Peace Corps Georgia

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The Peace Corps program in Georgia was established in 2001. Since that time more than 275 Volunteers have served there. The 85 Volunteers and Volunteer-trainees currently serving in Georgia are working in English language education, business and social entrepreneurship programs.

The Peace Corps program in Georgia was established in 2001. Since that time more than 275 Volunteers have served there. The 85 Volunteers and Volunteer-trainees currently serving in Georgia are working in English language education, business and social entrepreneurship programs.

Contents

2001

2001: Peace Corps Established in Georgia

Georgia will receive its first Volunteer group on May 1. This pioneer group of 24 men and women, ages 22 - 41, will teach English in secondary schools throughout Eastern and Western Georgia. Later groups, approximately one a year, will work in other projects where their skills are needed. The Peace Corps intends to build up to approximately 70 Volunteers countrywide within the next three years. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: US Embassy in Georgia. "Peace Corps Established In Georgia" April 25, 2001.


2001: U.S. Peace Corps to hold Swearing-in Ceremony for first volunteers in Georgia

On June 20th, U.S. Ambassador Kenneth S. Yalowitz will preside over the swearing in ceremony for the first group of U.S. Peace Corps volunteers in Georgia. The Peace Corps Trainees arrived in Georgia on May 1, 2001 and began an intensive eight-week Community Based Training course covering Georgian language, cross-cultural studies, technical education, and health and safety. This ceremony marks the end of the training program and the trainees' formal induction into the Peace Corps as Volunteers. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: US Embassy in Georgia. "U.s. Peace Corps To Hold Swearing-In Ceremony" June 19, 2001.


2001: Letters home from Tbilisi, Georgia by Warren Hedges ’00

The past week I went to one wake and a separate funeral. The wake was for a 40-something man who was working on a roof when his scaffolding collapsed. His family is now one of many in town who have lost a young father. The most common causes are the rcent (and on-going) war in Abkhazia, accidents, and drugs. The funeral was for the mother-in-law of one of the teachers at school. The family keeps the body at home for 5-7 days. The elder women watch over the body and wail as people walk through to pay their respects. This is all followed by an enormous supra. And toasts. And wine. Lots of it. The tamada (toastmaster) made a toast to all the victims of the attacks in the US. Shortly afterward the wine must have gotten a little strong ’cause it hit me much harder. My host mother again reminded me “ghvino tsudia” (wine is bad) later that night. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: International Education. "Letters Home From Tbilisi, Georgia" July 5, 2001.


2001: Letters home from Tbilisi, Georgia by Warren Hedges

A massive snowstorm hit Sachkhere last week, cutting of the roads to Tbilisi and the electricity for 4 days. We almost ran out of water in our basins. That translates into another week Warren goes without doing his laundry. Ah, the wonders of baby powder. The big news at school now is that we have two computers running. They are in a secure room at the post-office where we can use them for two hours a day while the generator is running. I’ve been training teachers how to use them. So far the teachers are almost as impatient as their students. And almost as fun. The other big news is the continuing hepatitis outbreak at school. The sixth student this year to get the virus is home for about 2 months. We have sterilized the boxcar classrooms twice with some disinfectant; the contamination is most likely from food or water. Having a latrine up hill of school and no washing facilities doesn’t help either. School continued despite the foot of snow on the ground. No real road crews here so digging out, really is digging out... shovel by shovel. I helped clear the snow from the roof of our wine cellar and corncrib to prevent collapse. Late on the third day we got some running water. Mom, Dad, Jason and others who tried calling, my phone was off once the battery went dead. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: International Education. "Letters Home From Tbilisi, Georgia" July 5, 2001.


2002

2002: Peace Corps Volunteer gets married in Georgia, the Georgia east of the Black Sea

I began badly here. When I arrived in Georgia, I turned to Manana, Kate's Peace Corps host mother, for the answers I needed; Kate was living with Manana's family in a small village in the Caucasus Mountains, and she opened her home to my husband and me as well. She speaks English, understood a basic assumption in my questions, and sought to enlighten me: "Oh, YOU don't go," she said. "The bride's parents don't attend." "They don't go to her wedding?" I asked. "The bride's PARENTS don't go to their own daughter's wedding?" "Oh, no, certainly not. Not to the wedding or the party afterward. The groom and his friends come and get her, and after the ceremony comes a party, and then the groom has a party at his house all day the next day. But the bride's parents don't go." "You won't be there," said Kate's oldest host sister helpfully. "You can go to some other party. Later." She smiled winningly. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Advance of Bucks County, PA. "The Georgian Wedding" October 16, 2002.


2002: Russia RPCV Sue Blank used to Georgian Red Tape

During my time in Georgia, I learned to love the warmth of the Georgian people, their country's beauty, their marvelous wine and many of their foods. I admire the complexity of their language; their music enthralls me. Their children are beautiful and quick; by sixth grade they can read words in three different alphabets, Georgian, Russian and English. But I could never adjust to dealing with Georgian bureaucracy. We were aliens there, foreigners asking permission for Kate to marry a national. We had an official list of requirements -- conditions to meet, forms to file, documents to present, fees to pay. No previous marriages on either side, no request to stay permanently in Georgia complicated the situation. We met the conditions, executed the paperwork, paid the fees and arrived well in advance of the wedding date for the form granting permission for the marriage. Our ordeal had begun. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Advance of Bucks County. "Red Tape In Any Language" October 24, 2002.


2003

2003: Student Body President Nate Peterson departing for Georgia

Peterson, serving through the Peace Corps, will teach English and work with community groups to develop problem-solving skills. Peterson will spend three months learning Georgian and 24 months teaching. Sept. 11 and the war on terrorism continue to play a role, Peterson said. “Following 9-11, I decided that now is the time for service,” he said. Peterson is headed for a country involved in the invasion of Iraq. “As circumstances with the current war on terror and subsequent war on Iraq have unfolded, Georgia, which is in closer proximity to Baghdad than we are to Seattle, is right in the middle of the current international crisis.” Peterson said he will undergo Peace Corps training that addresses safety issues, but will rely on basic measures. “I will just try and blend in with the people, and not call attention to myself,” he said. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Arbiter. "Former Student Leader To Work Near Baghdad" March 20, 2003.


2003: Carrie De Vries’ Peace Corps Web Page on the Republic of Georgia

The phone call was our ride “home” to Surami. We were picked up by two men (relatives of Carrie’s home family, men she had never personally met), and we again braved the highway, this time during daylight. A two lane road in Georgia is really a three lane road, even with on-coming traffic, as there are no center lines! Passing is allowed almost anytime down the center of the road with both lanes moving over slightly. If the on-coming traffic is a bus or large truck, you might not try passing, but if it’s just an automobile, they always go for it, even on a busy city street, with lots of pedestrians around! I am partly in shock from the flight, but mostly in shock at my first look at a third world, poor, struggling, country. Bridges and roads in dis-repair; cows wandering the side-streets; men standing everywhere doing nothing but smoking and standing in groups; police men standing half-way into the road waiting for their next car to wave over for a “ticket” or bribe, all quite new and astounding. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Personal Web Site. "Georgia Trip 2002" May 9, 2003.


2003: Georgia RPCV Dan McBrayer taught English in Kvishkheti

When McBrayer arrived in the country, roughly the size of South Carolina, he made his way to a small village called Kvishkheti. It was there that McBrayer met up with his host family and began his work as an English teacher. McBrayer said that while he was in the village, he taught fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and 11th grade English courses. Despite the expected hardships like a lack of electricity and running water, McBrayer said that the worst thing he faced in one of the poorest nations on earth was the obvious depressed psychological state of the Georgian people. According to McBrayer, Georgia went from being one of the wealthiest Soviet provinces to being one of the poorest nations in the area after the government fell. This fall from grace has caused the people, who face daily hardships that didn't exist before the 1980s, to be caught in a perpetual depression. The mood only worsened, according to McBrayer, after Sept. 11, when the war on terror struck close to home. "There is an area near the Chechen/Georgian border called the gorge where, after the war on terror began, U.S. forces trained Georgians who found two Al-Qaida operatives. They were literally hours from the village," McBrayer said. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Tifton Gazette. "Peace Corps Volunteer Visits The Other Georgia" July 31, 2003.


2003: Minnesota Peace Corps Volunteer Helps Open First English Language Library at University in the Country of Georgia

“It`s been a thrill for me to see students and lecturers coming to the library to do research in English that they just could not have done before,” said Peace Corps volunteer Edward Raup. “The people of Georgia are moving rapidly to adopt English as their second language, and the library will help in this effort." Books were donated by Raupp, the Darien Book Aid of Connecticut, the Information Director at the American Center of Information Resources at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, and some of the University’s lecturers. More than 650 books were initially donated, but Raupp said that number continues to grow. In addition, the Minnesota Returned Peace Corps Volunteers group contributed a grant to help with shipping books and materials to the newly established library. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Peace Corps Press Release. "Minnesota Peace Corps Volunteer Helps Open First English Language Library At University In The Country Of Georgia" November 7, 2003.


2004

2004: Georgia PCV's in standfast for a couple of days

Just off the phone with a G2. So far, the elections are running smoothly in the Republic of Georgia. As a precaution, the PCV's are in standfast for a couple of days. Hoping that all will go well with the counting of votes after the recent fiasco. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: PCOL Exclusive. "From: Rosaliegoff <Rosaliegoff@Yahoo.com>" January 5, 2004.


2004: Norman Hickey suffered severe injuries recently in a fall while on a Peace Corps mission in the former Soviet republic of Georgia

Hickey, 76, a South Daytona resident, fell into a 16-foot construction pit while walking at night near his home in Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia, said Gladys Jacobs, his mother-in-law. Several hours passed before he was found and several more hours before he could be removed from the pit, which had rocks at the bottom. His injuries included a broken right arm and broken hip, as well as injuries to his right shoulder and leg. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Daytona Beach News Journal. "Hickey, Peace Corps Volunteer, Injured In Overseas Duty" March 31, 2004.


2004: Peace Corps Volunteer Christopher Rhodes teaches English to Georgian children in Rustavi

There are many differences, mostly cultural of course. Georgian families live together in the same house, often children, parents and grandparents, even when children are grown up (20 or 30 years old). Whereas in America most children leave home for college and live in apartment after college. Another difference is Georgians are very musical, I think much more than Americans, and every one here in Georgia knows national songs, and there is someone in every family who knows how to play the piano. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Pioneer Local. "An American In Georgia, Georgians In America" April 1, 2004.


2004: Kevin's Peace Corps Georgia Blog

Peace Corps requirements for packing: 100 pounds total for bags, 50 pounds for each bag. I have a feeling that this won't happen. I've already cut down to the bare minimum. I know I have a tendency to travel with more clothing than the Duchess of Windsor, but I really was trying to go minimal. I'm taking a total of 15 shirts. I've been through that many in one day before. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Personal Web Site. "Kevin's Peace Corps Georgia Blog" April 3, 2004.


2004: Nate Peterson entered the Peace Corps in spring of 2003 and spent the past year volunteering in the former Soviet Union Republic of Georgia as an English teacher and community organizer

Living in a de-stabilized country and war-torn with a transitioning economy from communism to capitalism has not been uneventful. This past year in Georgia I witnessed a popular revolution that peacefully and successfully overthrew the corrupt president and former Soviet Union Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze. Things are quiet now in the country that I have grown to love. As I study the Georgian language and experience the Georgian culture, I find myself loving this country more and more. Although my values and beliefs remain the same, being a volunteer in Georgia has changed me personally for the better. I have also come to believe that my experience here in Georgia has become as important to my professional development as anything else I have done. Besides language acquisition and teaching, I also work extensively with community organizations in addressing problems and expanding resources. Recently, I was asked by a friend if I was satisfied. After first complaining about the difficulty of working in a soviet educational system and living without the luxuries of clean water and constant electricity, I answered yes. I answered yes, because I feel that Peace Corps and Georgia has given me back everything I have put into it and more Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Arbiter. "Graduating? Consider The Peace Corp" April 8, 2004.


2004: Ambassador Miles Swears In New Peace Corps Volunteers in Georgia

The ceremony took place at the Tabakhmela Conference Center in Tabakhmela. According to Ambassador Miles, "You [the volunteers] come prepared to like Georgia and to be liked by Georgians. That sincerity is what Georgians will respect most about you. Georgians will want to like you . . . . I know you are up to the challenge." The volunteers will be living throughout Georgia in the style of ordinary people. Each host school, university and NGO survived a competitive selection process to ensure Peace Corps volunteers would have the greatest beneficial impact. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: US Embassy in Georgia. "Ambassador Miles Swears In New Peace Corps Volunteers" June 7, 2004.


2004: RPCV Ken Goff, teaches in Georgia

When the Glenrock teacher first entered the Republic of Georgia, he was surprised that he could not see anything except the blackness of night out of the plane window as they approached the airport. It was only later that he discovered that the entire capital of this small nation between Turkey and Russia had suffered one of its periodic blackouts, leaving over a million people sitting in the dark. The 40-year-old Goff was probably less shocked than his fellow Peace Corps volunteers across the aisle. Having spent two years living in a mud hut in Africa in the late 1980s, Goff has some experience surviving without the comforts taken for granted by most of his friends in the states. But why would somebody with a master's degree in literature and a good job as a schoolteacher in Wyoming leave everything behind to teach English for a hundred dollars a month on the other side of the world? "I felt nostalgic for the life of a volunteer," Goff explained over a cup of coffee recently in Akhaltsikhe. "I missed that every day is different. You cannot predict what the next day will bring." On the first evening that he spent in his adopted hometown of Akhaltsikhe, he was taken to the theatre for a concert. "But it turned out to be a ballroom dancing competition with kids doing the waltz in tuxedos," Goff grinned. "And on the very same evening, a family friend took us for a ride in his car. We wound up at an astronomical observatory high in the mountains, and crowned the night by looking at the rings of Saturn through a giant telescope. Georgia is full of surprises like that." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Caspar Star Tribune. "Hospitality Overwhelms" June 13, 2004.


2004: RPCV John Mackedon says Georgia's Rose Revolution is going through a turbulent period

Georgia's Rose Revolution is going through a turbulent period. President Mikheil Saakashvili's efforts to restore Georgia's territorial integrity have caused tension to rise in the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. At the same time, discontent over Saakashvili's governing style is building in Tbilisi. International attention is focused on how Saakashvili handles the challenges presented by South Ossetia and Abkhazia. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Less publicized, though no less important for Georgia's democratization process, is Saakashvili's approach to domestic political dilemmas. While trying to reestablish Tbilisi's authority in separatist regions, Saakashvili is simultaneously waging a vigorous domestic struggle to stamp out corruption and firmly establish the rule of law. In pursuing those lofty goals, however, critics contend that the president is using authoritarian means. Representatives of Georgia's non-governmental sector are among the most vocal critics of Saakashvili's domestic practices - an ironic twist given that Saakashvili relied heavily on the NGO sector in his successful drive to force former president Eduard Shevardnadze from power last November. A significant number of top officials now serving in Saakashvili's administration were prominent civil society actors during the Shevardnadze era. The presence of such officials in government, however, has not been able to squelch the concern over the administration's actions. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Eurasia Net. "Saakashvili And The Ngo Sector: Tensions Over Human Rights-Related Issues" August 11, 2004.


2004: Thailand RPCV Van Nelson is new Country Director for Georgia

Van Nelson comes to Peace Corps with over 30 years experience in international development. Following his service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand from 1969 to 1972, Nelson was an associate Peace Corps director for education in Iran, and later the associate director for training in Thailand. Nelson has also been a pre-service training director for numerous Peace Corps posts. He was the associate director for programming and training for the Peace Corps in western Russia, and most recently, he was country director of the Peace Corps program in Moldova. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Peace Corps. "Five Country Directors Take New Posts" August 13, 2004.


2004: Georgia RPCV John Mackedon writes about the latest events in Abkhazia

A contested election has pushed Georgia’s break-away region of Abkhazia to the brink of violence. The regional legislature has been "paralyzed" and local television has been taken off the air, indicating that the political environment has become dangerously polarized following an Abkhaz court ruling mandating a fresh election. A volatile mood has hovered over Abkhazia since the region staged a "presidential" vote October 3 between Sergei Bagapsh, who the local election commission acknowledged as the winner, and Raul Khajimba, the candidate favored by Russia and the out-going Abkhaz leader Vladislav Ardzinba. [For additional information see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Events over the past few days suggest that Russia is unwilling to permit Abkhazia, which has operated beyond Tbilisi’s influence since the 1992-93 conflict, to decide its own political fate. On October 28, the Abkhaz "supreme court" upheld the election commission’s decision that Bagapsh won the election. The ruling prompted hundreds of Khajimba supporters to storm the court building. The next day the court rescinded its earlier ruling and issued a new decision that annulled the October 3 results and called for a new election to be held within two months. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Eurasianet. "Latest Developments In Abkhazia Hint At Russian Intervention" November 1, 2004.


2004: Georgia RPCV John Mackedon says the expansion of a US military assistance program in Georgia, along with Washington’s promise to assist the Georgian government with the cost of closing down two Russian military bases in the country, could provide President Mikheil Saakashvili administration with a much-needed boost as it promotes the country’s integration into the Western security framework

The expansion of a US military assistance program in Georgia, along with Washington’s promise to assist the Georgian government with the cost of closing down two Russian military bases in the country, could provide President Mikheil Saakashvili administration with a much-needed boost as it promotes the country’s integration into the Western security framework. The key element of the US assistance strategy in the coming year is the new Sustainment and Stability Operations Program, an initiative intended as a follow-up to the two-year Train and Equip Program that ended in April 2004. [For additional information see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Although US officials have declined to comment on the program’s costs, outgoing Defense Minister Giorgi Baramidze stated that the assistance is worth roughly $60 million. Four battalions, or roughly 2,000 soldiers, will be trained under the 16-month initiative, which is aimed at enhancing the Georgian military’s peacekeeping skills. This cooperation takes place against the backdrop of a prolonged standoff between Georgia and Russia over the status of two Russian military bases left in Georgia, in Akhalkalaki and Batumi. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Moscow pledged at a 1999 Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit to close the bases within two years. The deadline has come and gone, however, and Russian officials have claimed that it could take an additional 11 years before the bases are removed and at a cost of some $300 million. Some observers have suggested Moscow, in return for military withdrawal, wants a guarantee from Tbilisi that it will not agree in the future to host a strategic facility belonging to third country. By extending its training program with the United States, Tbilisi appears to be directly challenging the Russian stance. Presenting the program on December 5, Baramidze told reporters that "[t]he new US program represents a new step made by Georgia toward the NATO alliance." In a separate development, NATO member Turkey is expected to begin weapons, artillery and reconnaissance training for a brigade of 3,000 Georgian soldiers next year as well. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Eurasianet. "With Us Help, Georgia Gets Its Cake And Eats It, Too" December 17, 2004.


2004: Lauren Miller is a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at a school in Khashuri, a town in the Republic of Georgia

Lauren Miller is a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at a school in Khashuri, a town in the Republic of Georgia. The school needs about $4,000 to repair its dilapidated gym, and Miller is hoping Greeley residents will be able to help. "The school is a mess," she said. "After the fall of the Soviet Union, everything fell into ruin." There is no physical education in the winter because the gym is unsafe and falling apart. Before Miller's run with the Peace Corps ends next summer, she wants to make sure the gym will have the necessary repairs. The funding would go toward repairs such as replacing the floors, walls, windows and doors. The students and their families have agreed to do all of the labor. The city government has given $667 toward the project and repaired part of the structure's roof, but a poor economy has meant the government can't afford to give any more assistance. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at www.peacecorps. com. Miller, who is in charge of the project, will be required to present forms and receipts to supervisors for every expense. She had experts assess how much the repairs would cost. "I was shocked that it would only cost ($4,000)," she said. "It will give so much hope to the kids to see actual progress. Everyone is just in despair over the economy." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Greeley Tribune. "Peace Corps Volunteer Leads Drive To Repair School's Dilapidated Gym" December 27, 2004.


2005

2005: Globetrotting professor Jerry Peverall returns from Peace Corps stint in Georgia after serving in India in the 1960's

Unlike his first sojourn abroad with the Peace Corps from 1969 to 1971, which took him to India, Peverall's assignment in Georgia was a cold one. "The schools there have no heat. It's cold all of the time. At my university, the windows were broken. The students had no gloves. How can they learn under such conditions? I have so much admiration for them. We're so spoiled. I'm so appreciative, " Peverall, who slept beneath two sleeping bags in order to stay warm in the modest home of the host family he lived with. When you are serving with the Peace Corps, you live at the level of the host family," Peverall said. "I had $50 a month to live on," in Georgia. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Bedford Bulletin. "Globetrotting Professor Returns From Peace Corps Stint In Georgia" January 5, 2005.


2005: When the man our daughter Kate later married brought her a puppy while she served in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia, she named it Gushagi

Gusha hates motorcycles, garbage trucks, bicycles, the shredder in the basement office, eagles and hawks on television, real geese flying overhead and the vacuum cleaner. But she adores us. She likes stuffed animals, works hard to find a squeaker inside, then squeaks it 70 or 80 times in a row. I've counted. If she can arrange it, she likes to sleep with one of Kate's socks. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Advance of Bucks County. "Sentinel, Sentry, Guardian" January 19, 2005.


2005: Since March 2001, the United States Peace Corps arrived in Georgia to help the towns and villages in which they live.

Word of mouth also helps people understand the mission of the Peace Corps. "It's a small country," says Dorsch. "People have relatives everywhere. We don't go unnoticed." This is certainly true of volunteers Terrell Starr, based in Vani, and Steve Taylor, who is working in a school in Kakheti, who are collaborating to create a model United Nations program in each of their schools. Starr explains he chose to open the program, where students each assume the role of a United Nations ambassador and hold meetings according to parliamentary rules, because "kids in the regions have few opportunities, and this will help develop their problem solving, leadership, diplomatic, and social skills." Starr and Taylor, along with twelve other volunteers, are also involved in a Partnership Project, a Peace Corps version of a grant proposal, to help fund teacher training workshops in six cities. The workshops are designed to help 150 poorly trained English teachers make the most of limited resources in teaching English. Money received will go towards photocopies, pens, and other basic supplies necessary to run the workshops. The lack of materials is a problem faced by Georgian and volunteer teachers alike. "You just have to wing it," says volunteer Drew Whitmarsh, who is working in Chiatura, Imereti. "All you have is your creativity in your brain," he adds, describing leading students in jumping jacks to warm up in classrooms without heat, and making frequent use of the blackboard to get around the shortage of books. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Messenger.ge, Georgia. "Heating Solutions For Georgian Schools: Jumping Jacks" January 21, 2005.


2005: RFE/RL President Thomas A. Dine (RPCV India) Mourns Death of Georgian PM Zhvania

"Though his life has tragically come to an end at the age of 41, Prime Minister Zhvania's wife, Nino, and three children can be proud of what he achieved during his time among us. Elected to the Georgian parliament before the age of 30 and elected parliament chairman soon thereafter, Zhvania eventually became one of the prime movers in his country's 2003 'Rose Revolution.' Because of his commitment to Georgia's democratic traditions and to restoring the dignity of his fellow citizens, Georgia is rapidly becoming the stable democracy Prime Minister Zhvania devoted his life to creating. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Radio Free Europe. "Rfe/Rl President Mourns Death Of Georgian Pm Zhvania" February 4, 2005.


2005: Sierra Leone RPCV Mike Kelleher to teach democracy in Republic of Georgia

Mike Kelleher, an unsuccessful candidate for Congress and lieutenant governor, has taken a new job in the Republic of Georgia. The 43-year-old Normal resident, who has spent the last 17 months working for Gov. Rod Blagojevich, will depart the U.S. in early March for a one-year assignment as country director for the National Democratic Institute's programs in the former Soviet bloc nation. "It's going to be an incredible challenge," said Kelleher, who has prior international experience from his days in the Peace Corps. Kelleher, who was an instructor at Illinois State University before joining Blagojevich's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in October 2003, will concentrate his efforts on training members of parliament and other groups on democratic processes. "It wasn't something that was on my radar screen," said Kelleher, who will oversee a staff of about 12 employees. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Pantagraph. "Kelleher To Teach Democracy In Republic Of Georgia" February 8, 2005.


2005: Peace Corps Volunteers meet with Members of Congress at their overseas sites

On the other side of the globe, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada led a Congressional delegation of other U.S. Senators to the country of Georgia that included Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Robert Bennett of Utah, Barbara Boxer of California, Richard Durbin of Illinois, Patty Murray of Washington, and Ken Salazar of Colorado. The Senators had a chance to visit with Peace Corps volunteers from their respective home states serving in the post-Soviet nation. They also heard from representatives from non-governmental organizations and Georgian officials who highlighted the dedication and positive impacts the volunteers have had on their communities. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Peace Corps. "Volunteers Show Members Of Congress What Life Is Like In The Peace Corps" April 13, 2005.


2005: Peace Corps Volunteer Yuta in Georgia: “why no wife yuta, why no wife?”

It seems that it is tradition to marry at around 21-22 in ROG, and they have a hard time understanding me when I tell them that “I never want to get married.” “No,” they say, “don't you want a wife and kisd?! Kids are gifts from God and you should have as many as you can.” I usually respond by saying “I’m sorry I don’t understand” to stop the conversation from going further, but I always wish I had enough guts and glory to say “I am at the top of my game and I cant be brought down by the ‘man,’ let alone a bunch of kids!” Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Personal Web Site. "No Wife And Evil Places" July 25, 2005.


2005: Largest group of Peace Corps Volunteers take oath of service in Georgia

"We have established ourselves and demand has increased," Peace Corps Georgia country director Van Nelson said Wednesday explaining the jump in numbers of volunteers. Nelson estimates there were as many as 65 potential sites - communities that have completed all the application steps and shown a desire and ability to host a volunteers - for the newest group of volunteers. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Messenger. "'Someday Is Today' For New Peace Corps Vols." August 13, 2005.


2006

2006: Georgia RPCV Michael Durnan writes: The FARC's Best Friend: U.S. Antidrug Policies and the Deepening of Colombia's Civil War in the 1990s

The strengthening of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) during the 1990s was an unintended consequence of a series of tactical successes in U.S. antidrug policies. These included dismantling the Medellin and Cali drug cartels, interdicting coca coming into Colombian processing facilities, and using drug certification requirements to pressure the Colombian government to attack drug cartels and allow aerial fumigation of coca crops. These successes, however, merely pushed coca cultivation increasingly to PARC-dominated areas while weakening many of the FARC's political- military opponents. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs. "The Farc's Best Friend: U.s. Antidrug Policies And The Deepening Of Colombia's Civil War In The 1990s" July 1, 2006.


2006: The Peace Corps posted Edward Raupp to the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, where he taught English language and literature at Gori State University

He also worked with donors from Minnesota and colleagues in Georgia to build the country’s first English-language library. Last June, he extended his service for a third year, in order to fulfill a request from the mother of Georgia’s president to help found a new university. The school, Georgian University of Social Sciences, already has 300 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Raupp will continue to serve there as vice rector and as an economics professor until his third year is up, and he may apply for a fourth year in the Peace Corps to serve in another country. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette. "Corps Values" September 7, 2006.


2006: Togo RPCV Randall L. Tobias is New Caucasus USAID Mission Director for Georgia and Azerbaijan

His career overseas began in 1976 as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa, where he worked with the Ministry of Rural Development. After returning home and completing graduate school, Mr. Wilson entered the Foreign Service in 1982 as an International Development Intern with USAID. Mr. Wilson's first post was in Haiti as an agricultural development officer. From there he moved to Honduras, Barbados, Peru, Mozambique and Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Georgia, where he served in various capacities within the organization. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: PR Newswire. "Usaid Announces New Caucasus Regional Mission Director" September 20, 2006.


2006: Norman Hickey served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Georgia at the age of 76

Hickey is no stranger to adventure. He has gone on assignments on behalf of various U.S. agencies going back more than 30 years to faraway lands such as Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Russia and Colombia. He was city manager of Daytona Beach from 1963 to 1966, as well as a manager for local governments in Titusville, San Diego, Hillsborough County and St. Petersburg. However, Georgia will always hold a special place in his heart. He served as the country director coordinating other Peace Corps volunteers who were there to teach English. The mom naming her baby after him was one of his co-workers. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Daytona Beach News-Journal. "Volunteers Will Always Have A Piece Of The Peace Corps" October 8, 2006.


2007

2007: Lisa Cardish Lebowitz, 57, and Mark A. Lebowitz,59, left the comforts of home behind this month to serve in the Republic of Georgia as members of the Peace Corps

They are among 79 Peace Corps members in Georgia. During the first three months of their service, the Lebowitzes will live with a host family to help them become immersed in the country's language and culture. After they are acclimated, Lisa Lebowitz will spend two years teaching English to secondary school students, while Mark Lebowitz with focus on non-governmental organization development and management. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Albany Times Union. "Peace Corps Service Calls Gansevoort Pair To Georgia" July 5, 2007.


2007: Georgia welcomes 7th group of Peace Corps Volunteers

“We’re excited to swear in this new group of Peace Corps volunteers…We are also pleased to welcome the first group of business development volunteers who will work in the area of small and micro-business development and social entrepreneurship, an important new area of focus for Peace Corps Georgia,” said Kathleen Sifer, Peace Corps Georgia country director. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Messenger.ge. "Us Peace Corps Welcomes 7th Group Of Volunteers" August 30, 2007.


2007: Paul Stephens, a 23-year-old Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Georgia, lives on a dirt road seven hours away from a major clothing store. When he's not dodging cows and enduring heatless winters, he's watching ... "Project Runway"?

Paul Stephens, a 23-year-old Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Georgia, lives on a dirt road seven hours away from a major clothing store. When he's not dodging cows and enduring heatless winters, he's watching ... "Project Runway"? That's right: Paul is a "Runway" fan. It would be one thing if he were just a quirky beatnik, but from the Caucasuses to the Cascades, plenty of beer-slugging, football-watching, fleece-wearing men have found their new favorite pastime. Are they watching for appreciation of the talent? For the instant gratification? Because it's kind of like sports? "Well, it's also about Heidi Klum being hot," admits Marks- Landro. "Really hot. She's so hot, she should run for office." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Seattle Times. ""Project Runway": Guys' Newest Tv Sport" September 27, 2007.


2007: Lee Allen finds love and happiness in Georgia

While working as a teacher at a Gori secondary school, he fell in love with Tiko, who was providing translation for him when needed. As a Peace Corps volunteer, Lee stayed with a host family. One day, he was ill with the flu and he heard someone knocking on his door. At first, he thought that the last thing he wanted to do was meet someone; he felt sick and wanted to be alone. Lee looked out the window and there stood Tiko. Thinking she was too cute to ignore, Lee quickly forgot about his flu, put on some nice clothes, and opened the door.��Tiko: Because I had never spoken to a native English speaker before I was nervous. And my first words were, “Hello, my name is Tiko… can you understand me?” And, he responded, “Sure!”��Lee: That night, after I met Tiko, I saw her in my dreams. I was wondering what she was doing in my dreams. I cannot really say that I fell in love at first sight, but maybe at second sight, because at first it was more like friendship. Neither of us thought about marrying, we just understood each other. Maybe in the past I thought about marrying a foreigner, and all the time I was looking for someone special. It took me 34 years to find a wife; I found her when I stopped thinking about it and when I traveled around the world. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Daily Georgian Times. "Finding Love And Happiness On The Other Side Of The World" October 29, 2007.


2007: Peace Corps Director Visits the Republic of Georgia

The people of Georgia have welcomed Peace Corps Volunteers with open arms for over six years," said Director Tschetter. "The warmth and generosity of the Georgian people are evident everywhere I've gone, and our Volunteers are helping improve the quality of life of Georgians through economic development and education. We hope to continue and expand our partnership with Georgia as time goes on." As a part of his trip, Director Tschetter met with Deputy Minister of Education and Science Bela Tsipuria to seek out more ways Peace Corps Volunteers could assist Georgia's schools in areas such as vocational education. The Deputy Minister thanked the Director for the support schools have received throughout Georgia from Peace Corps Volunteers. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Peace Corps Press Release. "Peace Corps Director Visits The Republic Of Georgia" November 2, 2007.


2007: Amy Eller lives in Georgia as a Peace Corps Volunteer

Amy describes her tenure as a volunteer as mostly rewarding so far, but she readily admits that it has not been easy. “Since this is my first experience spending time outside of the U.S., homesickness has been a major struggle. “My other difficulties include many problems generally associated with living abroad in a developing country: the language barrier, electricity shortages, corruption, gender roles, lack of central heating and air conditioning, frustration with public transportation and the list goes on.” “Georgians are famous for their hospitality. It's almost overwhelming sometimes,” remarked Eller. “Everyone who has come to visit me can attest to this. I am constantly being welcomed into people's homes whether or not I know them. They offer food and favors, even as complete strangers, and I am often approached by people just interested in speaking with me. “I think as a whole, Georgians are generally extremely warm-hearted, high-spirited and friendly.” Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Fayette Daily News. "It’s A Long Way From Georgia To Fayetteville" December 27, 2007.


2008

2008: Jeesun “Agnus” Shin serves as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Georgia

She is one of two people in the village who stand out, she said. The other is the only handicapped person there. He is mentally retarded, cannot speak and has difficulty getting around. One day, she was using public transportation in another city and noticed him waiting for a bus. “It was getting dark and he looked cold and a little worried,” she wrote. She realized he couldn’t read — the only way to decipher which bus to take — and so she got off to help him. “He cannot speak but he smiled happily when he saw me and grunted.” She gestured him onto the correct bus and held his crutches while a stranger lifted him on. Then she directed the bus driver to his house. “I felt responsible for him because I was the only one on the (bus) from Khutsubani and since he was from my village I had to take care of him,” she wrote her father. “As I was walking home I felt proud that I was able to look out for the handicapped man the way other villagers looked out for me when I first arrived.” Later, she wrote, she laughed when she realized that she had — at one time — felt sorry for the “village idiot” because he couldn’t communicate and is so different. “I laughed when I realized there are two village idiots,” she wrote. “I am number two. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Northwest Florida Daily News. "Life In The Peace Corps" March 24, 2008.


2008: Sara Bumsted served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Georgia

"I was in Georgia, just south of Russia, and I was an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) Development volunteer. I worked with a women’s health, women’s rights organization…The fact that we had such a large Armenian population, there had been tensions between the Georgian and Armenian communities. So one way my organization was tackling that was working through the women within these communities and bringing them together, and just getting them to find common ground. A lot of the Armenian communities weren’t taught Georgian, so we would also bring in some of the middle school, high school age girls to come in and work on Georgian…They also had a free gynecological clinic so that women could come in for health because there is no health care system because there is no insurance, everything is out of the pocket." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Planet Blacksburg. "Making A Global Difference: Interview With Sara Bumsted" March 25, 2008.


2008: RPCV Cuttino's Site writes: "Heavy Fighting" in South Ossetia

For those of you who have seen the news in the last few hours, the South Ossetian conflict, which has been boiling for years now, has become very violent. The threat of a new war is growing. I have every confidence that Peace Corps will take care of its volunteers; for me, I am safe in Turkey. We can only hope and pray that this violence does not spread further and threaten the progress for which my friends in Georgia have worked so hard. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Personal Web Site. ""Heavy Fighting" In South Ossetia Aug 7, '08 10:05 Pm" August 7, 2008.


2008: Peace Corps Volunteers in Georgia are Safe

Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter announced today that all Volunteers and trainees serving in the Republic of Georgia are accounted for and safe. There are 38 Peace Corps Volunteers and 47 Peace Corps Volunteer-trainees serving in Georgia. All of the Peace Corps Volunteers and trainees in Georgia are on stand-fast mode, requiring that they remain in their communities and in regular contact with the Peace Corps/Georgia staff. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Peace Corps Press Release. "Peace Corps Volunteers In Georgia Are Safe" August 8, 2008.


2008: Russia sent troops rolling into a breakaway region of Georgia after Georgian troops sought to enter the capital of the pro-Russian enclave, in a sharp escalation of the longstanding conflict

Georgia is a strong American ally whose shift toward the West and pursuit of NATO membership has angered Russia. Washington said Friday that it would send an envoy to the region to try to broker an end to the fighting. The clashes raised the specter of a wider conflict in the Caucasus region, a key conduit for the flow of oil from the Caspian Sea to world markets and an area where violent conflict has flared for years along Russia’s borders, most recently in Chechnya. Georgian forces said Friday that they had won control of the capital of the rebel enclave, South Ossetia, but Russian peacekeepers in the city said they had not seen Georgian troops in the capital, Tskhinvali. One unconfirmed report said Georgian forces had shot down two Russian planes; Georgia said its aircraft had bombed a convoy of Russian tanks that moved into the area. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: New York Times. "Russia Sends Troops Into Rebel Enclave In Georgia" August 8, 2008.


2008: PCV B & C Go To Georgia writes: "We Interrupt Our Regular Progamming..."

As you may have seen on BBC or CNN, Georgia and South Ossetia have come to blows again (South Ossetia is the breakaway region just north of Gori). Gori, as you may remember, is where we lived last summer during training. This year, luckily, the trainees are in a different location. Gori is, still, however, on the main road between our site and Tbilisi. There's been fighting and troop movement for the past few days, as happens every few months and we were on Alert, but everything seemed well enough this morning. The highway is out and we're on standfast (meaning we're to stay put), so, conversely, I'm stuck in Tbilisi, while Brenden can't get here. Meanwhile, one of the bombs hit the major cell phone company's office in Gori, so cell phone service is unreliable. However, since I'm at the Peace Corps office in Tbilisi, I should be safe and have Internet access, and although Brenden isn't, he's with the Peace Corps staff. Neither of us are near the border with South Ossetia, so although things will probably get worse before they get better, I'm not worried about our safety. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Personal Web Site. ""We Interrupt Our Regular Progamming..."" August 8, 2008.


2008: Peace Corps does not operate in South Ossetia, a separatist region located in the north of Georgia along its border with Russia and there are no Volunteers located in that region

Peace Corps does not operate in South Ossetia, a separatist region located in the north of Georgia along its border with Russia and there are no Volunteers located in that region. All 85 in country are accounted for and safe.� Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: PCOL Exclusive. "We Just Received An Email From Peace Corps Press Director Amanda Beck Emphasizing That Peace Corps Does Not Operate In South Ossetia, A Separatist Region Located In The North Of Georgia Along Its Border With Russia And There Are No Volunteers Located In That Region." August 8, 2008.


2008: Russia-Georgia unrest worries Fargo parents

North Dakota State University vice president Prakash Mathew is one of the Fargo-area parents with a child volunteering with the Peace Corps in Georgia. Mathew says he was able to talk with his son, Chris, who sounded surprisingly relaxed. The Peace Corps said Friday that its 38 volunteers and 47 volunteers-in-training in Georgia are safe. The volunteers were prepared to leave if the fighting worsened. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: KXMB. "Russiageorgia Unrest Worries Fargo Parents" August 9, 2008.


2008: RPCV Georgia to Sakartvelo writes:volunteers were consolidated in the ski town of Bakuriani awaiting evacuation to Armenia

The volunteers are consolidated in this ski town called Bakuriani awaiting evacuation to Armenia. There was a hospital being built in Gori over the past 2 years and the rumor going around was that it was going to be used for the upcoming war in South Ossetia.. and everyone thought it was just a crazy rumor! Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Personal Web site. "Saturday, August 09, 2008" August 9, 2008.


2008: Two University of Colorado alumni in Georgia as Peace Corps volunteers have been evacuated from the village they were working in as Russians bombed the area

Julian Katchinoff and his wife, Martha Wawro, were undergraduate students in CU's geography and international affairs program. They wanted to get some experience before returning to graduate school, so they signed up for the Peace Corps, said Elizabeth Dunn, associate professor of geography and international affairs. "This is pure unadulterated aggression on the part of Russia," Dunn said. "This is the most significant act of aggression on the part of Russia since the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Denver Post. "Cu Alums In Peace Corps Unscathed" August 9, 2008.


2008: PCV B & C Go To Georgia writes: things seem to be getting worse rather than better

"They are taking us to Bakuriani so all the volunteers will be together again. They are adopting a "wait and see what Russia does" approach. If Russia stops bombing, we might go back to our sites on Sunday or Monday. If they don't, we might evacuate to Armenia. This does mean I probably won't have Internet access for a while, and although I will have cell phone coverage (albeit spotty) for the next few days, we probably won't have cell phone coverage if we do go to Armenia (I's using a lot of modifiers because nothing is really sure yet). They do have a safe location for us already in Armenia, though, which is good." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Personal Web site. "Georgia Update" August 9, 2008.


2008: Peace Corps Volunteers in Georgia Safely Relocated to Armenia

The decision to relocate the Volunteers is due to the ongoing conflict taking place in the South Ossetia region of Georgia and bordering areas. All 36 Peace Corps Volunteers and 49 Peace Corps Volunteer-trainees serving in Georgia are safe. Personnel from Peace Corps/Georgia, as well as Peace Corps/Armenia, are now supporting the Volunteers. The Peace Corps/Georgia office is still open in Tbilisi, and is constantly and carefully monitoring this situation along with Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington. Peace Corps Volunteers do not serve in South Ossetia, the separatist region located in the north of Georgia along its border with Russia. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Peace Corps Press Release. "Peace Corps Volunteers In Georgia Safely Relocated To Armenia" August 11, 2008.


2008: RPCV Lee Allen flees fierce Georgia fighting

Allen is a Mobile native who moved to the former Soviet nation for a Peace Corps assignment more than two years ago. He had been living in Gori, an area south of the main conflict zone that was bombed by Russian forces. "Many people have been killed there, and the city is in flames," he wrote in an e-mail received Saturday. His wife, Tiko, a native of the Georgia republic, tried to visit Gori to plead with her mother and brother to leave, but a bombing along the road to Gori kept her in Tbilisi, the Georgia capital. "Exactly an hour later - the time she would have been arriving - several Russian warplanes violated Georgian airspace again, and are continuing as I write. Gori was hit by a bomb. No one was hurt in that incident, but the hospital there is filled with wounded from the conflict," Allen wrote. In an e-mail to The Times received Sunday, Allen said he feels safe hiding in Tbilisi. He expressed hope of returning to Gori to take pictures of Saturday's attacks and secure his property. PCOL Comment: Although the news story states that Lee Allen is a Peace Corps volunteer, the Peace Corps Press Office has informed us that Allen is an RPCV who completed his service in 2007 and stayed on in Georgia on his own. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Huntsville Times. "City Man Fears For Kin In War Zone" August 11, 2008.


References

  1. US Embassy in Georgia. "Peace Corps Established In Georgia" April 25, 2001.
  2. US Embassy in Georgia. "U.s. Peace Corps To Hold Swearing-In Ceremony" June 19, 2001.
  3. International Education. "Letters Home From Tbilisi, Georgia" July 5, 2001.
  4. International Education. "Letters Home From Tbilisi, Georgia" July 5, 2001.
  5. Advance of Bucks County, PA. "The Georgian Wedding" October 16, 2002.
  6. Advance of Bucks County. "Red Tape In Any Language" October 24, 2002.
  7. The Arbiter. "Former Student Leader To Work Near Baghdad" March 20, 2003.
  8. Personal Web Site. "Georgia Trip 2002" May 9, 2003.
  9. The Tifton Gazette. "Peace Corps Volunteer Visits The Other Georgia" July 31, 2003.
  10. Peace Corps Press Release. "Minnesota Peace Corps Volunteer Helps Open First English Language Library At University In The Country Of Georgia" November 7, 2003.
  11. PCOL Exclusive. "From: Rosaliegoff <Rosaliegoff@Yahoo.com>" January 5, 2004.
  12. Daytona Beach News Journal. "Hickey, Peace Corps Volunteer, Injured In Overseas Duty" March 31, 2004.
  13. Pioneer Local. "An American In Georgia, Georgians In America" April 1, 2004.
  14. Personal Web Site. "Kevin's Peace Corps Georgia Blog" April 3, 2004.
  15. The Arbiter. "Graduating? Consider The Peace Corp" April 8, 2004.
  16. US Embassy in Georgia. "Ambassador Miles Swears In New Peace Corps Volunteers" June 7, 2004.
  17. Caspar Star Tribune. "Hospitality Overwhelms" June 13, 2004.
  18. Eurasia Net. "Saakashvili And The Ngo Sector: Tensions Over Human Rights-Related Issues" August 11, 2004.
  19. Peace Corps. "Five Country Directors Take New Posts" August 13, 2004.
  20. Eurasianet. "Latest Developments In Abkhazia Hint At Russian Intervention" November 1, 2004.
  21. Eurasianet. "With Us Help, Georgia Gets Its Cake And Eats It, Too" December 17, 2004.
  22. Greeley Tribune. "Peace Corps Volunteer Leads Drive To Repair School's Dilapidated Gym" December 27, 2004.
  23. Bedford Bulletin. "Globetrotting Professor Returns From Peace Corps Stint In Georgia" January 5, 2005.
  24. Advance of Bucks County. "Sentinel, Sentry, Guardian" January 19, 2005.
  25. Messenger.ge, Georgia. "Heating Solutions For Georgian Schools: Jumping Jacks" January 21, 2005.
  26. Radio Free Europe. "Rfe/Rl President Mourns Death Of Georgian Pm Zhvania" February 4, 2005.
  27. Pantagraph. "Kelleher To Teach Democracy In Republic Of Georgia" February 8, 2005.
  28. Peace Corps. "Volunteers Show Members Of Congress What Life Is Like In The Peace Corps" April 13, 2005.
  29. Personal Web Site. "No Wife And Evil Places" July 25, 2005.
  30. The Messenger. "'Someday Is Today' For New Peace Corps Vols." August 13, 2005.
  31. Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs. "The Farc's Best Friend: U.s. Antidrug Policies And The Deepening Of Colombia's Civil War In The 1990s" July 1, 2006.
  32. The Pennsylvania Gazette. "Corps Values" September 7, 2006.
  33. PR Newswire. "Usaid Announces New Caucasus Regional Mission Director" September 20, 2006.
  34. Daytona Beach News-Journal. "Volunteers Will Always Have A Piece Of The Peace Corps" October 8, 2006.
  35. Albany Times Union. "Peace Corps Service Calls Gansevoort Pair To Georgia" July 5, 2007.
  36. Messenger.ge. "Us Peace Corps Welcomes 7th Group Of Volunteers" August 30, 2007.
  37. Seattle Times. ""Project Runway": Guys' Newest Tv Sport" September 27, 2007.
  38. Daily Georgian Times. "Finding Love And Happiness On The Other Side Of The World" October 29, 2007.
  39. Peace Corps Press Release. "Peace Corps Director Visits The Republic Of Georgia" November 2, 2007.
  40. Fayette Daily News. "It’s A Long Way From Georgia To Fayetteville" December 27, 2007.
  41. The Northwest Florida Daily News. "Life In The Peace Corps" March 24, 2008.
  42. Planet Blacksburg. "Making A Global Difference: Interview With Sara Bumsted" March 25, 2008.
  43. Personal Web Site. ""Heavy Fighting" In South Ossetia Aug 7, '08 10:05 Pm" August 7, 2008.
  44. Peace Corps Press Release. "Peace Corps Volunteers In Georgia Are Safe" August 8, 2008.
  45. New York Times. "Russia Sends Troops Into Rebel Enclave In Georgia" August 8, 2008.
  46. Personal Web Site. ""We Interrupt Our Regular Progamming..."" August 8, 2008.
  47. PCOL Exclusive. "We Just Received An Email From Peace Corps Press Director Amanda Beck Emphasizing That Peace Corps Does Not Operate In South Ossetia, A Separatist Region Located In The North Of Georgia Along Its Border With Russia And There Are No Volunteers Located In That Region." August 8, 2008.
  48. KXMB. "Russiageorgia Unrest Worries Fargo Parents" August 9, 2008.
  49. Personal Web site. "Saturday, August 09, 2008" August 9, 2008.
  50. Denver Post. "Cu Alums In Peace Corps Unscathed" August 9, 2008.
  51. Personal Web site. "Georgia Update" August 9, 2008.
  52. Peace Corps Press Release. "Peace Corps Volunteers In Georgia Safely Relocated To Armenia" August 11, 2008.
  53. The Huntsville Times. "City Man Fears For Kin In War Zone" August 11, 2008.
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