25 June 2005

a different sort of news

Ukraine 29 has been getting some invitees who were going to Uzbekistan. The official word from PC is that Uzbekistan would not renew visas and such, which I believed. Then I did a little reseach of my own.

From noughsaid.blogs.com (woman who was in Uzbekistan with PC during the situation):

"Peace Corps called earlier in the day to tell me that two Peace Corps staff were on their way to "check up on us." So I waited, read, napped, tried the phones, SMS's those I could, and waited. Finally, a call came through saying that despite the diplomatic plates on the vehicles and diplomatic passports, that they were not allowed to enter the city. Apparently, events had escalated while they were enroute and it was decided that we would be removed from the city as a precaution. Since two Andijon volunteers were already in Tashkent, and the other two lived outside the city limits, I was the only one to be removed from within the city. After getting through three city limits check-points, they could not get passed the last blockade to reach me. They tried other check-points without luck so I suggested that I walk out to the first check-point since it was only about 100 metres from my apartment building. I could sense that something was seriously wrong when we were walking towards each other only 50 meters apart and they still called me on the cell phone asking if I could see them walking towards me. As soon as the Peace Corps staff reached me, they flanked me on both sides until we got near the vehicles. Only then did I become aware that there had been shootings there just 30 minutes before. We then drove to pick up the two other volunteers who were outside of the city limits and drove to Ferghana City where we spent the night."

She's safe at home.

Here's the official word from PC regarding Uzbekistan's program suspension:

"Recently, the visas of 52 Peace Corps volunteers and the Peace Corps country director expired and were not renewed. Because the Peace Corps was unable to ensure proper documentation from the Uzbekistan government, the Peace Corps has determined it necessary to suspend its program."

Correlate much? I think not.

Man, Peace Corps blogs are interesting.

Interesting indeed.

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