Tuesday, June 21, 2005

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With my flight departing Bishkek scheduled for some 13 hours from this writing, it seems fair that people are going to ask the inevitable question of what exactly did I do in the 21 months that I spent over here. Well there is a two part answer to that question. The first part is the factual list of Peace Corps recognized achievements. That's what this posting has (I'll post the more fun stuff later. What follows is my official Description of Service that is required of every Peace Corps volunteer. DESCRIPTION OF SERVICE Brian Parks Cowan Kyrgyz Republic After a competitive application process stressing applicant skills, adaptability and cross-cultural sensitivity Brian Cowan began Peace Corps training on September 19, 2003 at the Kant City HUB Office and completed the 12 week training program. The training program included: · Kyrgyz Language 150 classroom hours · Self-Directed language 16 hours of self-planned and experiential language learning · Community Skills 36 hours of sessions & 12 hours of community assignments · Technical Training 28 hours of sessions & 64 hours of community assignments · Health & Safety 40 hours of sessions · Administrative 3 hours of sessions During PST, Brian lived with a host family in Nurmenbet for 6 weeks before moving in with a host family in International for the remaining 6 weeks and learned about Kyrgyz life and culture. At the completion of training, a certified ACTFL Examiner tested Brian. At that time, he scored intermediate low in spoken Kyrgyz. Brian was enrolled in the Peace Corps on December 10, 2003. He was responsible to the Ministry of Education during her service in the Kyrgyz Republic. As Brian’s primary assignment, he served as an English teacher at M. Tanaev Secondary in Orgochor Village, Issyk-Kul Oblast where he taught the following classes: Year and Duration Subject Grades Number of Students Hours Per Week December 2003-May 2004 English 9-11 130 18 September 2004- May 2005 English 8,10,11 134 18 As a teacher, Brian helped a number of his students prepare for and compete in several regional English competitions including one who placed 4th in the Oblast-wide English competition. That was the first time in at least five years that a student from that village has placed in the Oblast level competition. In addition to his teaching responsibilities as part of his primary project, Brian also led the following daily English Clubs: Year and Duration Subject Grades Number of Students Hours Per Week December 2003-May 2004 English 9 10 2 December 2003-May 2004 English 10 and 11 12 2 September 2004- May 2005 English 8 and 9 10 1.5 September 2004- May 2005 English 10 and 11 20 3 During his service, Brian had a number of secondary projects in addition to his primary project. These projects included the writing of a grant and raising funds for the grant to build a new roof on his school, coordinating two cultural exchange relationships with schools in America including one instance in which he helped coordinate a book drive with the students in America that help raise over 7100 books for his school, raised funds for dictionaries to utilize the new dictionaries, as well as help organize and run parts of four different summer camps held in four different regions of the country to more than 300 students. In these summer camps, Brian developed and present curriculum on theatre, theatre in America, theatre in India, political life in America, and human rights. In addition, Brian presented the following seminars: Date Subject Attendance Length March 2004 English curriculum development 40 1 hour April 2004 English curriculum development 20 3 hours March 2005 Acting and Theatre in America 15 1.5 hours So that's what I did folks. Kind of humbling to see it all in that small of a space. Brian

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

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Ok, so I said I would use this space to keep people posted on my situation, so that's what I am doing. I just learned that I am going to be sent home from Peace Corps. The doctors feel like they can no longer effectively manage my pain here, so they want me to go back to America where it can be more affectively dealt with. I should be home in the next week. I have plans on traveling the areas where many of you live, so feel free to drop me a note (cowanbp@yahoo.com or cowanbp@gmail.com) to let me know your plans and your phone numbers (its been 2 years since I've seen most of you and I don't remember the numbers). To reach me in the states call 865-984-2131 that's my parent's house. I'll get a cell at some point, and let you folks know the number. Anyway, I'll write more later. Brian