Still Groovy

Trip Start Aug 13, 2002
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Trip End Nov 20, 2004


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Flag of Uzbekistan  ,
Saturday, July 31, 2004

Things are still fine. Peace Corps kept all the PCVs that happened to be in Tashkent last night in hotels. It wasn't possible to leave the city due to security checks at the city borders. Also, the rule of thumb with something like this is to stay put wherever you are unless there is imminent danger. The street where the PC office is has been blocked off and no cars can get in. There is tightened security. We are technically on "standfast" now. If I was in Navoi, I would be able to leave home but would have to stay in the city.

We had a meeting at 4:00 Saturday afternoon (about an hour ago) with the PC Country Director. He had just come from a meeting at the U.S. Embassy. There have been no further incidents since the "coordinated explosions" yesterday. One was at the Israeli Embassy. Another was at the Uzbek Prosecuter's Office (where they started the trial yesterday against the alleged bombers from the April attacks). There was also a suicide bomber outside the U.S. Embassy. Our Country Director said the belief is that people were not the targets - the bombers hit at a time and at places where it would be noticed in international news but without risk of high casualties. Many different groups have claimed responsibility. Things are pretty normal in Tashkent today - businesses are open and people are using mass transportation.

Standfast for PCVs will be lifted tomorrow and PC is going to drive me and some others to our sites. At 6:45 in the morning! Ugh!

At breakfast this morning, a few of us were discussing the fact that no PCV has ever been targeted or attacked for political reasons. People here and in other countries really do look at PC as separate from the US Government. There would be a big backlash from the local community against anyone who attacked a PCV.

There are a bunch of PCVs in the office all hoping to do what I'm doing - update family and friends back home. So, I'm going to get off. But the short answers to the biggest questions I've gotten - Yes, I'll be coming home in October or November as planned. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet - but going to school full time seems to be a pretty good possibly. I figure, why not do it now while I'm used to living poor? I'll try to write more in the next few weeks.

Peace!

Shari
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