Peace Corps announced our sites last week, and I'll be living in northern Kazakhstan, which also happens to be southern Siberia. It'll be cold, but I'm going where I wanted to go.
I've mentioned before that this isn't the typical Peace Corps experience. Case in point: Yesterday, after school, I went over to a fellow volunteer's homestay and fixed their wireless router, webcam, and printer. Then, her host mom drove me home in a brand new car with a touch-screen audio system while we talked about interior design. It might sound like the Peace Corps isn't even needed here, but I think that I can help a lot in the educational system, both because native English speakers are rare here and because I think there's a lot to be gained, on both sides, by sharing ideas about teaching methodology. And, obviously, the middle class, which I think is vital to stability if you're a capitalist society (especially a new one), is still growing.
Today I'm teaching parts 3 and 4 of a 4-part lesson loosely based on the topic of family. I'm going to play a clip of a stand up comedy routine by Jerry Seinfeld about "old people in Florida" and have a discussion about differences between how the elderly live in Kazakhstan and the US. I'm excited, and I think it gives the students motivation, too, when the teacher brings materials that he/she prepared him/herself.
As for free time, we got together last weekend to watch the movie Serenity, which is a continuation of the science fiction TV show Firefly. There's a bit of a geek factor in our group, and I like that.