Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas from Azerbaijan!

Hello everyone!
I just want you all to know how thankful I am for all of you! Your phone calls, emails, blog comments, texts and letters keep me going here, especially during the holidays. So I hope you can all feel the love and best wishes I am sending your way for Christmas and New Years! And, obviously, I hope Santa brings you all that you asked for. So eat lots of food for me and think of me when you read "The Night Before Christmas!"

As for things in my new home, I am learning my way around here one day at a time with the help of the AZ6's and the other AZ7'z around me. This past weekend a few of us explored Ganja, the biggest city next to us. We found a lot of good places to eat, an old Russian Orthadox church, a carnival, a zoo, and santa. In Azerbaijan New Years Decorations some what resemble American Christmas decorations.

One of Santa's reindeer got lost in the Ganja Zoo.
I'll be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas day in Tovuz with most of the other PCV's around this area. New Year's we will all be in Baku together and after the New Year Holiday I will start actually teaching at my school. I'll let you know how things go. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. I miss you and love you all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Official!

As of last night, I'm officially a Peace Corps Volunteer!!! I'm sitting in the Baku Peace Corps office right now, waiting to take the train out to Qazax (aka my new region!). Last night we had our swearing in ceremony-- our host families and some of the current volunteers (AZ6's) came to see as we were presented certificates and pins by our country director and the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan. The life I have come accustom to in Azerbaijan is about to change drastically, but I am ready for the challenge. Shakira and Mo, I appreciate your support about Gilbert-- he was a good friend. And check out my name address! Yaxsi yol, we'll talk soon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Waited Too Long To Update My Blog

I don't even know where to start right now. My life as been full of adventures in the last few weeks. Ups and downs--laughter and frowns. So I'll just try to update you through pictures of what has been making me smile.

My younger host sister and I have found magic in the garden. Colorful flowers have become pieces of art, confetti and even snow.

This was the chicken feed I told you we were going to have. I needed the fun time in the garden with my sister before this :) (PS I didn't eat any chicken)

Beauty can be found in any situation. We spent one of our off days explore the beach of Sumgayit.

These are most of the other English teachers that will be living around the same area as me.

And THIS is Khayal. He is the coolest!

I have had the chance to explore Baku a few times now. I met Amanda (on my right) the AZ 6 who will be my new site mate. This is at Martyr's Lane.

Maiden's Tower in the Old City of Baku.

And finally our Thanksgiving.

I told you my cluster was practicing for the Turkey killing on Thanksgiving...

I stuck to peeling potatoes.

But the meal turned out wonderful and I have to admit, I ate the Turkey and it was good.

And obviously no Thanksgiving is complete without an Azeri dance party.

I hope you have some sort of random idea of what I've been up to. A week from today I will official be sworn in as a volunteer! And then its off to my new rayon. I am pretty excited for the change, though leaving the friends I've made here and my host family that I have grown so close to will be hard. Thank you for all of the messages on Facebook and here--you keep me going. Miss you and Love you all!