Where I'll be . . .
I've told a bit about my site, but now I have a little more information. Saturday was fairly overwhelming. We came into the room for the ceremony in single file and each picked up the packets with our name, and DO NOT OPEN on them. They were color coded for our new regions. So, we all sat in chairs in a horseshoe formation, and listened to the opening remarks with DO NOT OPEN searing our flesh and a high-pitched fuzzy noise from the electric lights. Unfortunately, the only PCT's we could make eye contact with were certainly not in our region; we sat next to the people we'd be with and across from the people we were leaving. Then, the administration started throwing candy at us. Every ceremony here involves throwing candy at people, and I don't mean tossing or throwing it to - I mean really chucking it. The chocolates I picked up were bent like macaroni from the impact on my head/arm/clavicle.
Most of us are pretty excited about our sites by this point. I still think that the official forms are impressively written and lend a certain excitement to moving somewhere new.This is a description I'm going to lift directly from the packet Peace Corps gave me:
"Village is located in steppe, not far from the River Ural, woods all along the river, green bushes and trees are planted near their houses. When it rains, it's muddy. Along the river Ural/Zhaik and Derkul, Shagan. The climate is influenced by the Central Asian steppes. A cold and dry winter is succeeded by a hot and still drier summer, during which the grass, and sometimes all the crops, are destroyed by the burning heat. Uralsk area, although lynig wholly to the south of 52N, has the same average yearly temperature as Moscow and south Finland. Its January is colder than that of North Finland, while July averages 73."
"Economy is agricultur, some private business, bazaar, and stores."
I will be living near the woods on the edge of town with a family with 3 adult sons. They don't live at home. The mother is a good cook. - that's all I know! I think they'll be surprised to find out that someone new is moving in in 3 weeks. I won't have an address until then.