Spring is in full swing here, it is 80 degrees today! My garden is full of sprouting pumpkins and squash and as I sat out there today, enjoying the sun, I realized-my summer camp is only one month away! The last week of June (June 27-July 1) I will be holding a summer camp at my school for all of my students. I've tried to vary the schedule to make it fun for all types of students, but on Thursday, June 30, I am sneaking a health day in there to talk about dental care, nutrition and germs. Now I know this is a little late, as the mail can take about a month, and we'll that's all the time there is before my camp, but if anyone wants to help out 50 Azerbaijani students learn more about dental health I would sincerely appreciate around 50 toothbrushes and 50 of those little travel sized toothpastes. Also, and this has a longer deadline, if anyone (my teachers out there reading!) has any good tips, links, websites, games, word-searches etc. to making teaching dental care, nutrition and germs fun could you let me know, I need all the help I can get! Thank you all for thinking of me! I'll let you know how camp goes :)
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
I recently took this picture while having tea, or "chay," with Zeynab and the informatics teacher at my school and thought it was kind of cool. We all had a break from classes at the same time so we had a little chay and chat session.Chay is a huge part of life in Azerbaijan. You can not have a conversation, a meal or even a thought without drinking tea. This isn't bad for me, I've always loved tea and find myself drinking it more and more at my own will. Even in the summer, when it is 100 degrees and humid, we all drink tea before we do anything important, its just the Azerbaijani way. Most of the tea they sell here is grown down in the south in Lankaran, near the Iranian border. When driving away from the main town and out into the villages you can see the many fields of tea growing along the side of the road. This is all black tea, which is the tea of choice here, but they do dry many kinds flowers and other plants to make special healing teas for when you have a cold. Azerbaijani's never drink tea by itself. In the mornings loose sugar is poured by the cup full into the breakfast tea. Anytime after breakfast a sugar cube in the mouth is OK, maybe chocolates, or my favorite, home made preserved fruit. The glass in this picture, an "armud stakan" (pear cup), is a very typical, very Azerbaijani cup to drink your tea out of. Tea drinking is an art here and tradition worth noting.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Hanging out at Zeynab's house is a normal, everyday thing for me. She and her family have become my home away from home-my family away from family. Yesterday was a warm, humid, rainy day and was the day that used to be workers day during soviet times (and May day, I brought Zeynab flowers, but didn't ring the bell and run away). And, since so many family members just happened to be at Zeynab's house yesterday, we had a make-shift party outside while they made "lavash" (thin tortilla type bread).