May 31st was graduation or, "Son Zang," (Last Bell) at my school.My school as I was walking in. The ceremony hadn't started yet so there weren't many people around, this whole yard was packed with people once graduation started.
During graduation the 11th graders (graduating classes) and the 1st graders exchange gifts. Then there is a ceremony of the 11th and 1st graders passing around a key and then parading the Azerbaijani flag around the crowd. This is one of the 11th grade boys holding one of the 1st grade boys after parading the flag.
This is the informatics teacher. Her and I have become friends over the last year and she brought me a bouquet of roses for graduation :). "Son Zang" involves a lot of fake and real flowers, as well as HUGE stuffed animals-these are typical gifts in Azerbaijan (you can see a a lot of flowers and balloons in this picture).
With this "Son Zang" comes a new chapter in my Peace Corps service. I just finished a full year of teaching at my school-a year and a half of teaching total. This summer is packed with summer camps and work of all kinds but it also brings with it the end. If this summer will be anything like the last it will go by in a sweaty flash and soon it will be fall-time to close up shop and say my good-byes here. It's hard to believe September 2009 was so long ago. Many things have changed since then; emotions have come and gone, I have both hated and loved life here. Tuesday was an emotional day for me though-it really seems the beginning of the end has come.