Greetings Tiger Nation,

I am proud to report that I am now celebrating the 1-year anniversary of my arrival to my site in Talas, Kyrgyzstan. Over the last year I have engaged in many activities, learned a lot about myself and worked hard to help others learn skills useful to their own endeavors. Among my activities have been: coat and blanket distributions, English clubs, computer and internet trainings, community beautification projects, grant writing seminars, event management trainings and numerous cross-cultural exchanges. As rewarding as all this has been, I am now gearing up for what will likely be the most impact full activity I will carry out: summer camp.

In July I will be directing a summer camp for 28 high-schoolers in the beautiful Besh Tash National Park in the scenic mountains near my home in Talas. The theme of this camp will be HIV / AIDS education and the development of life skills related to relationships and making healthy decisions.

Kyrgyzstan is developing in areas of health education and struggles with the practice of bride-kidnapping. By bringing young boys and girls together at this camp we will help them make healthy life choices and encourage them to engage in a mixed-gender dialogue; something which can be difficult for them to do in the rural areas of this region.

The format of this camp has proven to be a successful way for Peace Corps Volunteers to make a great impact in Kyrgyzstan for many years. Students from the region look forward to the opportunity to be selected for this camp and have high expectations of it’s outcomes. Meeting this expectation will take all the skills and knowledge I have obtained over the years and this challenge thrills me.

I have had a wonderful and meaningful first half of my Peace Corps service and I am excited to finish strong in the second half. While I continue to conduct trainings in the aforementioned areas, I find that just now I am beginning to grasp both the real needs and desires of the Kyrgyz Republic. I expect that the next year will be one to remember!

Yours In Service,
__
Judson L Moore
US Peace Corps 2011-13
Volunteer, Talas Kyrgyzstan
+996.770.760045 // judsonlmoore.com
Photo Caption: Judson L Moore in the foothills of Besh Tash National Park, Talas Kyrgyzstan. This will be the site of the July summer camp educating Kyrgyz youth in life skills related to relationships and making healthy decisions.