Saturday, February 12, 2011

Check it Out

I just added a follow PCV, Aaron's, blog to my "Check These Out" section off to the side and I highly suggest you check it out! My blog has to do with me and what I'm doing here but he focuses on Azerbaijan as a whole and what's going on here, so if you want to stay up-to-date on the country click there now and again!

As for me I'm happy it's Saturday! I added a few more hours of clubs after school and I've been working pretty hard, which feels great but makes me tired! I have a few goals I recently set for things I want to accomplish with my teachers, as most of work so far has been with my students (which is wonderful! But the teachers are part of my job as well.). Unfortunately it is a lot harder to get the teachers to really give a lot of time working after school and on weekends, I mean they are mothers and wives and take care of entire households, so I don't blame them. It just makes realizing my "teacher goals" harder. One of these goals is to get my teachers interested in or at least understanding of AZETA (Azerbaijani English Teacher's Association). I would love to get a branch started up here, but if I at least give them the knowledge of what it is and how it could help them maybe one day they will start it for themselves. Check out the link above to read about what AZETA is. Another of my goals is more feasible, I want to have lesson planned with three teachers by the end of the school year. Teachers never plan for class here, they have no idea how. I think by teaching them how to make a simple lesson plan it will be more obvious to them how to bring in games, worksheets, spelling contests or different materials, basic other forms of teaching besides memorization and recitation. I have tried every month since working here to lesson plan and have yet to write one with a teacher (I make my own and do my own thing in class), but I'm going to make it happen! I've also set the goal of practicing for the GRE (Graduate Record Exam). I want to take the test by July up in Tbilisi. So I need to practice, practice, practice so I can get a good score and get into a good graduate school and have a life plan for after Peace Corps! Yes, I have only 9 months left here so it is time to start thinking about that :).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I don't have any super exciting pictures to add! But heres a bit of an update. This is a picture of "xengal" (hengal), per request. It is my favorite Azeri food! Unfortunately I can't really eat it anymore because of my lactose intolerance- it is caramelized onions, yogurt with garlic and salt and here with noodles. Azeri women actually make a special noodle called "xengal" but I unfortunately am not equipped to do so :)
This is a recent "Creativity Club," we decorated glass jars with pieces of fabric and magazine clippings. The kids LOVED IT! This boy was making yarn mustaches.
Here's all the kids picking out decor.

Last week I went into Baku for our Mid-Service Conference. We all spent the week doing medical, language tests and meetings about our service and our jobs. I am feeling rejuvenated and ready to start going crazy with the projects now! I just turned in a grant for GLOW and now I'm working on one for a resource center at school. Zeynab and I are also working on getting AZETA (Azerbaijani English Teachers Association) up in our area! Lots to do in just a few months, but I'm super excited! Melissa, I love you and I am so sorry for your loss.