Uzbekistan

1
A Writer Writes — “The Cotton Trenches of Uzbekistan”
2
Uzbek Zero by Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan)
3
Second Prize Peace Corps Fund Awards: “Samarkand Calling” by Beatrice Hogan (Uzbekistan)
4
Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996) in NYTIMES

A Writer Writes — “The Cotton Trenches of Uzbekistan”

    by Beatrice Grabish Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) Dispatch from Uzbekistan’s cotton campaign November 1993   On the fifth day of barf (Tajik for “snow”), the troops surrendered. The war, a.k.a. the cotton harvest, lasted eight weeks this year and yielded (only) 87% returns. I had watched my students pile into a 25-vehicle motorcade and wind around the mile-long university boulevard amidst handkerchief waving and cheers from teachers and other onlookers. Two days later, much to the horror and surprise of my women colleagues at Samarkand State University, I joined the students’ work camp. On October 5, I arrived at the collective farm called Guzelkent, about 40 kilometers outside the city limits. The place was a collection of brown-streaked, whitewashed houses made of mudbrick, rising like Oz out of acre upon acre of cotton fields. It was a scene framed by purple mountain peaks and a flawless blue sky. At . . .

Read More

Uzbek Zero by Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan)

  Uzbek Zero by Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) • “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” It’s Peace Corps gospel, which had served the agency well as it spread throughout the developing world. But what happens when a country doesn’t want your help, and you’re sent there anyway? I found out, when the Peace Corps sent me to Uzbekistan in 1992. The Cold War had ended, and the Peace Corps was expanding into the former Communist countries of the Eastern Bloc. When the Soviet Union collapsed, in December 1991, James Baker, then secretary of state under George H.W. Bush, said he wanted to see 250 Peace Corps Volunteers on the ground within a year. Volunteers, he said, would provide “human capital” to help these countries transition to market economies, Baker said, and advance U.S. . . .

Read More

Second Prize Peace Corps Fund Awards: “Samarkand Calling” by Beatrice Hogan (Uzbekistan)

  Beatrice Hogan served in the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Uzbekistan (1992-94), and in 2001, returned to the region as an International Reporting Project (IRP) Fellow. She’s worked as a book editor, a radio reporter, and a magazine researcher, and her work has appeared in More, Business 2.0 and Marie Claire, among other publications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Georgetown and a master’s in international affairs from Columbia. • Samarkand Calling WE WERE IN UZBEKISTAN, heading for Bukhara, an historic city about four hours outside Samarkand, when a soldier flagged down our car with a white baton. My husband and I stared at each other nervously as our driver pulled into the checkpoint. I was in Central Asia on a month-long journalism fellowship; Kevin had come along as my photographer. The soldier demanded our passports and disappeared into a roadside shack. I realized that . . .

Read More

Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996) in NYTIMES

Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996) wrote a review of Green on Blue by Elliot Ackerman in the New York Times Book Review Section, Sunday, March 1, 2015. In the review of this novel that is set in Afghanistan, Bissell writes: “I pondered my own brief 2001 excursion in Afghanistan, among Northern Alliance guerrillas with whom I could speak a bit thanks to my Peace Corps Uzbek.” Tom was a PCV for seven months in Uzbekistan before he ETed. In 2001, or thereabouts, Bissell convinced a magazine to send him back to Central Asia to investigate the Aral Sea’s destruction. There, he joins forces with a young Uzbek named Rustam, and together they make their often wild way through the ancient cities–Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara. Out of this experience came his nonfiction book, Chasing the Sea Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia. He has also written a collection of short . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.