries – bring enough to last you until your first care package because the batteries here are pretty much worthless when it comes to a digital camera
- Leatherman – very useful on the one hand, but if I didn’t have one I’d survive. Plus, every other PCV has one, so if you really need it, you can just borrow it. But then again, it’s not a lot of space to sacrifice for a little multitool gadget.
- Sewing kit – don’t bother bringing this unless you’re serious about your sewing. Almost any female here over the age of 6 can do wonders with a needle and thread.
- Bath towel – oh my god in heaven bring a bath towel. I would suggest bringing a large bath towel and a hand towel (maybe even two of each). The towels here are very bad and it’s like they coat them in oil so you never really get dry enough. I know a towel is a lot of space to give up, but it’s so so worth it to be able to quickly towel off.
- Books – I wouldn’t worry about the books you bring. There are plenty here to read, but if you have a favorite you’d re-read over and over again, or if you read a holy book regularly, bring it. The only books I would bring, personally, are reference books. Books for pleasure are abundant here among PCVs. You should also bring a nice compact Russian-English dictionary. If you plan on learning Russian, bring a nicer one, but if you just need enough Russian to say “Three beers please,” then get a phrasebook or something smaller. Plan on reading a whole lot once you get here.
- American gifts for your host family – I brought bookmarks, only to find out that they don’t read for pleasure. If I had to do it again, I would have purchased cheap canvas bags for them, because sturdy bags are hard to come by here and they would get good mileage (or kilometerage, as would be the case here). They use plastic bags to carry around all their things and they wear them into the ground. So if you gift them a canvas bag they’d be so grateful. I’d get one about the size of a briefcase.
- iPod, flash drive, voltage converter – duh
- Nalgene – if you’re attached to yours, bring it, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
- Photos from home – you can bond with Turkmen over these. They love seeing your home and family and car, specifically.
- Mini-iron – there’s a genius PCV here who brought a small iron from home and it’s the most god darned useful thing, especially if you’re male and have to iron pants and shirts for work. I don’t have one of these, but I would have if I had the space and the foresight.
- Candles – they’re relatively expensive here and, as stated before, the power goes out a lot (especially as you approach winter). Plus, it’s nice if you like scented things. I didn’t bring any, but my mom sent me some and I use them frequently.
- Sleeping bag – I’m 50/50 on this one because I don’t find mine that useful. It’s useful when I do use it, which is rarely, but if I had to I probably could’ve just borrowed one from another volunteer. They are completely useless if you planned on using it for when you sleep at other people’s houses because the house will provide you with mattresses and pillows to sleep on (on the floor, obviously). The only situation where I would see it being useful is for camping, sleeping at other volunteer’s apartments who don’t have sleeping mats, or if it’s incredibly cold and your sleeping bag is one of those nice goose down ones.
- Other media – there are tons of DVDs here among the PCVs, both movies and TV series. The best thing to do and the thing that will make most of the T-16s love you is if you bring newer movies and TV series on your hard drive or as burned copies that don’t take up lots of space. Seriously, just download some torrents and bring them along with you here. Anything.
- Combination lock – bring a combination lock and maybe a few of those small ones that you need a key for. They’re peace of mind when you leave your belongings in a hotel or if you leave your house for a few days
- Cash – bring cash for a vacation, at least $600. There is no safe in the PC office for volunteer use, so bring as much as you comfortable with. As I said, it’s a safe country, and if you’re smart and just lock things up you’ll be perfectly fine. The money should be crisp and new. Oh, and as for wallets, make sure yours is large enough to accommodate manat bills, which are larger than dollar bills (they are 6”x3”).

Naturally, this is not an exhaustive list. It’s important to bring the right things, but I wouldn’t be overanxious and wouldn’t devote too much hand wringing to the subject. There is no perfect packing list. You can always have things sent from America. And if you happen to forget something, you can probably get it here or you’ll find you don’t need it. Good luck packing, T-17s. It is my sincerest hope that you are good-looking, fascinating, hip, intelligent, athletic, polite, courteous, respectful, caring, patient, warm, cheerful, outgoing, generous, friendly, energetic, humorous, gentle, well adjusted, industrious, affectionate, open-minded, honest, and helpful. We T-16s are expecting nothing less from you all.

November 11, 2007

Dashoguz 10-nji Mekdep

The absolute best thing to have come out of Turkmenistan in recent memory is this: 25 cover songs sung by the Turkmen children of Dashoguz School #10.

I found it last week on one of the computers in the PC office and, with the help of fellow PCTs, I’ve identified 2/3 of the songs on there.

This is the tracklist:
1. Saves the Day – (unknown song)
2. The Cure – “Boys Don’t Cry”
3. Unknown
4. Weezer – “Buddy Holly”
5. Unknown song from the “O, Brother Where Art Thou?” soundtrack
6. The Decemberists – “Eli, The Barrow Boy”
7. Unknown
8. Neil Young – “Heart of Gold”
9. Unknown
10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – “I Won’t Back Down”
11. Unknown
12. Unknown
13. Belle & Sebastian – “Judy and the Dream of Horses”
14. Radiohead – “Karma Police”
15. Guns and Roses – “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”
16. Damien Jurado – “Letters and Drawings”
17. Unknown
18. Bob Dylan – “Everybody Must Get Stoned”
19. Unknown
20. Iron and Wine – “Sodom, South Georgia”
21. Unknown
22. Shawn Colvin – “Sunny Came Home”
23. Unknown
24. The Flaming Lips – “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part I”
25. Unknown

The volunteer who worked at Dashoguz School #10 has yet to be identified, though I’m sure if I ask around people might be able to divulge his identity. It shouldn’t be hard. He plays the guitar and dates himself by including the Decemberists and Iron and Wine tracks, which came out in 2005. So he was here in 2005 at least, meaning he was probably a T-12. The T-12 volunteers are no longer here (I am a T-16) so I might have to find his name and then his email. I could, obviously, just google the lyrics to the unknown songs, but if it were me, I would want to know that someone else that came after me appreciated such a project. And I do appreciate these – I have other such cover songs by young children choruses, including “Sexy Boy” by Air and “Desperado” by The Eagles.

October 28, 2007

First update from Turkmenistan

At this point it seems a weird exercise to update this thing. I left on September 28th and I am writing this on October 25th. So many incredible things to talk about and describe. A straightforward list would be most beneficial in this situation, I think:

- Toilets, for one, don’t exist in most places. I’ve become accustomed to a squat toilet, as much as Westerner can get accustomed to such a thing. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be, though to me a porcelain commode is preferable whenever they are available, which is infrequently. It’s cold now, but I can only imagine what they’ll be like in the summer. My family uses toilet paper, but many use newspaper, old Russian books, and magazines.
- The host country nationals are great. I feel safe and welcomed here. I love my host family and they’re incredibly generous to me. I’m never hungry or in want of something to do. I’d like to be able to iron my own shirt or do my own laundry sometimes, but my host sister and host mother don’t allow it really. My host father is the director at a theater in Ashgabat and I’ve been to a play that’s the Turkmen version of Romeo and Juliet and also a German jazz concert, both of which were great experiences. I do have pictures, so maybe you’ll see them one day, as the internet here is prohibitively slow. I can’t do much beyond checking email.
- We sleep on the floor, eat on the floor, and sit on the floor. This is a holdover from nomadic times where you carried your home on your back and a chaise lounge or Eames chair wasn’t the most practical thing to keep with you moving around the Karakum Desert. Eating and sitting on the floor were easy to adjust to, though sleeping did present a problem for me personally. I had my first night of sleep only this week where I was able to sleep the whole night through.
- Marked gender differences, but they’re things one might expect. The power differential is more transparent and it guides more behaviors than in the US. Women wear these beautiful dresses and they wear a head scarf if married. My sister has a lot more work around the house than do my brothers. I never see women driving cars. Things of that nature. There is one thing that I envy the women for: if you are in the presence of your father-in-law and you don’t want to talk to him, you can cover your face like a blinder and you don’t have to talk at all.
- It’s a muslim country but beliefs are deeply mixed with tribal and shamanistic ones. The “Evil Eye” is a big deal here and there are innumerable talismans and practices against it. You can hang these triangular woven things in your home, for example, or you can hang peppers at the entrance of your home, or ram’s horns – all to protect against the evil eye. A cute practice that I’ve taken up is when you pour your tea. If there are bubbles in the tea, and the bubbles haven’t yet escaped to the periphery of your bakal [mug or cup], you must touch them with your finger and then touch your forehead. This means money is on its way to your household. Additionally, something that I’ve taken up, is not whistling inside nor shaking out the water from my hands after washing them. Both of these actions attract the Evil Eye and the money and luck will flow out of your household. It sounds silly but a volunteer reported that he was caught shaking out the water from his hands and the next day his host mother’s purse was lost.
- My fellow PCTs are tremendous. I like them a lot and I certainly hope they like me. I feel at times I come off as an insufferable know-it-all, or simply an asshole (it wouldn’t be the first time), so I seriously hope this isn’t what my actions and behavior betray to my new friends. We were informed that all PC volunteers talk about is food, sex, and poop, but so far my group has been talking about geopolitics, linguistics, science, public radio, books, and travel. But also sex and food and poop, for good measure.
- The town where I’m living until December is at the border, and over the mountains is Iran. PC has done a good job informing us on what to do and what will happen to us in case the US acts against Iran militarily.
- Miss a lot of you, one of you especially. Please write me letters; I have only received stuff from my family so far. Letters and parcels make dealing with mortality easier!

September 29, 2007


I'm in Washington, D.C. at staging (orientation). Got in last night and there was this guy at the baggage claim and I think I got hustled by him. He took me to his car, which didn't have a meter or look like a taxi at all (it was Cadillac), but I got to the hotel fine, even though the fare was $45 flat. I shouldn't have followed that Ethiopian man.

But were given today a debit card to cover expenses and the government was surprisingly generous. I have plenty of money for incidentals and food and taxi rides. I had great Thai food tonight.

Today we went over a bunch of things, like our anxieties and fears and expectations for Turkmenistan. One really cool thing I learned was that Peace Corps is the only game in Turkmenistan, that we are literally the only aid group over there. No Habitat for Humanity or World Bank or UN or CARE. Just the Peace Corps. The awesome thing about this is that, as a volunteer, your results are more apparent. A common complaint (and reason for ETing) among volunteers is that they can't see the effects of their accomplishments. It was reassuring to learn that in T-stan that this won't be an issue.

Peace Corps really does open you up to many new experiences. For example, the guy I'm rooming with during staging, he had never ironed a shirt until I showed him how this afternoon. And as for me, he showed me his socks, all of which are tye-died. No joke.

September 24, 2007

Packing post

6 white undershirts
18 t-shirts
5 polos and button-down short-sleeve shirts
12 dress shirts for work
3 sweaters
2 long sleeve shirts
7 pairs of pants
exercise pants, shorts, and long-sleeve shirt
silk underwear bottoms and tops
one vest, one cardigan, one hoodie, one medium-weight coat, one heavy-weight coat

crushed red pepper
Sri Racha hot sauce
onion powder
garlic powder
curry powder
Italian mix

Sambas, brown loafers, black loafers, Chacos, running shoes
frying pan
sleeping bag and insertable mat
English/Russian dictionary, field guide to birding around USSR, Donald Barthelme short stories, Limits of Language, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
pens, pencils, sharpies, pad


Macbook, charger, sweater
external hard drive, mouse, camera, cords
USB thumb drive
iPod shuffle
digital watch

calendar and bookmarks (gifts for host family)
combination lock
laptop lock
Leatherman Multi-tool
Gameboy DS, games, charger
handcrank flashlight, keychain flashlight
international voltage converter

September 15, 2007

My burgeoning food blog?

I have a slight inclination to start a food blog, based on the 1100 varieties of melons to be found in Turkmenistan. It would be popular, I feel, because food buffs love exotic fruits. The mangosteen was recently legalized in America and already I've seen several proclamations of "the new pomegranate!"

It wouldn't be difficult to look into the melon-describing semantic sphere and pick up several words and phrases. I already have a name for it, which is personally the biggest motivation to start the blog. Turkmelonstan.

Also, it's surreal that I'll be there in two weeks.

July 24, 2007


I'll be going to Turkmenistan for my PC service. I will be in D.C. on September 29th for orientation, and then in Turkmenistan on October 3rd for pre-service training. My volunteer service ends December 21, 2009. So I'll be home for Christmas. I also plan at least one trip back to the states

Here's what I know about Turkmenistan and my service so far:
- Free water and electricity everywhere (vestiges of communism)
- Ashgabat, the capital city, is fairly modern and it's all white marble and real gold
- Turkmenbashi, the recently dead dictator/president-for-life, ruled with Soviet-style harshness
- The PC office there recently got satellite internet
- I will probably be in a rural area living with my host family for the entire two years.
- They eat lots of lamb and get lots of produce imported from Iran because the seasons are wonky. They have 100 degree summers but it also snows in the winter.
- I'm guessing that if the USA goes to war with Iran, I will be evacuated and my service will end, or they'll send me to Guatemala or something.
- 87% Muslim, though I hear it's not like Saudi Arabia. They are more culturally Muslim in the way that we are culturally Christian, someone said.

I have to go to work now. More later.

July 22, 2007

It should be here tomorrow

It should be here tomorrow.

July 18, 2007

Notified of my invitation


After several months of checking my email first thing every morning, after expecting it to come by the time I finished school, then by the time I had my going-away party, then by the time I left Texas, I checked my email this morning and found this message from Peace Corps:

Peace Corps has updated your Application Status account. Log in to to see the latest information.

This means that my invitation (exactly where and when I will be going) is in the mail. The mailman here is going to become shortly acquainted with me as I wait for him daily at the mailbox. What happens is I get the invite in the mail, and see what it says, and then respond within 10 days to either accept or decline the invitation. Should I decline, I would have to wait longer for another assignment to come up. This would annoy my PO because she'd have to do more work, and it'd annoy Kristofer and Ashley, since I would have to live here longer than expected.

Here is what I am predicting based on my internet research: Turkmenistan, departing for staging September 29th, returning to the States January 2010.

(this paragraph is mostly for Ben)
So. Turkmenistan. The large majority of the population speaks Turkmen, while a minority speak Balochi (Western) and Kurmanji. I am betting that I will not have to learn the minority languages. Turkmen is an Altaic > Turkic language, meaning it has strong vowel harmony, restricted voicing between vcd/vcl with few minimal pairs even intervocalically, short/long vowel opposition, and simple syllable structure (CVCC at the most complex). It might be agglutinative, I'm not sure. All nouns decline the same way; all verbs conjugate the same way. There are no classes. It has number and case, with a basic set of case markings (NOM/ACC/GEN/LOC/DAT/ABL). Its word order is strictly verb-final.

Thank you to Kerry, who was able to quickly get his recommendation stuff in before my PO went on vacation. I most likely would not have received this today if he didn't complete his shit on time. I finally get to update the timeline in the sidebar.

July 16, 2007

Finally a second nomination

My PO Julie Thompson called me this afternoon and gave me a more accurate nomination:

Late September 2007
Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Central Asia

This is exciting because TEFL was my first choice of assignment because that would work better when I apply to grad school for linguistics. It's not that teaching science would have been bad, but I just would have rather taught English. Now I need my linguistics books! And I was also reading a book earlier this year by Comrie about Caucasian languages, which might be of use if I learn one of those.

According to the PC website, "Central Asia" is the following countries:

Kyrgyz Republic