The Peace Corps

The toughest job I ever loved

The building of a media empire

I lived in Kyrgyzstan for two years working with the United Nations on media and social justice development projects as a Peace Corps volunteer. My time here was the most rewarding and meaningful time of my life. I spent my first year working with community radio station RadioMost in Talas City, where I helped create training materials for a growing national network of citizen journalists.

Then, I wrote my own project concept and secured funding from UNESCO. There were many organizations supporting media training in these areas, but the reach of those journalists was very limited and very isolated. My concept was to leverage the power of mobile technology by placing it in the hands of rural journalists and building a unifying platform which tells the story of life in Central Asia. Today, KyrgyzMedia.com is a vibrant and active outlet which receives thousands of montly visitors from all over the world and continues to be supported by the United Nations and the Deutsche Welle Akadamie. The initiative is locally supported by Kloop Media.

Blog posts about peace corps

What I have learned about my Peace Corps legacy in Kyrgyzstan
What I have learned about my Peace Corps legacy in Kyrgyzstan

I recently learned a few things which I did not know about my own legacy in Kyrgyzstan. Some of these...

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13 Nov 2017

LSU Alumni Association Magazine Article – Fall 2013
LSU Alumni Association Magazine Article – Fall 2013

Well, this chapter of my life has now officially concluded. With my final article in the LSU Alumni Magazine, Peace...

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11 Sep 2013

My Peace Corps Mission is Accomplished
My Peace Corps Mission is Accomplished

Serving with the United States Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan these last two years has been a tremendous experience. During my...

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05 May 2013

Appendectomy In Bishkek
Appendectomy In Bishkek

A Fair Warning

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18 Apr 2013

Nooryz 2013
Nooryz 2013

Nooryz is the Islamic new year and is celebrated in the spring time as new life is emerging from the...

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17 Apr 2013

K-19 COS Conference
K-19 COS Conference

This is it. This is the end. I made it. Yet somehow, I don’t feel any sense of accomplishment. As...

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06 Apr 2013

Bike Race
Bike Race

I recently participated in my first bike race! It was a really great experience but because I entered into the...

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01 Apr 2013

Hiking Konorchek Canyon in Kyrgyzstan
Hiking Konorchek Canyon in Kyrgyzstan

I joined a group from the Trekking Union of Kyrgyzstan today to explore Konorchek Canyon. The landscape in this canyon is...

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30 Mar 2013

LSU Alumni Association Magazine Article - Spring 2013
LSU Alumni Association Magazine Article - Spring 2013

Here is my contribution to the LSU Alumni Association Magazine for Spring 2013. View original source here: http://issuu.com/lsualumni/docs/lsuaa_spring2013

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08 Mar 2013

I Am The Quiz Master
I Am The Quiz Master

Last night I was the quiz master at my favorite local quiz night in Bishkek. We had a great turnout...

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07 Mar 2013

Bishkek Attack
Bishkek Attack

Just considering that I would begin this post with something like, “I don’t know how important it is to tell...

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06 Mar 2013

Community Media in Kyrgyzstan Key to Achieving Social Justice [cross-post]
Community Media in Kyrgyzstan Key to Achieving Social Justice [cross-post]

The culmination of months of work, preparation and an international team overcoming very difficult situations get’s summed up nicely in this article posted on...

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06 Mar 2013

Merry Christmas (Russian Orthodox)
Merry Christmas (Russian Orthodox)

January 7th is the date of Orthodox Christmas. For a long and detailed explanation of why this differs from the...

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07 Jan 2013

Happy New Year / С новым годом / Жаны жылыныздар менен
Happy New Year / С новым годом / Жаны жылыныздар менен

© Kloop.kg © Kloop.kg © Kloop.kg

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05 Jan 2013

Ski Trip to Zil 2
Ski Trip to Zil 2

I made my third trip skiing this season today and it was a real blast. The weather was the best...

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02 Jan 2013

LSU Alumni Magazine Article – Winter 2012
LSU Alumni Magazine Article – Winter 2012

Photo Caption: Judson and his Kyrgyz friends having fun at a cross-cultural dinner party. One of many such events he...

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02 Dec 2012

Ski Trip To Zil
Ski Trip To Zil

Ski Season is here! My desire for years has been to live within a 3-hours drive of skiing. And now...

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01 Dec 2012

Biking to Panorama
Biking to Panorama

I bought a mountainbike so that I could go to the mountains. And so I did! My lovely new Giant...

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03 Nov 2012

Kurban Ait
Kurban Ait

This morning Bishkek Muslims began the Kurban Ait celebration by gathering in the center square of the city. 70,000 people...

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26 Oct 2012

Bishkek Photo Tour - A Morning in Kyrgyzstan's Capital City
Bishkek Photo Tour - A Morning in Kyrgyzstan's Capital City

On a perfect morning in Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan in the heart of Central Asia, I grabbed a...

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14 Oct 2012

FLEX Exam 2012 Bishkek
FLEX Exam 2012 Bishkek

I was asked to help proctor the FLEX exam this year in Bishkek. Here is a snippet about the program from the...

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14 Oct 2012

My New Contact Information
My New Contact Information

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10 Oct 2012

Bishkek Graffiti
Bishkek Graffiti

I took a long bike ride and found this great stretch of graffiti art on a long concrete wall. I...

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08 Oct 2012

Bike Trek Around Bishkek
Bike Trek Around Bishkek

I took a little trek around Bishkek and was smart enough to carry my camera with me. It was such...

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08 Oct 2012

LSU Alumni Magazine Article - Fall 2012
LSU Alumni Magazine Article - Fall 2012

Here is a screenshot of my most recent article in the LSU Alumni Association Magazine. The text from the article...

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07 Oct 2012

National Opera House
National Opera House

This is the national Opera House which I pass every day to and from my office. I often hear the...

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22 Sep 2012

Bishkek Apartment
Bishkek Apartment

Keeping with tradition and always being on the move, I have now moved into a new apartment after only being...

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20 Sep 2012

Almanbet's Brother's Wedding
Almanbet's Brother's Wedding

My good Kyrgyz friend, Almambet, invited me to attend his brother’s wedding. His brother is the general manager of the...

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19 Sep 2012

KG Street Festival
KG Street Festival

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17 Sep 2012

Moving To Bishkek - New City. New Work. New Address.
Moving To Bishkek - New City. New Work. New Address.

I am moving To Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to continue to the next step of my Peace Corps Service. Get all of...

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17 Sep 2012

Martin Abschieds Party
Martin Abschieds Party

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15 Sep 2012

Giant ATX 770 Mountain Bike Technical Specifications
Giant ATX 770 Mountain Bike Technical Specifications

After a 3-year hiatus I am back on wheels with this great Giant ATX 770 that I found in Bishkek,...

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11 Sep 2012

2012 Kyrgyz Republic Independence Day
2012 Kyrgyz Republic Independence Day

Linda and I getting photo-bombed by Manas. Manas and the Kyrgyz flag. Linda and I at Ala-Too Square People watching....

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31 Aug 2012

Almanbet's Birthday Cookout
Almanbet's Birthday Cookout

My friend Linda has a friend named Almanbet who invited her to the mountains for a cook out. I got...

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19 Aug 2012

ICT Camp Dinner Night
ICT Camp Dinner Night

Last night I had a group of new friends in Bishkek over for dinner at my new apartment. We played...

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12 Aug 2012

Lake Issyk Kul Summer 2012
Lake Issyk Kul Summer 2012

Scuba Diving

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11 Aug 2012

Besh Tash with Family
Besh Tash with Family

My second host family in Talas, Kyrgyzstan, took me to the nearby Besh Tash (Five Stones) National Park. They have...

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14 Jul 2012

Bishkek ICT Training
Bishkek ICT Training

If there is a reason why I joined the Peace Corps it was the experience of the last few days....

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13 Jul 2012

2012 4th of July Bishkek Embassy Party
2012 4th of July Bishkek Embassy Party

Happy Birthday America! Here are a few photos of the festivities at the American Embassy in Bishkek. They really know...

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04 Jul 2012

Golden Birthday and Sie Germans
Golden Birthday and Sie Germans

Golden Birthday Party

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30 Jun 2012

Radiomost Office
Radiomost Office

Here is the office and colleagues from my first site in Talas City, RadioMost.

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29 Jun 2012

K20 Site Placement Ceremony
K20 Site Placement Ceremony

New Talas Oblast Volunteers! Welcome K20s!! Our country director, Seth Fearey, preparing to make the site announcements.

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25 Jun 2012

Sushi Nights
Sushi Nights

In the year that I have lived in Talas I have made many visits to the Kyrgyz capital city, Bishkek....

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25 Jun 2012

Mars Family
Mars Family

Mars is a dear friend of mine from Bishkek and was my main host when I visited Bishkek before I...

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25 Jun 2012

Osh Bazaar
Osh Bazaar

The Osh Bazaar in Bishkek is one of the most important shopping places in Kyrgyzstan. I live about a 10-15...

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24 Jun 2012

LSU Alumni Magazine Article - Summer 2012
LSU Alumni Magazine Article - Summer 2012

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01 Jun 2012

Besh Tash National Park
Besh Tash National Park

In preparation for the 2012 Talas GLOW/TOBE Camp I needed to make a site visit to the camp site in the Besh...

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01 Apr 2012

Peace Corps Hardship
Peace Corps Hardship

Life in the Peace Corps is not as luxurious as some might think it could be. Here is a quick...

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20 Mar 2012

Bishkek / Talas Winter Road Conditions
Bishkek / Talas Winter Road Conditions

Think you have a tough commute? This is just another day in the life of a Talas Peace Corps Volunteer....

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18 Mar 2012

Disaster Ski Trip
Disaster Ski Trip

I don’t like to be negative about too many things, but man oh man this day was pretty much a...

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18 Mar 2012

LSU Alumni Magazine Article - Spring 2012
LSU Alumni Magazine Article - Spring 2012

Greetings Tiger Nation,

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17 Mar 2012

Peace Corps Volunteers on Kyrgyz National Television OTPK
Peace Corps Volunteers on Kyrgyz National Television OTPK

National television station OTPK in Kyrgyzstan featured me and some of my Peace Corps Volunteer colleagues during a story about...

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18 Feb 2012

Thanksgiving, New Government and New Year
Thanksgiving, New Government and New Year

Being as far away from America as I am did not put even the slightest dent in my celebrating the...

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04 Dec 2011

Program Travel Report Nov 13-27, 2011
Program Travel Report Nov 13-27, 2011

Sunday Nov 13 - Monday Nov 14

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02 Dec 2011

LSU Alumni Magazine Article – Winter 2011
LSU Alumni Magazine Article – Winter 2011

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01 Dec 2011

Thanksgiving in Kyrgyzstan
Thanksgiving in Kyrgyzstan

Happy Thanksgiving!

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27 Nov 2011

May Freedom Ring
May Freedom Ring

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the Kyrgyz Republic’s independence from the USSR. To mark the occasion there was a...

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01 Sep 2011

Peela Chai Each
Peela Chai Each

Last week was RadioMost’s 4th Anniversary as the pioneer community radio station in Kyrgyzstan.  To mark the occasion we had a music festival...

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27 Jul 2011

The Nature of My Work
The Nature of My Work

I have been at my site now for 1 month. Though I have only scratched the surface of my work’s...

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03 Jul 2011

Жатсон доско тамаша!
Жатсон доско тамаша!

For my birthday, the Press Secretary to the Governor of Talas State wrote me a song. Here it is in...

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29 Jun 2011

Rotary Is Ubiquitous
Rotary Is Ubiquitous

For many of you this post is going to sound like a broken record. But hey, it’s a big deal...

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24 Jun 2011

Working Hard For The (no) Money
Working Hard For The (no) Money

Thus far in the Peace Corps, I have been elected or appointed into every available leadership roll. They are:

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12 Jun 2011

A quick update on the last week of my life…
A quick update on the last week of my life…

A quick update on the last week of my life…

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06 Jun 2011

First Day On Site in Talas City
First Day On Site in Talas City

I haven’t seen as many horses as I have seen today since I lived in Kentucky!

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12 May 2011

Site Placement - Radiomost 100.5FM
Site Placement - Radiomost 100.5FM

The NGO I will be working for is call Radiomost. I have not been given very much information from the...

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06 May 2011

Arrived Safely to Bishkek!
Arrived Safely to Bishkek!

I have arrived safely to Kyrgyzstan! The country is breathtakingly beautiful, the people are amazing and the food is even...

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30 Mar 2011

In Route to the Kyrgyz Republic
In Route to the Kyrgyz Republic

We are in route to Istanbul, Delta Flight 75 from JFK.  The in flight film was The Kings Speech.  Brilliant! ...

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27 Mar 2011

I have Arrived at Staging
I have Arrived at Staging

I have safely arrived to the Staging hotel in Philadelphia (room 542 if you are nearby!) I don’t have anything...

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24 Mar 2011

Kyrgyzstan + Anthropology
Kyrgyzstan + Anthropology

My parent’s live near Texas A&M University and they discovered a Anthropologist who teaches there and specializes in the Kyrgyz...

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02 Feb 2011

Selected: Kyrgyz Republic
Selected: Kyrgyz Republic

I was right! Kyrgyz Republic here I come!

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10 Jan 2011

Selected! But Not Much More...
Selected! But Not Much More...

Woooo!  My status has been updated to SELECTED FOR SERVICE!  Most unfortunately there is nothing else to report at this time.  They...

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06 Jan 2011

All Thats Left
All Thats Left

All that stands between me and getting on the airplane is the actual invitation.  The Selection Committee in Washington DC...

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19 Dec 2010

Medically Cleared
Medically Cleared

Two days ago my status was updated to reflect that “a decision has been made regarding your medical eligibility.”  Well that...

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18 Dec 2010

Medical Review - The Poilo Catch 22
Medical Review - The Poilo Catch 22

The VA does not give Polio Boosters.  I don’t have a record that I have had one before.  All the...

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01 Dec 2010

Medical Review - Blood and Teeth
Medical Review - Blood and Teeth

17 vials of blood!!  They took more blood out of me than I knew I even had in me!  It...

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09 Nov 2010

Medical Review - The VA
Medical Review - The VA

Turns out that the Peace Corps has an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs allowing for Peace Corps applicants...

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08 Nov 2010

Medical Review - Eyes
Medical Review - Eyes

My housemate, Jenny, works at the Alexandria Eye and Laser Center and got me hooked up with an eye exam....

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05 Nov 2010

Interview Done and Nomination In Hand
Interview Done and Nomination In Hand

I’m just going to jump in and tell you the end of the story up front:

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27 Oct 2010

Interview Scheduled (for TOMORROW!)
Interview Scheduled (for TOMORROW!)

WOAH!  This is crazy!  My regional Peace Corps office (Dallas) received the additional follow up paperwork for my application yesterday...

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26 Oct 2010

Application Submitted!
Application Submitted!

Ok so not much of an update here.  It took me weeks to do what I could have really done...

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29 Sep 2010

Application Followup Paperwork
Application Followup Paperwork

Well they got the application but that (of course) just lead to more paperwork!  They sent me forms for fingerprints...

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18 Sep 2010

Why The Peace Corps?
Why The Peace Corps?

Having grown up in a politically-charged family I always took politics and matters of great concern with a grain of...

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03 Sep 2010

Reflections and the Future
Reflections and the Future

The past year has been quite busy for me!  In the past 12 months I have lived in Chattanooga TN,...

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01 Sep 2010

Everything I Own, Right Here.
Everything I Own, Right Here.

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31 Aug 2010