First Lady to Meet With Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan
November 10, 1997Washington, D.C., November 10, 1997—On her trip to Central Asia this week, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will meet with a Peace Corps volunteer in the ancient city of Bukhara, Uzbekistan who teaches business development at a regional business school. Mrs. Clinton will meet on Thursday, Nov. 13 with Peace Corps Volunteer John Smart of Fredericksburg, Va., who grew up in Park Falls, Wisc. Smart, 56, works with men and women in Uzbekistan to help them market their crafts, primarily handmade rugs and silk clothes and trinkets, and teaches business development at the Bukhara Regional Business School. The First Lady will visit Bukhara on Thursday as part of her eight-day trip to Central Asia to promote human rights, economic development and religious tolerance in the region. Bukhara, which recently celebrated its 2,500th anniversary, is a significant trading post on the famous Silk Road trading route. The visit to Uzbekistan comes one day after Mrs. Clinton will deliver winter clothes to orphanages in Kyrgyzstan where Peace Corps volunteers work. Families of Peace Corps volunteers in Indiana, Virginia, Wisconsin, California, Washington, Colorado, and North Carolina have joined the effort, collecting thousands of winter coats, boots, shoes, home made hats, mittens and teddy bears. Winters are brutal in this small country located in the mountains of Central Asia, and the clothing items are desperately needed. Currently, there are about 80 Peace Corps volunteers in Uzbekistan, part of more than 6,600 Peace Corps volunteers working in 87 countries around the world in the areas of business, the environment, education, health and nutrition. Since 1961, more than 150,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.