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

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...

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...

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...

Appendectomy In Bishkek
Appendectomy In Bishkek

A Fair Warning

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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

Bishkek Apartment
Bishkek Apartment

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

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...

KG Street Festival
KG Street Festival

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....

Lake Issyk Kul Summer 2012
Lake Issyk Kul Summer 2012

Scuba Diving

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...

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....

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...

Radiomost Office
Radiomost Office

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

Sushi Nights
Sushi Nights

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

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.

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...

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

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...

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....

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

Greetings Tiger Nation,

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...

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...

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

Sunday Nov 13 - Monday Nov 14

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

Thanksgiving in Kyrgyzstan
Thanksgiving in Kyrgyzstan

Happy Thanksgiving!

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...

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...

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...

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...

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:

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…

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!

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...

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...

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! ...

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...

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...

Selected: Kyrgyz Republic
Selected: Kyrgyz Republic

I was right! Kyrgyz Republic here I come!

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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:

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...

Application Submitted!
Application Submitted!

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

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...

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...

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,...