Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We just got a country.

The government of Turkmenistan has rescinded their invitation to the T-18 group of Peace Corps volunteers, only hours before staging. We were informed of this halfway through our staging presentation. They said they'd welcome a group in 2010, but not in 2009. It's especially strange, because we'd all been issued our visas by the Turkmen embassy in D.C., and they said they didn't understand what was going on either.

This means our entire Peace Corps group to Turkmenistan has been effectively canceled, and I won't be going there.

As you can imagine, the other trainees and myself are not in the best of moods right now. Some have given up everything for this trip and this amazing chance. All of us have had to say intense goodbyes, and mentally prepare ourselves for the journey ahead. I think it's fair to say all of us are dearly disappointed.

However, Peace Corps may still be down many of our paths. They're frantically trying to find programs for each of us, trying to add us to whatever country's program can take us. With luck, I can still ship out before the end of the year. In the meantime, I ask that you all join me in keeping those who sacrificed so much to come to Philadelphia in your thoughts, and for a quick and good resolution to their current plight.


  1. Oh god, that's terrible! I hope you can find somewhere else to go, I can only imagine how crushing that must be.

  2. Ted, as an American development worker to lived in T'stan (just relocated to Kyrgyzstan 3 weeks ago), believe me when I say that all of us who are involved with Turkmenistan in any way are shocked and disappointed by this latest stunt from the government. We are very sorry for all of you T-18s, and simultaneously concerned about what this means for the future of the country.

    I'll be keeping you guys in my thoughts, and hoping that you all find meaningful re-assignments, hopefully in the region. Hang in there while things sort themselves out, and we'll hope to see you guys out here floating around in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan! Take care, and good luck.